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Book X

January 01, 1955

There are two bismuth minerals among the mixed substances, one black, the other almost gray. It is customary to include here the lead minerals that are yellow, light red, and black as well as the iron minerals that are black or red.

I shall now consider certain species of the fourth genus that have been given specific names, for example, galena, pyrite, cadmia, andstibnite. Plumbago (galena) takes its name from plumbum. The Latins have taken this word from the Greek word μολίβδαινα. Each has taken the name from lead, which it contains and which the Greeks call μόλιβδος. As a rule, it also resembles lead in color. Pliny calls this mineral galena. This is either a Spanish word or if from some other tongue its origin is unknown I am sure. Following the Greeks certain writers divide this mixed compound that Pliny calls galena into three varieties. The first variety Dioscorides has called μολιβδοειδής λίθος and we correctly call it a stone that has the appearance of lead or, as we say, plumbarius; the second Dioscorides calls μολίβδιτίδια ἄμμος and we call it plumbaria arena. The third Dioscorides calls μολίβδαινασ and we call it plumbago. The latter was mined near Sebastia which is not far from Corycos, Cilicia. Galen did not mention the stone that has the appearance of a species of lead as a separate variety nor did he mention plumbaria arena. However, when he discusses the nature and properties of plumbago he writes that he himself had seen . . .

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GSA Special Papers

De Natura Fossilium: Textbook of Mineralogy

Georgius Agricola
Georgius Agricola
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Geological Society of America
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January 01, 1955




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