The naphtha, the oleum incendiarium of the history of Jerusalem, (Gest. Dei per Francos, p. 1167,) the Oriental fountain of James de Vitry, (l. iii. c. 84,) is introduced on slight evidence and strong probability. Cinanmus (l. vi. p. 165) calls the Greek fire and the naphtha is known to abound between the Tigris and the Caspian Sea. According to Pliny, (Hist. Natur. ii. 109,) it was subservient to the revenge of Medea, and in either etymology the or (Procop. de Bell. Gothic. l. iv. c. 11,) may fairly signify this liquid bitumen.
Note by the Rev. H.H. Milman written 1782, revised 1845
It is remarkable that the Syrian historian Michel
gives the name of naphtha to the newly-invented Greek fire,
which seems to indicate that this substance formed the base
of the destructive compound. St. Martin, tom. xi. p. 420.
The History Of The Decline And
Fall Of The Roman Empire
—Fall In The East