Alania was a medieval kingdom of the Iranian Alans that flourished in the Northern Caucasus in the location of latter-day Circassia and modern North Ossetia–Alania, from its independence from the Khazars in the late 9th century until its destruction by the Mongol invasion in 1238-39. Its capital was Maghas, it controlled a vital trade route through the Darial Pass; the kingdom reached its peak under the rule of king Dorgolel. The Alans originated as an Iranian-speaking subdivision of the Sarmatians, they were split by the invasion of the Huns into the European and the Caucasian. The Caucasian Alans occupied part of the North Caucasian plain and the foothills of the main mountain chain from the headwaters of the Kuban River in the west to the Darial Gorge in the east. Alania was an important buffer state during the Byzantine-Arab Wars and Khazar-Arab Wars of the 8th century. Theophanes the Confessor left a detailed account of Leo the Isaurian's mission to Alania in the early 8th century. Leo was instructed by Emperor Justinian II to bribe the Alan leader Itaxes into severing his "ancient friendship" with the Kingdom of Abkhazia which had allied itself with Caliph Al-Walid I He crossed the mountain passes and concluded an alliance with the Alans, but was prevented from returning to Byzantium through Abasgia.
Although the Abkhazians spared no expense to have him imprisoned, the Alans refused to convey the Byzantine envoy to his enemies. After several months of adventures in the Northern Caucasus, Leo extricated himself from the precarious situation and returned to Constantinople. After Leo assumed the imperial title, the land of his mountaineer allies was invaded by Umar II's forces. A Khazar chieftain, hastened to their succor and, in 722, the joint Alan-Khazar army inflicted a defeat on the Arab general Tabit al-Nahrani; the Khazars erected several other strongholds in Alania at this period. In 728 Maslamah ibn Abd al-Malik, having penetrated the Gate of the Alans, devastated the country of the Alans. Eight years Marwan ibn Muhammad passed by the Gate in order to ravage the forts in Alania. In 758, as Ibn al-Faqih reports, the Gate was held by Yazid ibn Usayd; as a result of their united stand against the successive waves of invaders from the south, the Alans of the Caucasus fell under the overlordship of the Khazar Khaganate.
They remained staunch allies of the Khazars in the 9th century, supporting them against a Byzantine-led coalition during the reign of the Khazar king Benjamin. According to the anonymous author of the Schechter Letter, many Alans were during this period adherents of Judaism. In the late 9th century, Alania became independent from the Khazars. In the early 10th century, the Alans fell under the influence of the Byzantine Empire due to the conversion of their ruler to Christianity; the conversion is documented in the letters of Patriarch Nicholas Mysticus to the local archbishop, whose name was Peter. When Ibn Rustah visited Alania at some point between 903 and 913, its king was by Christian; the Persian traveller came to Alania from Sarir, a Christian kingdom to the east: You go to the left from the kingdom of Sarir and, after three days of journey through mountains and meadows, arrive in the kingdom of Al-Lan. Their king is Christian at heart. You travel for ten days among rivers and woods before arriving at a fortress called the "Gate of the Alans".
It stands on the top of a mountain at the foot. The Byzantines, who had adopted an anti-Khazar foreign policy, involved the Alans in a war against the Khaganate during the reign of the Khazar ruler Aaron II the early 920s. In this war the Alans were defeated and their king captured. According to Muslim sources such as al-Mas'udi, the Alans abandoned Christianity and expelled the Byzantine missionaries and clergy contemporaneously with these events. Aaron's son married the daughter of the Alan king and Alania was re-aligned with the Khazars, remaining so until the collapse of the Khaganate in the 960s. After the downfall of Khazaria, the Alan kings allied with the Byzantines and various Georgian rulers for protection against encroachments by northern steppe peoples such as the Pechenegs and Kipchaks. John Skylitzes reports that Alda of Alania, after the death of her husband, "George of Abasgia", received Anakopia as a maritime fief from Emperor Romanus III; this happened in 1033, the year when the Alans and the Rus sacked the coast of Shirvan in modern-day Azerbaijan.
Alania is not mentioned in East Slavic chronicles, but archaeology indicates that the Alans maintained trade contacts with the Rus' principality of Tmutarakan. There is a stone grave cross, with a Cyrillic inscription from 1041, standing on the bank of the Bolshoi Yegorlyk River in present-day Stavropol Krai north of Alania. Two Russian crosses, datable to ca. 1200, were discovered by archaeologists in the heartland of medieval Alania. The Alans and Georgians collaborated in the Christianization of the Vainakhs and Dvals in the 12th and 13th centuries, Georgian missionaries were active in Alania and the Alan contingents were employed by the Georgian monarchs against their Muslim neighbors; the Alanian-Georgian alliance was cemented in the 1060s, when the Alans struck across Muslim Arran and sacked Ganja. In the 1120s King David the Builder of Georgia visited the Darial to reconcile the Alans with the Kipchaks, who thereupon were allowed to pass through Alania to the Georgian soil. David's son, Demetre I journeyed, c.
1153, to Alania acco
The Macedonian dynasty ruled the Byzantine Empire from 867 to 1056, following the Amorian dynasty. During this period, the Byzantine state reached its greatest expanse since the Muslim conquests, the Macedonian Renaissance in letters and arts began; the dynasty was named after its founder, Basil I the Macedonian who came from the Theme of Macedonia which at the time was part of Thrace. Claims have been made for the dynasty's founder being of Armenian, Slavic, or indeed "Armeno-Slavonic" descent. Hence, the dynasty is referred to by as the Armenian Dynasty by several scholars, such as George Bournoutian and Mack Chahin. Zachary Chitwood suggests it is the term Macedonian dynasty is "something of a misnomer" because of Basil I's Armenian origin; the author of the only dedicated biography of Basil I in English has concluded that it is impossible to be certain what the ethnic origins of the emperor were, though Basil was reliant on the support of Armenians in prominent positions within the Byzantine Empire.
Basil I the Macedonian – married the Varangian Eudokia Ingerina, mistress of Michael III. Deposed by his sons and entered monastery Romanos II the Purple-born – son of Constantine VII Nikephoros II Phokas – successful general, married Romanos II's widow, regent for Basil; the Early Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Sixth to the Late Twelfth Century. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press. Obolensky, Dimitri; the Byzantine Commonwealth: Eastern Europe, 500-1453. London: Cardinal. Ostrogorsky, George. History of the Byzantine State. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. Runciman, Steven; the Emperor Romanus Lecapenus and His Reign: A Study of Tenth-Century Byzantium. Cambridge University Press. Stephenson, Paul. Byzantium's Balkan Frontier: A Political Study of the Northern Balkans, 900-1204. Cambridge University Press. Stephenson, Paul; the Legend of Basil the Bulgar-Slayer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Thurn, Hans, ed.. Ioannis Scylitzae Synopsis historiarum. Berlin-New York: De Gruyter
Rus'–Byzantine War (1043)
The final Byzantine-Russian War was, in essence, an, unsuccessful naval raid against Constantinople instigated by Yaroslav I of Kiev and led by his eldest son, Vladimir of Novgorod, in 1043. The reasons for the war are disputed. Michael Psellus, an eyewitness of the battle, left a hyperbolic account detailing how the invading Kievan Rus' were annihilated by a superior Imperial fleet with Greek fire off the Anatolian shore. According to the Slavonic chronicles, the Russian fleet was destroyed by a tempest; the Byzantines sent a squadron of 14 ships to pursue the dispersed monoxyla of the Rus'. They were sunk by the Ruthenian admiral Ivan Tvorimich, who managed to rescue Prince Vladimir after the shipwreck. A 6,000-strong ruthenian contingent under Vyshata, which did not take part in naval action, was captured and deported to Constantinople. Eight hundred of the Ruthenian prisoners were blinded. Vyshata was allowed to return to Kiev at the conclusion of the peace treaty three years later. Under the terms of the peace settlement, Yaroslav's son Vsevolod I married a daughter of Emperor Constantine Monomachus.
Vsevolod's son by this princess assumed his maternal grandfather's name and became known as Vladimir Monomakh. There are good reasons to believe that the campaign was not over in 1043, but continued with the Rus' capture of Chersonesos the following year: In his 16th-century account of the 1043 campaign, Maciej Stryjkowski narrates that Yaroslav sent his son Vladimir to seize the Crimean emporia of the Greek empire, notably Chersonesos. Novgorodian traditions link Vladimir's foundation of the Saint Sophia Cathedral in Novgorod in 1045 with his prior victory over the Greeks; the cathedral boasted the so-called Korsun Treasure, brought to Novgorod by Prince Vladimir. Among foreign authors and Paul of Aleppo relate that the copper Korsun Gate of the cathedral was seized by the Novgorodians in Chersonesos, where it had been used as a city gate; the extant cathedral gate is decorated with complicated cross symbols associated by art historians with Chersonesos. Curiously enough, excavations of Chersonesos yielded an inscription reporting that the city gate had to be replaced in 1059.
Apart from the gate, the treasure contained gold vessels, the miraculous icon of the Theotokos of Korsun and other early 11th-century Greek items. Having visited Kiev in 1048, Roger II of Châlons reported that he had seen there the relics of St. Clement of Rome. According to Roger, Yaroslav told him that the relics had been taken by him from Chersonesos, where Clement had been martyred. Slavonic sources claim that Clement's relics were brought to Kiev from Crimea by Yaroslav's father Vladimir. Careful analysis of these facts led Vera Bryusova to conclude that hostilities were renewed in 1044 or 1045, when Vladimir advanced on Chersonesos and captured it, retaining the town until the Byzantines, involved in several other wars, agreed to conclude a favourable treaty with Rus' and give a princess in marriage to his younger brother. If so, the situation would be identical to the conquest of Chersonesos by Vladimir the Great, according to most Slavonic sources, precipitated the Christianization of Kievan Rus' back in 988.
Bryusova argues that pious legends confused Vladimir of Novgorod with his more famous grandfather and canonized namesake, who most never waged wars against Byzantium. Some late medieval authors went as far as to ascribe this Crimean campaign to another celebrated Vladimir, who in fact derived his main foreign support from Constantinople. For instance, Vasily Tatishchev, writing in the 18th century from much earlier sources, erroneously reports that Monomakh engaged a Greek governor of Chersonesos in single combat. George Vernadsky; the Byzantine-Russian war of 1043. "Sudostforschungen" Bd. XII. Munchen.1953, S. 47-67. Andrzej Poppe. La derniere expedition Russe contre Constantinople. "Byzantinoslavica" XXXII/I, 1971, s. 1-29. Брюсова В.Г. Русско-византийские отношения середины XI века. // Вопросы истории, 1973, №3, pages 51–62
Italy the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 and has a temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe. Due to its central geographic location in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has been home to a myriad of peoples and cultures. In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout modern-day Italy, the most famous of which being the Indo-European Italics who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era and Carthaginians founded colonies in insular Italy and Genoa, Greeks established settlements in the so-called Magna Graecia, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy respectively; the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which became a republic with a government of the Senate and the People.
The Roman Republic conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the peninsula, in some cases through the establishment of federations, the Republic expanded and conquered parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became the leading cultural and religious centre of Western civilisation, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy's technology, economy and literature flourished. Italy remained the metropole of the Roman Empire; the legacy of the Roman Empire endured its fall and can be observed in the global distribution of culture, governments and the Latin script. During the Early Middle Ages, Italy endured sociopolitical collapse and barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century, numerous rival city-states and maritime republics in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through shipping and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism.
These independent statelets served as Europe's main trading hubs with Asia and the Near East enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science and art. Italian culture flourished, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Machiavelli. During the Middle Ages, Italian explorers such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, John Cabot and Giovanni da Verrazzano discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. Italy's commercial and political power waned with the opening of trade routes that bypassed the Mediterranean. Centuries of infighting between the Italian city-states, such as the Italian Wars of the 15th and 16th centuries, left the region fragmented, it was subsequently conquered and further divided by European powers such as France and Austria.
By the mid-19th century, rising Italian nationalism and calls for independence from foreign control led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was entirely unified in 1871, establishing the Kingdom of Italy as a great power. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Italy industrialised, namely in the north, acquired a colonial empire, while the south remained impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Despite being one of the main victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, leading to the rise of a fascist dictatorship in 1922. Participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in military defeat, economic destruction and the Italian Civil War. Following the liberation of Italy and the rise of the resistance, the country abolished the monarchy, reinstated democracy, enjoyed a prolonged economic boom and, despite periods of sociopolitical turmoil became a developed country.
Today, Italy is considered to be one of the world's most culturally and economically advanced countries, with the sixth-largest worldwide national wealth. Its advanced economy ranks eighth-largest in the world and third in the Eurozone by nominal GDP. Italy owns the third-largest central bank gold reserve, it has a high level of human development, it stands among the top countries for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs. Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union and a member of numerous international institutions, including the UN, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the WTO, the G7, the G20, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Council of Europe, Uniting for Consensus, the Schengen Area and many more; as a reflection
Kievan Rus' was a loose federation of East Slavic and Finnic peoples in Europe from the late 9th to the mid-13th century, under the reign of the Varangian Rurik dynasty. The modern nations of Belarus and Ukraine all claim Kievan Rus' as their cultural ancestors, with Belarus and Russia deriving their names from it. At its greatest extent, in the mid-11th century, it stretched from the Baltic Sea in the north to the Black Sea in the south and from the headwaters of the Vistula in the west to the Taman Peninsula in the east, uniting the majority of East Slavic tribes. According to Russian historiography, the first ruler to start uniting East Slavic lands into what has become known as Kievan Rus' was Prince Oleg, he extended his control from Novgorod south along the Dnieper river valley to protect trade from Khazar incursions from the east, he moved his capital to the more strategic Kiev. Sviatoslav I achieved the first major expansion of Kievan Rus' territorial control, fighting a war of conquest against the Khazars.
Vladimir the Great introduced Christianity with his own baptism and, by decree, extended it to all inhabitants of Kiev and beyond. Kievan Rus' reached its greatest extent under Yaroslav the Wise; the state declined beginning in the late 11th century and during the 12th century, disintegrating into various rival regional powers. It was further weakened by economic factors, such as the collapse of Rus' commercial ties to the Byzantine Empire due to the decline of Constantinople and the accompanying diminution of trade routes through its territory; the state fell to the Mongol invasion of the 1240s. During its existence, Kievan Rus' was known as the "land of the Rus'", in Greek as Ῥωσία, in Old French as Russie, Rossie, in Latin as Russia, from the 12th century Ruthenia. Various etymologies have been proposed, including Ruotsi, the Finnish designation for Sweden, Ros, a tribe from the middle Dnieper valley region. In the Norse sources, the sagas, the principality is called Garðariki, the peoples, according to Snorre Sturlason, are called Suiones, the confederation of Great Sviþjoð were made up of the peoples along the Dniepr called Tanais that separated Asia and Europe, all the way to the Baltics and Scandinavia.
The term Kievan Rus' was coined in the 19th century in Russian historiography to refer to the period when the centre was in Kiev. In English, the term was introduced in the early 20th century, when it was found in the 1913 English translation of Vasily Klyuchevsky's A History of Russia, to distinguish the early polity from successor states, which were named Rus; the Russian term was rendered into Belarusian and Ukrainian as Кіеўская Русь and Ки́ївська Русь, respectively. Prior to the emergence of Kievan Rus' in the 9th century AD, the lands between the Baltic Sea and Black Sea were populated by eastern Slavic tribes. In the northern region around Novgorod were the Ilmen Slavs and neighboring Krivichi, who occupied territories surrounding the headwaters of the West Dvina and Volga Rivers. To their north, in the Ladoga and Karelia regions, were the Finnic Chud tribe. In the south, in the area around Kiev, were the Poliane, a group of Slavicized tribes with Iranian origins, the Drevliane to the west of the Dnieper, the Severiane to the east.
To their north and east were the Vyatichi, to their south was forested land settled by Slav farmers, giving way to steppelands populated by nomadic herdsmen. Controversy persists over whether the Rus' were Slavs; this uncertainty is due to a paucity of contemporary sources. Attempts to address this question instead rely on archaeological evidence, the accounts of foreign observers, legends and literature from centuries later. To some extent the controversy is related to the foundation myths of modern states in the region. According to the "Normanist" view, the Rus' were Scandinavians, while Russian and Ukrainian nationalist historians argue that the Rus' were themselves Slavs. Normanist theories focus on the earliest written source for the East Slavs, the Primary Chronicle, although this account was not produced until the 12th century. Nationalist accounts have suggested that the Rus' were present before the arrival of the Varangians, noting that only a handful of Scandinavian words can be found in modern Russian and that Scandinavian names in the early chronicles were soon replaced by Slavic names.
Archaeological evidence from the area suggests that a Scandinavian population was present during the 10th century at the latest. On balance, it seems that the Rus' proper were a small minority of Scandinavians who formed an elite ruling class, while the great majority of their subjects were Slavs. Considering the linguistic arguments mounted by nationalist scholars, if the proto-Rus' were Scandinavians, they must have become nativized, adopting Slavic languages and other cultural practices. Ahmad ibn Fadlan, an Arab traveler during the 10th century, provided one of the earliest written descriptions of the Rus': "They are as tall as a date palm and ruddy, so that they do not need to wear a tunic nor a cloak. Liutprand of C
The Bagrationi dynasty is a royal dynasty which reigned in Georgia from the Middle Ages until the early 19th century, being among the oldest extant Christian ruling dynasties in the world. In modern usage, the name of the dynasty is sometimes Hellenized and referred to as the Georgian Bagratids known in English as the Bagrations. Several scholars have accepted a common origin with the Armenian Bagratuni dynasty. Early Georgian Bagratids through dynastic marriage gained the Principality of Iberia after succeeding the Chosroid dynasty at the end of the 8th century. In 888 Adarnase IV of Iberia restored the Georgian monarchy; this period of time the reigns of David IV the Builder and of his great-granddaughter Tamar the Great inaugurated the Georgian Golden Age in the history of Georgia. After fragmentation of the unified Kingdom of Georgia in the late 15th century, the branches of the Bagrationi dynasty ruled the three breakaway Georgian kingdoms, the Kingdom of Kartli, the Kingdom of Kakheti, the Kingdom of Imereti, until Russian annexation in the early-19th century.
While the 3rd article of the 1783 Treaty of Georgievsk guaranteed continued sovereignty for the Bagrationi dynasty and their continued presence on the Georgian Throne, the Russian Imperial Crown broke the terms of the treaty, the Russian protectorate became an illegal annexation. The dynasty persisted within the Russian Empire as an Imperial Russian noble family until the 1917 February Revolution; the establishment of Soviet rule in Georgia in 1921 forced some members of the family to accept demoted status and loss of property in Georgia. Other members relocated to Western Europe, but some Bagrations repatriated after Georgian regained independence in 1991; the earliest Georgian forms of the dynastic name are Bagratoniani and Bagratovani, changed subsequently into Bagrationi. These names as well as the Armenian Bagratuni and the modern designation Bagratid mean "the children of Bagrat" or "the house of/established by Bagrat". According to a tradition first recorded in the work of the 11th century Georgian chronicler Sumbat Davitis-Dze, repeated much by Prince Vakhushti Bagrationi the dynasty claimed descent from the biblical king and prophet David and came from Israel around 530 AD.
The tradition had it that of seven refugee brothers of the Davidic line, three of them settled in Armenia and the other four arrived in Kartli, where they intermarried with the local ruling houses and acquired some lands in hereditary possession, with one of the four brothers, founding a line subsequently called Bagrationi after his son Bagrat. A successor, was installed as a presiding prince of Iberia under the Byzantine protectorate, receiving on this occasion the Byzantine court title of Kouropalates in 575. Thus, according to this version, began the dynasty of the Bagratids, who ruled until 1801; this tradition enjoyed a general acceptance until the early 20th century. The Jewish origin, let alone the biblical descent, of the Bagratids has been discounted by modern scholarship. Cyril Toumanoff's research concluded that the Georgian Bagratids branched out of the Armenian Bagratid dynasty in the person of Adarnase, whose father Vasak passed to Kartli following an abortive uprising against Arab rule in 775.
Adarnase’s son, Ashot I, acquired the Principality of Iberia in 813 and thus founded the last royal house of Georgia. Accordingly, the legend of the Davidic origin of the Georgian Bagratids was a further development of the earlier claim entertained by the Armenian dynasty, as given in the work of the Armenian author Moses of Khorene. Once the Georgian branch, which had acculturated in the new environment, assumed royal power, the myth of their biblical origin helped to assert their legitimacy and became a major ideological pillar of the millennium-long Bagrationi rule in Georgia. Although certain, the generation-by-generation history of the Bagrationi dynasty begins only in the late 8th century. Toumanoff claimed that the first Georgian branch of the Bagratids may be traced as far back as the 2nd century AD, when they were said to rule over the princedom of Odzrkhe in what is now southern Georgia; the Odzrkhe line, known in the medieval annals as the Bivritianis, lasted until the 5th century AD.
They cannot, however, be considered the direct ancestors of the Bagratids who restored Georgian royal authority. According to the Georgian historian Niko Berdzenishvili, the illustrious dynasty of the Bagrationi originates in the most ancient Georgian district – Speri. Through their farsighted, flexible policies, the Bagrationi achieved great influence from the 6th through 8th centuries. One of their branches moved out to Armenia, the other to Iberia, both won for themselves the dominant position among the other rulers of Transcaucasia; the Bagrationi family had grown in prominence by the time the Georgian monarchy fell to the Sassanid Persian Empire in the 6th century, the leading local princely families were exhausted by Arab attacks. The rise of the new dynasty was made possible by the extinction of the Guaramids and the near-extinction of the Chosroids, by the Abbasid preoccupation with their own civil wars and conflict with the Byzantine Empire. Although Arab rule did not allow them a foothold in the ancient capital of Tbilisi and eastern Kartli, the Ba
Greek fire was an incendiary weapon used by the Eastern Roman Empire, first developed c. 672. It was a combustible compound emitted by a flame-throwing weapon and used to set light to enemy ships. Greek fire was first used by the Greeks besieged in Constantinople, it ignited on contact with water, was based on naphtha and quicklime. The Byzantines used it in naval battles to great effect, as it could continue burning while floating on water, it provided a technological advantage and was responsible for many key Byzantine military victories, most notably the salvation of Constantinople from two Arab sieges, thus securing the Empire's survival. The impression made by Greek fire on the western European Crusaders was such that the name was applied to any sort of incendiary weapon, including those used by Arabs, the Chinese, the Mongols. However, these were different mixtures and not the same formula as the Byzantine Greek fire, a guarded state secret. Byzantines used pressurized nozzles or siphōns to project the liquid onto the enemy, in a manner resembling a modern flamethrower.
Although usage of the term "Greek fire" has been general in English and most other languages since the Crusades, original Byzantine sources called the substance a variety of names, such as "sea fire", "Roman fire", "war fire", "liquid fire", "sticky fire" or "manufactured fire". The composition of Greek fire remains a matter of speculation and debate, with various proposals including combinations of pine resin, quicklime, calcium phosphide, sulfur, or niter. In Titus Livy's history of Rome, priestesses of Bacchus are said to have dipped fire into the water, which did not extinguish, "for it was sulphur mixed with lime." Incendiary and flaming weapons were used in warfare for centuries prior to the invention of Greek fire. They included a number of sulfur-, petroleum-, bitumen-based mixtures. Incendiary arrows and pots containing combustible substances surrounded by caltrops or spikes, or launched by catapults, were used as early as the 9th century BC by the Assyrians and were extensively used in the Greco-Roman world as well.
Furthermore, Thucydides mentions that in the siege of Delium in 424 BC a long tube on wheels was used which blew flames forward using a large bellows. The Roman author Julius Africanus, writing in the 3rd Century AD, records a mixture that ignited from adequate heat and intense sunlight, used in grenades or night attacks:Automatic fire by the following formula; this is the recipe: take equal amounts of sulphur, rock salt, thunder stone, pyrite and pound fine in a black mortar at midday sun. In equal amounts of each ingredient mix together black mulberry resin and Zakynthian asphault, the latter in a liquid form and free-flowing, resulting in a product, sooty colored. Add to the asphalt the tiniest amount of quicklime, but because the sun is at its zenith, one must pound it and protect the face, for it will ignite suddenly. When it catches fire, one should seal it in some sort of copper receptacle. If you should wish to ignite enemy armaments, you will smear it on in the evening, either on the armaments or some other object, but in secret.
In naval warfare, the Eastern Roman Emperor Anastasius I is recorded by chronicler John Malalas to have been advised by a philosopher from Athens called Proclus to use sulfur to burn the ships of Vitalianus. Greek fire proper, was developed in c. 672 and is ascribed by the chronicler Theophanes to Kallinikos, an architect from Heliopolis in the former province of Phoenice, by overrun by the Muslim conquests:At that time Kallinikos, an artificer from Heliopolis, fled to the Romans. He had devised a sea fire which burned them with all hands, thus it was that the Romans discovered the sea fire. The accuracy and exact chronology of this account is open to question: Theophanes reports the use of fire-carrying and siphōn-equipped ships by the Byzantines a couple of years before the supposed arrival of Kallinikos at Constantinople. If this is not due to chronological confusion of the events of the siege, it may suggest that Kallinikos introduced an improved version of an established weapon; the historian James Partington further thinks it that Greek fire was not in fact the creation of any single person but "invented by chemists in Constantinople who had inherited the discoveries of the Alexandrian chemical school."
Indeed, the 11th-century chronicler George Kedrenos records that Kallinikos came from Heliopolis in Egypt, but most scholars reject this as an error. Kedrenos records the story, considered rather implausible by modern scholars, that Kallinikos' descendants, a family called Lampros, "brilliant," kept the secret of the fire's manufacture and continued doing so to Kedrenos' time. Kallinikos' development of Greek fire came at a critical moment in the Byzantine Empire's history: weakened by its long wars with Sassanid Persia, the Byzantines had been unable to resist the onslaught of the Muslim conquests. Within a generation, Syria and Egypt had fallen to the Arabs, who in c. 672 set out to conquer the imperial capital of Constantinople. Greek fire was used to great effect against the Muslim fleets, helping to repel the Muslims at the first and second Arab sieges of the city. Records of its use in naval battles against the Saracens are more sporadic, but it did sec