Brill’s New Pauly

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[German version]

(κιννάβαρι/kinnábari, Lat. minium) is a mineral of red to brownish-red colour (mercury sulphide, HgS), mostly found in sedimental stone in the vicinity of volcanic activity.  Theophrastus, who provides a detailed description of cinnabar, distinguishes between natural and man-made cinnabar and cites Spain and Colchis as places of origin (Theophr. De lapidibus 58-60 Eichholz).

According to  Plinius [1], who refers to Theophrastus, it was Callias [5] who supposedly discovered cinnabar in the  Laurium district towards the end of the 5th cent. BC; Pliny a…

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Alonso-Núñez, José Miguel (Madrid), “Cinnabar”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 27 September 2021 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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