We have all heard of Greek Fire. We know of the contribution that it made to certain naval victories for the Byzantines, wreaking terrible destruction on those on the receiving end. Little however is known about the weapon. How was it made? When and where was it best deployed?
In his new book, Konstantinos Karatolios explore these ideas and brings together all the ideas and research in one short and fascinating book: Greek Fire: and its contribution to Byzantine might: Volume 1 (History)
The wonder of the thousand-year Byzantine Empire could not have been achieved without its armed forces, allowing it to maintain its power in the face of constant challenges from external enemies that differed significantly in their nature. In this context, what had been inherited from the Romans was just as important as the adoption of new weapons and tactics in battle.
“Greek fire”, if not the most important of these weapons, was certainly the one that achieved the greatest fame. It was used throughout the course of the Byzantine Empire and granted resounding victories to its navy. This terrifying weapon was legendary, yet almost all we know about it and its use is clouded by the vagueness of contemporary accounts.
In this work Konstantinos Karatolios attempts to answer a number of questions concerning Greek Fire: What was the formula? How effective was it? Who was its true inventor? How was it used in battles on land and at sea? This book aims not only to provide an overview of the current state of research that can be easily read by non-specialists, but also to make is own contribution to the study of the subject, respecting academic research methods.
Konstantinos Karatolios was born in Athens, Greece, in 1982. He holds a postgraduate degree in Byzantine Studies at the Department of History and Archaeology at the University of Crete (with a scholarship from the State Scholarships Foundation of Greece). He is also a graduate of the Department of Primary Education at the University of Crete and the Department of Social Anthropology and History at the University of the Aegean. Ηe is the author of three books so far. His latest “Byzantine Imperial Ideology. Mirrors of Princes of the Middle Byzantine Period” was just published in Greek. His book “Greek Fire and its Contribution to the Byzantine Might” is the first to be translated in English. He is also a regular contributor to Greek and international History magazines and websites.