Greek fire

Big Horn

Member
Please consider this a first draft.

In 1960 John H. Partington published History of Greek Fire and Gunpowder. It's an exhaustive study that has become increasingly controversial. The author's language is English, but he quotes many passages in both Latin and Greek, large sections of which are left untranslated. Most of the Latin and Greek is easy to translate.

Partington was a chemist who wrote among other works, a massive history of chemists and chemistry. He obviously had a strong classical background. Unlike H. W. L. Hime he does not mount an almost purely philological argument of a Chinese introduction of potassium nitrate. Most of the latter's work involves Classics. particularly Lucian.

I'm posting references as best I can including what should be for most a helpful Wikipedia article on Greek Fire.

As I stated in the title of the thr3ead I do not know where to post this. I would like to give it maxum exposure because I believe that it could lead to a discussion both productive and lively.

https://books.google.com/books?id=30IJLnwpc8EC&hl=en

https://books.google.com/books?id=ly3rAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=inauthor:"Henry+William+Lovett+Hime"&hl=en&newbks=1&newbks_redir=0&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiVrce5wMXlAhVJip4KHSpDARUQ6AEwBHoECAQQAg#v=onepage&q&f=false

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_fire
 

Rudis

Member
Greek fire...now that's a talking point. The arsonists wet dream. A weapon of war so effective that, even in the hands of people today, it still has great worth in times of war. It essentially is weaponised fire. Scientists, archeologists and alchemists, they do still exist, have searched for centuries to find out the magic formula. All of the other components have been found I believe, but the fire itself eludes us all.

Richard I, The Lionharted, went up against the fire in the siege of Acre.

As a weapon, it had use on both land and sea.

Perhaps in war today we would make Flame Tanks that would make everyone shivver in fear.
 
In medieval times it was very effective. If you read the description, modern equivalents can be made -- you've heard of napalm, right? Flame tanks? Right, far more destructive weapons available for tanks right now, especially those that can fire tactical nukes...
 

Big Horn

Member
Partington was an important member of the historical chemistry and alchemy crowd. Here's a link to their organization as well as another to a book they sponsored. Syriac language enthusiasts will find a special treat here. I can recommend the Ambix material without reservation. It's connected to Latin and Greek as much as it is to chemistry.



Now, here is a question for our community of intellectuals. Which U.S. president and his wife collaborated on a translation from Latin to English of a major Renaissance technical work? Here's a hint: the translation is available today; it is in print.
 

LCF

a.k.a. Lucifer
Which U.S. president and his wife collaborated on a translation from Latin to English of a major Renaissance technical work? Here's a hint: the translation is available today; it is in print.
Jefferson?
 

Big Horn

Member
No.

They spent weekends and holidays with this project for five years. It involved both translation and interpretation of technical terms. The translators treat alchemy and alchemists in both an appendix and lengthy footnotes. They did this before he entered politics.

Hint: he was familiar with explosives. His wife may have been as well.
 

Big Horn

Member
He and his wife had both studied classics and geology. The latter made them rich.

They both drove cars.

Come on, folks: you're intellectuals
 
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Big Horn

Member
Those who enjoy combining two studies may consider the following:


It's in Greek and Classical Arabic; it's fascinating. You'll find yourself looking forward to learning Cl. Ar. along with Syriac and perhaps Coptic. The history of alchemy is interesting, particularly when coupled to philology.

ambix.org is full of goodies'
 
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