Illustration from

Scylitzes Chronicle

f34v lower.   Greek Fire


A larger image of f34v lower.   Greek Fire. Skylitzes Chronicle (Codex Gręcus Matritensis)

Greek fire in use against the fleet of the rebel, Thomas the Slav
Bibliteca Nacional de Madrid, Vitr. 26-2, Bild-Nr. 77



Referenced on p39 Byzantine Armies 886-1118 by Ian Heath & Angus McBride:
'Greek Fire', or Sea Fire (pyr thalassion) as the Byzantines themselves called it, had been invented in Constantinople c. 673. Throughout its history, however, it appears to have been used entirely in naval and siege warfare. It was fired from siphons by heating or by a jet of water (opinions differ) and was extremely difficult to extinguish. One of the advances made during this era was the invention of 'hand syringes' (mikroi siphones) in Leo VI's reign, these being fired from behind iron shields. The picture here, from the Madrid Scylitzes, shows the more conventional shipboard use, with the Fire being fired from copper, bronze or iron-covered tubes. (Biblioteca Nacional, Madrid)

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