Scott #: 579
This stamp was issued for Europa 1982 on theme - Historic Events.
The historic event depicted on stamp is Liberation of Cyprus in 965 A.D. by Emperor Nicephorus II Phocas.
The design shows an early naval warfare - known as "Greek Fire" - an incendiary weapon used by the Byzantine Empire. The Byzantines typically used it in naval battles to great effect as it could continue burning even under water.
Byzantine Empire - the predominantly Greek-speaking eastern part of the Roman Empire throughout late antiquity and the middle ages. Also known as the Eastern Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire was called simply Roman Empire or Romania by its inhabitants and neighbors.
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.
Although the term "Greek fire" has been general in English and most other languages since the Crusades, in the original Byzantine sources it is called by a variety of names, such as "sea fire", "Roman fire", "war fire" , "liquid fire", or "processed fire".
The design on stamp, showing the Byzantine ship using Greek Fire must be adopted from a painting (as shown on right) from Madrid Skylitzes Manuscript.