Science News revealed that the origins of fire can be traced around 1.7 million years ago with cites of burned stone artifacts being discovered in eastern Africa (Science News, 2000, par. 1). It is interesting to note that…
In this regard, the objective of this essay is to compare and contrast the use of fire in Ancient Israel with that of Ancient Greece/Rome.
According to Schmid (2004, pars. 1 & 2), “more than three-quarters of a million years ago, early humans gathered around a campfire near an ancient lake in what is now Israel, making tools and perhaps cooking food, in the earliest evidence yet found of the use of fire in Europe or Asia. Researchers have found evidence that these early people hunted and processed meat and used fire at a site called Gesher Benot Ya’aqov in the northern Dead Sea valley.” In addition, Ancient Israel was found to use fire for “coping with dangers, food, acquire warmth” (Schmid, 2004, par. 9).
In Ancient Greece, fire was used for warfare (Markoulakis, 2007). Accordingly, Markoulakis (2007, 3) averred that “the Greek Fire — first used officially in 678 A.D against the Arab’s fleet — the siphon, the Syracuse’s ‘burning mirrors’, and the Euphorbia-gas, were kept secret regardless of the use in battlefields”. Fire was considered one of the elements which is considered a “primary agent of change” (Opsopaus, 1999, par. 2). Greek mythology named Hephaestus as the God of fire and metalwork. As such, “he is the god of technology including, specifically blacksmiths, craftsmen, artisans, sculptors, metals and metallurgy, and fire” (Mythology, 2008). As a catalyst of change, fire in Ancient Greece was focused on the Greek Fire and using it as a form of communication (Lahanas, n.d.).
The comparative differences in Ancient Israel and Ancient Greece’s use of fire lie in the emphasis each people placed on it. Israelites acknowledged the need to use fire as protection from danger and cold, as well as for processing meat.
On the other hand, Greeks and Romans focused on the technological capabilities of fire, using it to mold metals and ...
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