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Marcus Graecis

Marcus Graecis

1100s

Byzantine scholar who provided the earliest written description of Greek fire. This incendiary, developed for military purposes, had existed for several centuries and gave Byzantine forces a decisive advantage in numerous engagements. Marcus, also known as Marcus Gracchus, gave the formula for Greek fire thus: "Take pure sulfur, Tarter [salt produced by the reaction of tartaric acid with a base], Sarcocolla [Persian gum], pitch, dissolved nitre, petroleum [available in surface deposits throughout the Middle East and nearby areas] and pine resin; boil these together, then saturate tow [linty cloth] with the result and set fire to it."

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