Brill’s New Pauly

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(2,474 words)

[German version]

I. Definition

Silver (ἀργύριον/argýrion, ἄργυρος/árgyros; Latin argentum) is a precious metal, which in Antiquity was extracted primarily by smelting silver-bearing ores of lead. Four different kinds occur naturally: 1. as pure silver; 2. as silver ore; 3. as a component of galena, the only economically interesting ore of lead; 4. in alloy with gold, i.e. as electrum (Elektron), in which the gold content can amount to less than 30 %. Pure silver is rare and its sur…

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Riederer, Josef (Berlin), Niemeyer, Hans Georg (Hamburg), Pingel, Volker (Bochum) and Neudecker, Richard (Rome), “Silver”, 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 05 July 2022 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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