It provided a technological advantage, and was responsible for many key Byzantine military victories, most notably the salvation of Constantinople from two Arab sieges, thus securing the Empire’s survival.
The impression made by Greek fire on the west European Crusaders was such that the name was applied to any sort of incendiary weapon, including those used by Arabs, the Chinese, and theMongols. These, however, were different mixtures and not the Byzantine formula, which was a closely guarded state secret, a secret which has been lost. The composition of Greek fire remains a matter of speculation and debate, with proposals including naphtha, quicklime, sulphur, and niter. Byzantine use of incendiary mixtures was distinguished by the use of pressurized siphons to project the liquid onto the enemy.
As of 2012, Greece (Hellenic Republic) has mandatory military service (conscription) of 9 months for men between the ages of 18 and 45. Citizens discharged from active service are normally placed in the Reserve and are subject to periodic recall of 1–10 days at irregular intervals.
Universal conscription was introduced in Greece during the military reforms of 1909, although various forms of selective draft had been in place earlier. In more recent years, conscription was associated with the state of general mobilisation declared on July 20, 1974 due to the crisis in Cyprus (the mobilisation was formally ended on December 18, 2002).
The length of a tour has varied historically, between 12–36 months depending on various factors particular to the conscript, and the political situation. Although women are accepted into the Greek army on a voluntary basis, they are not required to enlist, as men are.
Soldiers receive no health insurance, but they are provided medical support during their army service, including hospitalization costs.
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To kick it off…
This is a list of Greek mythological figures.