Eternal flame: An introduction to the fire history of the mediterranean

Stephen Pyne

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

12 Scopus citations


The physical geography of the Mediterranean renders it an ideal landscape for burning. But for thousands of years its fire regimes have been set directly and indirectly by humans. Because of the region's significance in Antiquity, it has been studied for a long time and has become for good or ill a paradigm for thinking about fire. In this regard the Mediterranean has been both a place to export ideas and a place to receive them. Today's thinking about the Mediterranean and fire is thus as complex as its intricate landscapes. But the fundamental reality remains, as first voiced by Theophrastus: fire is tame or feral as humans contain or unleash it, which they do not only by the torch but by close tending of the landscape.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEarth Observation of Wildland Fires in Mediterranean Ecosystems
PublisherSpringer Berlin Heidelberg
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9783642017537
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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