Medieval "greek fire" warship

Medieval "greek fire" warship

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Medieval depiction of a warship equipped with incendiary weapons based on the use of “Greek fire”, a combustible material developed by the Byzantines. Because of the effectiveness of the Byzantine Greek fire in their naval battles, many attempts have been made to replicate its precise recipe, but so far without success. Possible constituents are petroleum, naphtha, pitch, sulphur, sodium nitrate, saltpetre and quicklime. It continues to burn when floating on water. Between the two burning cauldrons on this oared galley or dromon there appears to be the nozzle of a siphon that would be connected to a cauldron of heated oil. This fuel is pressurized by a force pump and, after ignition, ejected in as a jet of flame towards enemy vessels.

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Keywords: battles, byzantine, cauldron, combustble, constituents, dromon, fire ship, flame thrower, fuel, galley, greek fire, incendiary, naval, no-one, nobody, nozzle, petroleum, pitch, quicklime, saltpetre, siphon, sulfur, sulphur, warship

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