fire, the phenomenon of combustion as seen in light, flame, and heat. One of the basic tools of human culture, its use is extremely ancient, predating the existence of Homo sapiens by several hundred thousand years or more. In ancient Greece and later, fire was considered one of the four basic elements, a substance from which all things were composed. Its great importance to humans, the mystery of its powers, and its seeming capriciousness have made fire divine or sacred to many peoples. Fire as a god is a characteristic feature of Zoroastrianism, in which, as in many sun-worshiping religions, fire is considered the earthly representative or type of the sun. The belief that fire is sacred is widespread in mythology, and such beliefs have survived in some highly developed cultures. The connection between the Greek colony and the metropolis was the fire kindled in the colony from a brand brought from the mother city's fire. The most carefully preserved cult in Rome was that of Vesta, goddess of the hearth, and her virgins guarded the holy fire. One of the greatest Greek myths is the story of Prometheus, the fire bringer. The theft of fire is a common element in the myths of many other cultures. The ramifications of the human ideas about fire are tremendously complex, extending as they do into the concepts about light and the heavens.
See J. G. Frazer, Myths of the Origins of Fire (1930, repr. 1971); G. Bachelard, Psychoanalysis of Fire (tr. 1964).
"fire." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/fire
"fire." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved October 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/fire
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.