Modern sagas like Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones have so many implicit references to actual history, its fascinating.
Damascus / Wootz Steel
Wootz steel was invented in a village in Tamil Nadu, before the 5th century BC. Alexander (356 BC) was super impressed by its unique qualities such as toughness and resistance to shattering. Cheras brought it to Sri Lanka around 5th c. BC and it was then manufactured in Anuradhapura as well.
The technology was kept secret and the steel was exported to Middle East as ingots, where it was forged into swords and called Damascus Steel. Wootz/Damascus steel is characterized by wavy lines on them, formed due to the process that was lost with time. Micheal Faraday was obsessed with it and tried his best to recreate it. That's basically the Valaryan steel, the lost steel technology with wavy lines... From GoT
Rome and Constantinople (Istanbul) were called the twin cities: "Two eyes of the world". One at the rising sun and the other at the setting sun. The three concentric walls of Constantinople, one taller than the other, gleaming with white limestone, were famous around the world. And we have Minas Tirtih (White city of Gondor) and Minas Morgul.
When Arabs attacked, they captured the whole of the Byzantine empire easily. Romans didn't stand a chance. In a naval battle with Mu Avia, Emperor put his dress on a peasant and ran away to Constantinople. But Arabs couldn't capture Constantinople for a long time. Reason?
- Greek fire
Greek fire was so powerful and was kept secret. It was invented by a refugee in Constantinople and used in key naval battles successfully. It could light the seas. Water couldn't quench it, by some accounts made it burn even brighter. Basically the wildfire in GoT.
First posted on Facebook: facebook.com/abarajithan11/posts/10222057446896702