Symbolism of Fire
Updated August 5, 2020 | Infoplease Staff
by Mark Hughes
Fire has had a very significant role in humanity's development. Its varied uses show the importance of fire for humankind. Some of those uses have been:
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- In Ritual: many cultures saw fire as being a supernatural force. For instance, the ancient Greeks believed fire had divine origins, see the story of Prometheus, and maintained perpetual fires in front of their temples.
- Light: Fire has provided illumination through the ages. When people go camping they light a fire to cook, be warm, and to keep the darkness of night at bay; this is as close as many people will get to existing with fire like their ancient ancestors did.
- Warmth: The air can get cold after the sun goes down, especially during winter. Fire has helped keep humanity warm through the ages.
- Cooking: Before ancient humans learned how to use fire, all of their food had to be eaten raw.
- Protection: Fire provided humanity with protection, through its light and heat, against the many animals that might have attacked or hunted them.
- Creation: The ability to use fire as a tool has helped humanity invent and develop many things and techniques, ranging from smelting metals to providing enough thrust to blast ships into space.
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