I recently read a book about the city of Paris and the author mentioned that a particular hospital was the “first hospital in Europe”. I had to shake my head at his ignorance of the history of the Byzantines. However, it inspired me to make a list of a few things I know of that the Byzantines did long before the rest of Europe did.
The historical record says that a Syrian named Kallinikos developed the substance known as Greek fire in the 7th century. Prior to that time, liquid incendiaries were known to Persians and other civilizations in the Middle East. But it was Kallinikos who developed this mixture into a lethally effective weapon that protected the empire from invasions and rebels for centuries.