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Greek Fire

A composition of nitre, sulphur, and naphtha. Tow steeped in the mixture was hurled in a blazing state through tubes, or tied to arrows. The invention is ascribed to Callinicos, of Heliopolis, A.D. 668.

A very similar projectile was used by the Federals in the great American contest, especially at the seige of Charleston.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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