E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
A composition of nitre, sulphur, and naphtha. Two steeped in the mixture was hurled in a blazing state through tubes, or tied to arrows. The invention is ascribed to Callinicos, of Heliopolis, A.D. 668.
A very similar projectile was used by the Federals in the great American contest, especially at the seige of Charleston.