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Greek fire

Greek fire, liquid mixture of unknown composition that tookfire when wet, invented by a Syrian refugee in Constantinople in the 7th century A.D. and used by the Byzantine Empire and others for the next 800 years. Thrown in grenades or discharged from syringes, it wrought havoc in naval warfare until superseded by gunpowder. It appears to have been a petroleum-based mixture.

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21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia - Grand Rapids to Hadron