Byzantine ‘Greek Fire’ Fire Bomb or Hand Grenade9th-11th Century AD

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A ceramic vessel with a piriform body and domed mouth, incised ring to the shoulder; intended to be filled with explosive liquid and wick, used as a hand grenade. Cf. Arendt, W. I., Granaten des 13-14. Jahrhunderts, die an der Wolga gefunden sind, Zeitschrift fur Historische Waffen-und Kostumkunde, 11 (1926-8), p.42; cf. Arendt, W., Die Spharisch-konischen Gefasse aus Gebranntem Ton, ibid; cf. Ayalon, D., Gunpowder and Firearms in the Mamluk Kingdom, London, 1956, p.16. around 490 grams, 15 cm diameter. Previously in a private collection since the 1990s.Property of a Sussex, UK, teacher. Accompanied by an academic paper by military specialist Dr Raffaele D’Amato, dated 15 July 2019 and titled ‘Eastern Roman Empire – Greek Fire Bomb or Hand Grenade (??????? k???????) 9th-11th century AD’. Apart from the use of siphons or manual flame-throwers called cheirosiphona, special corps of Roman soldiers employed terracotta grenades, in the form of small jars, abundantly evidenced in archaeological excavations. Such were the ??????, vessels (sometimes also of bronze) used for Greek fire. They were called ?????? k?????? or ???????????? where the former had a bulbous shape and the latter a more cylindrical form.

Additional information

Weight 490 g

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Auction started 03/12/2023 5:00 pm

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