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The Leyden X Papyrus

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This practical work written in Greek in the third century A.D.deals primarily with recipes for making alloys and tinging metals so that they would appear to be gold.

Leyden Papyrus X

This translation is copied from:

Caley, E. R. (1926) “The Leyden Papyrus X: An English Translation with brief notes” Journal of Chemical Education III:10 : 1149-1166.

1. Purification and Hardening of Lead. Melt it, spread on the surface lamellose alum and copperas reduced to a fine powder and mixed, and it will be hardened.

2. Another (Purification) of Tin. Lead and white tin are also purified with pitch and bitumen. They are made pure by having alum, salt of Cappadocia and stone of Magnesia thrown on their surfaces.

3. Purification of Tin that is put into the Alloy of Asem. Take tin purified of any other substance, melt it, let it cool; after having well mixed and covered it with oil, melt it again; then having crushed together some oil, some bitumen and some salt, rub it on the metal and melt a third time; after fusion, break apart the tin after having purified it by washing; for it will be like hard silver. Then if you wish to employ it in the manufacture of silver objects, of such a kind that they cannot be found out and which have the hardness of silver, blend 4 parts of silver and 3 parts of tin and the product will become as a silver object.

4. Purification of Tin. Liquid pitch and bitumen, a part of each; throw (them on the tin), melt, stir. Dry pitch, 20 drachmas; bitumen, 12 drachmas.

5. Manufacture of Asem. Tin, 12 drachmas; mercury, 4 drachmas; earth of Chios, 2 drachmas. To the melted tin, add the crushed earth, then the mercury, stir with an iron, and put (the product) in use.

6. The Doubling of Asem. One takes: refined copper, 40 drachmas; asem, 8 drachmas; tin in buttons, 40 drachmas; one first melts the copper and after two heatings, the tin; then the asem. When all are softened, remelt several times and cool by means of the preceding composition. After having augmented metal by these proceedings, clean it with talc. The tripling is effected by the same procedure, the weights being proportioned in conformity with what has been stated above.

7. Inexhaustible Stock. It is prepared by the procedures described in the doubling of asem. If you wish to deduct 8 drachmas from the stock, separate them and remelt with 4 drachmas of this same asem; melt these three times and then repeat, then cool and place in reserve in the talc.

8. Manufacture of Asem. Take soft tin in small pieces, purified four times; take 4 parts of it and 3 parts of pure white copper and 1 part of asem. Melt, and after the casting, clean several times and make with it whatever you wish to. It will be asem of the first quality, which will deceive even the artisans.

9. Manufacture of Fusible Asem. Copper of Cyprus, 1 mina; tin in sticks, 1 mina; stone of Magnesia, 16 drachmas; mercury, 8 drachmas, stone of Paros, 20 drachmas. Having melted the copper, throw the tin on it, then the stone of Magnesia in powdered form, then the stone of Paros, and finally the mercury; stir with an iron rod and pour at the desired time.

10. Doubling of Asem. Take refined copper of Cyprus, throw upon it equal parts, that is, 4 drachmas of salt of Ammon and 4 drachmas of alum; melt and add equal parts of asem.

11. Manufacture of Asem. Purify lead carefully with pitch and bitumen, or tin as well; and mix cadmia and litharge in equal parts with the lead, and stir until the alloy is completed and solidifies. It can be used like natural asem.

12. Manufacture of Asem. Take some shreds of (metallic) leaves, dip in vinegar and white lamellose alum and let them soak during seven days, and then melt with a fourth part of copper, 8 drachmas of earth of Chios, 8 drachmas of asemian earth, 1 drachma of salt of Cappadocia (and) additional lamellous alum, 1 drachma; mix, melt, and cast the black (refuse) from the surface.

13. Manufacture of an Alloy. Copper from Galacia, 8 drachmas; tin in sticks, 12 drachmas; stone of Magnesia, 6 drachmas; mercury, 10 drachmas; asem, 5 drachmas.

14. Manufacture of an Alloy for a Preparation. Copper, 1 mina, melt and throw on it 1 mina of tin in buttons and use thus.

15. The Coloration of Gold. To color gold to render it fit for use. Misy, salt, and vinegar accruing from the purification of gold; mix it all and throw in the vessel (which contains) the gold described in the preceding preparation; let it remain some time, (and then) having drawn (the gold) from the vessel, heat it upon the coals; then again throw it in the vessel which contains the above-mentioned preparation; do this several times until it becomes fit for use.

16. Augmentation of Gold. To augment gold, take cadmia of Thracia, make the mixture with cadmia in crusts, or that from Galacia.

17. Falsification of Gold. Misy and Sinopian red, equal parts to one part of gold. After the gold has been thrown in the furnace and has become of good color throw upon it these two ingredients, and removing (the gold) let it cool, and the gold is doubled.

18. Manufacture of Asem. Tin, a tenth of a mina; copper of Cyprus, a sixteenth of a mina; mineral of Magnesia, a thirty-second; mercury, two staters. Melt the copper, throw on it at first, the tin, then the stone of Magnesia; then having melted these materials, add to them an eighth (part) of good white asem of a suitable nature. Then, when the alloying has taken place and at the time of cooling, or of remelting together, add then the mercury last of all.

19. Another (Formula). Copper of Cyprus, 4 staters; earth of Samos, 4 staters; lamellose alum, 4 staters; common salt, 2 staters; blackened asem, 2 staters, or if you desire to make it more beautiful, 4 staters. Having melted the copper, spread upon it the earth of Chios and the lamellose alum crushed together, stir in such a way as to mix them; and having melted this asem, pour. Having mixed that which has just been melted with some (wood of) juniper, burn it; before setting aside after having heated it, extinguish the product in lamellose alum and salt taken in equal parts, with some slimy water slightly thick; and if you wish to finish the work immerse again in the above-mentioned; heat so (the metal) becomes white. Take care to employ refined copper beforehand, having heated it at the beginning and submitted it to the action of the bellows, until this has rejected its scale and become pure; and then use it as has just been stated.

20. Another (Formula). Take a Ptolemaic Stater; for they contain in their composition and immerse it; now, the composition of the liquid for the immersion is this: lamellose alum, common salt, in vinegar for immersing; (make it of) slimy thickness. After having immersed and at the moment when the melted metal has been cleaned with this composition, heat, then immerse, the n take out, then heat.

20. (An additional part without a title). Here is the composition of the liquid for immersing: lamellose alum, common salt, in the vinegar for immersing; (make of ) slimy thickness; having immersed in this mixture, heat, then immerse, then take out, then heat; when you have immersed four times or more, by previously heating each time, the (metal) will become superior to blackened asem. The more numerous the treatments, heatings, and immersions are the more it will improve.

21. Treatment of Hard Asem. How it is expedient proceed to change black and hard asem into white and soft (metal). Taking some leaves of the castor-oil plant infuse them a day in water; then soak (it) in the water before melting and melt twice and sprinkle with aphronitron. And throw alum on the casting; put into use. It possesses quality for it is beautiful.

22. Another (Formula). A remedy for all tarnished asem. Taking straw, barley, and wild rue, infuse in vinegar, pour on it some salt and coals; throw it all in the furnace, blow for a long while and let it cool.

23. Whitening of Copper. For whitening copper, in order to mix it with equal parts of asem, so that no one can recognize it. Taking some Cyprian copper, melt it, throwing on it 1 mina of decomposed sandarach, 2 drachmas of sandarach of the color of iron, and 5 drachmas of lamellose alum and melt (again). In the second melting, there is thrown on 4 drachmas, or less, of wax of Pontus: it is heated and then poured.

24. Hardening of Tin. For hardening tin, spread separately (on its surface) lamellose alum and copperas; if, moreover, you have purified the tin as is necessary and have employed the materials previously named, in such a way that they did not escape by flowing away during the heating, you will have Egyptian asem for the manufacture of objects (of jewellery).

25. Gold Polish. For treating gold, otherwise called, purifying gold and rendering it brilliant: Misy, 4 parts; alum, 4 parts; salt, 4 parts. Pulverise with water. And having coated the gold (with it), place it in an earthenware vessel deposited in a furnace and luted with clay, (and heat) until the above-named substances have become molten; then withdraw it and scour carefully.

26. Purification of Silver. How silver is purified and made brilliant. Take a part of silver and an equal weight of lead; place in a furnace, and keep up the melting until the lead has just been consumed; repeat the operation several times until it becomes brilliant.

27. coloring in Silver. For silvering objects of copper: tin in sticks, 2 drachmas; mercury, 4 drachmas; earth of Chios, 2 drachmas. Melt the tin, throw on the crushed earth, then the mercury, and stir with an iron and fashion into globules.

28. Manufacture of Copper Similar to Gold. Crush some cumin; pour on it some water, dilute, and let it remain in contact during three days. On the fourth day shake, and if you wish to use it as a coating mix chrysocolla with it; and the gold will appear.

29. Manufacture of Fusible Asem. Copper of Cyprus, 1 part; tin , 1 part; stone of Magnesia, 1 part; raw stone of Paros powdered finely. One melts the copper first, then the tin, and the stone of Magnesia; then next, one throws the pulverized stone of Paros upon this; the stirring is done with an iron and the operation is performed in a crucible.

30. Manufacture of Asem. Tin, a measure; copper of Galacia, a half measure. Melt at first the copper, then the tin, stir with an iron, and throw on it dry pitch, until it is saturated; immediately pour, remelt, employing lamellose alum in the same manner as pitch, and then pour (again). If you wish to melt the tin first, then the copper in filings after, follow the same proportions in the same manner.

31. Preparation of Chrysocolla. Solder for gold is prepared thus: copper of Cyprus, 4 parts; asem, 2 parts; gold, 1 part. The copper is first melted, then the asem and finally the gold.

32. To recognise the Purity of Tin. After having melted, place some papyrus below it and pour; if the papyrus burns, the tin contains some lead.

33. Manufacture of Solder for Working Gold. How one goes about making the solder for works of gold: Gold, 2 parts; Copper, 1 part; melt (and) divide up. When you desire a brilliant color melt with a little silver.

34. A Procedure for Writing in Letters of Gold. To write in letters of gold, take some mercury, pour it in a suitable vessel, and add to it some gold in leaves; when the gold appears dissolved in the mercury, agitate sharply; add a little gum, 1 grain for example, and, (after) letting stand, write in the letters of gold.

36. Manufacture of Asem that is Black like Obsidian. Asem, 2 parts; lead, 4 parts. Place in an earthen vessel, throw on it a triple weight of unburnt sulphur, and having placed it in the furnace, melt. And having withdrawn it from the furnace, beat, and make what you wish. If you wish to make figured objects in beaten or cast metal, then polish and cut. It will not rust.

38. For Giving Objects of Copper the Appearance of Gold. And neither touch nor rubbing against the touchstone will detect them, but they can serve especially for (the manufacture of) a ring of fine appearance. Here is the preparation for this. Gold and lead are ground to a fine powder like flour, 2 parts of lead for 1 of gold, then having mixed, they are incorporated with gum, and one coats the ring with this mixture; then it is heated. One repeats this several times until the object has taken the color. It is difficult to detect (the fraud), because rubbing gives the mark of a gold object, and the heat consumes the lead but not the gold.

39. Writing in Letters of Gold. Letters of gold: saffron (and) bile of a river tortoise.

40. Manufacture of Asem. Take white tin, finely divided, (and) purify it four times; then take 4 parts of it, and a fourth part of pure white copper and 1 part of asem (and) melt: when the mixture has been melted sprinkle it with the greatest possible quantity of salt, and make what you wish with it, either by hammering or by any way you please. The metal will be equal to true asem, so much so as to deceive even the artisans.

41. Another (procedure). Silver, 2 parts; purified tin, 3 parts; copper (?) drachmas; melt, then remove and clean; put in use for works of silver of the best kind.

42. Coating of Copper. If you desire that the copper shall have the appearance of silver; after having purified the copper with care, place it in mercury and white lead; mercury alone suffices for coating it.

43. Testing of Gold. If you wish to test the purity of gold, remelt it and heat it: if it is pure it will keep its color after heating and remain like a piece of money. If it becomes white, it contains silver; if it becomes rougher and harder some copper and tin; if it blackens and softens, lead.

44. Testing of Silver. Heat the silver or melt it, as with gold; and if it remains white (and) brilliant, it is pure and not false; if it appears black, it contains some lead; if it appears hard and yellow, it contains some copper.

45. Writing in Letters of Gold. To write in letters of gold. Write what you desire with goldsmith’s solder and vinegar.

46. Cleaning of Copper Objects. Having boiled some beets, carefully clean the objects of copper and silver with the juice. The beets are boiled in water.

47. Copper Equal to Gold. Copper equal to gold in color, as follows: grind some cumin in water; let it set carefully during three days; on the fourth, having wet (it) abundantly, coat the copper (with it) and write whatever you wish. For the coating and the writing have the same appearance.

48. Cleaning of Silver Objects. Clean with sheep’s wool, after having dipped in sharp brine; then clean with sweet water and put into use.

49. Gilding of Silver. For gilding a vase of silver or copper without leaves (of gold), dissolve some yellow natron and some salt in water, rub it with this and it will be (gilded).

50. Writing in Letters of Gold. Grind arsenic with gum, then with some well water; in the third place, write.

51. Gilding of Silver. Grind misy with sandarach and cinnabar and rub object with it.


53. Writing in Letters of Gold. After having dried the gold leaves, grind with gum and write.

54. Preparation of Liquid Gold. Place some leaves of gold in a mortar, grind them with some mercury and it is done.

55. Coloration of Gold. How one should prepare gilded silver. Mix some cinnabar with alum, pour some white vinegar upon this, and having brought it all to the consistency of wax, press out several times and let it stand over night.

56. Preparation of Gold. Asem, 1 stater, or Copper of Cyprus, 3; 4 staters of gold; melt together.

57. Another Preparation. To gild silver in a durable fashion. Take some mercury and some leaves of gold, and make up into the consistency of wax; taking the vessel of silver, clean it with alum, and taking a little of the waxy material, lay it on with the polisher and let the material fasten itself on. Do this five times. Hold the vessel with a genuine linen cloth in order not to soil it. Then taking some embers, prepare some ashes (and with them) smooth (it) with the polisher and use as a gold vessel. It can be submitted to the test for regular gold.

58. Writing in Letters of Gold. Golden-colored arsenic, 20 drachmas; pulverized glass, 4 staters; of white of egg, 2 staters, white gum 20 staters, saffron . . . . after having written, let dry and polish with a tooth.

59. Manufacture of Asem. Asem is also prepared with copper; (silver) 2 mina; tin in grains, 1 mina; melting first the copper, throw on it the tin and some talc called chalk, a half to one mina; proceed until you see the silver and the chalk melt; after which the reminder will have been dissipated and only the silver will remain, then let it cool, and use it as asem preferable to the genuine......

60. Another (Preparation). Everlasting asem is prepared thus: 1 stater of good asem; add to it 2 staters of refined copper, melt two or three times.

61. Whitening of Tin. To whiten tin. Having heated (it) with alum and natron, melt.

62. Writing in Letters of Asem. Dilute some copperas and some sulfur with vinegar; write with the thickened material.

63. Writing in Letters in Gold. Flower of cnecos, white gum, white of egg mixed in a shell, and incorporate with bile of tortoise, by estimation as one does for colors; put into use. The very bitter bile of a calf also serves for the color.

64. Testing of Asem. To recognize if asem is false. Place it in brine (and) heat; if it is false, it will blacken.

65. Cleaning of Tin. Place some gypsum on a rag and scour.

66. Cleaning of Silver. Employ moist alum.

67. Coloring of Asem. Cinnabar, 1 part, lamellous alum, 1 part, Cimolian earth, 1 part; moisten with sea water and put into use.

68. Softening of Copper. Heat it; place it in bird dung after cooling, take out.

69. Coloring of Gold. Roasted misy, 3 parts; lamellose alum, (and) celandine, about 1 part; grind to the consistency of honey with the urine of a small child and color the object; heat and immerse in cold water.

70. Writing in Letters of Gold. Take a quarter portion of tested gold, melt in a goldsmith’s crucible; when it has become molten add a carat of lead; after it has become alloyed, set it aside, cool and take a mortar of jasper, throw in it the melted material; add 1 carat of natron and carefully mix the powder with some strong vinegar, in the same manner as for an eye-salve medicine, for three days; then when the mixture is completed, incorporate 1 carat of lamellose alum, write and polish with a tooth.

71. Writing in Letters of Gold. Soft leaves of Gold; pulverize with mercury in a mortar; and employ them in writing, after the manner of black ink.

72. Another (Preparation). Incombustible sulfur...., Lamellose alum...., gum...., sprinkle the gum with water.

73. Another (Preparation). Unburnt sulfur...., lamellose alum, a drachma; add a medium quantity of dry rust; pulverize the rust, the sulfur, and the alum finely; mix properly, grind with care and employ it for writing in the same way as black ink by diluting it with some wine free from sea water. Write upon papyrus or parchment.

74. Another (Preparation). To write in letters of gold, without gold. Celandine, 1 part; pure resin, 1 part; golden-colored arsenic, of the fragile kind, 1 part; pure gum; bile of tortoise, 1 part; the liquid part of eggs, 5 parts; take 20 staters by weight of all these materials dried; then throw in 4 staters of saffron of Cilicia. Can be used not only on papyrus or parchment, but also upon highly-polished marble, or as well when you wish to make a beautiful design upon some other object and give it the appearance of gold.

75. Gilding. Gilding gives the same effect. Lamellose arsenic, copperas, golden sandarach, mercury, gum tragacanth, pith of arum, equal parts; dilute the whole with the bile of a goat. It is applied upon copper objects, upon silver objects, upon figures (in metal) and upon small shields. The copper should not have a rough surface.

76. Another (Procedure). Misy from the mines, 3 staters; alum from the mines, 3 staters; celandine, 1 stater; pour on these the urine of a small child; grind together until the mixture becomes viscous and immerse (the object in it).

77. Another (Procedure). Take some cumin, crush it (and) let it infuse three days in water, on the fourth take out; coat the objects of copper with it, or whatever you wish. It is necessary to keep the vessel closed during the three days.

78. Writing in Letters of Gold. Grind some gold leaves with gum, dry and use like black ink.

79. Writing in Letters of Silver. To write in letters of silver. Litharge, 4 staters; dilute with the dung of a pigeon and some vinegar; write with a stylus passed through the fire.

80. Coloring of Asem. Cinnabar, Cimolian earth (and) liquid alum, equal parts; mix with sea water, heat and dampen several times.

81. Coloration in Silver. Such that it can only be removed by fire. Chrysocolla, ceruse, earth of Chios and mercury ground together; add some honey and having first treated the vessel with natron, coat (the vessel) with it.

82. Hardening of Tin. Melt it, add to it a homogeneous mixture of lamellose alum and copperas; pulverize and sprinkle (over the metal) and it will be hard.

83. Manufacture of Asem. Good tin, 1 mina; dry pitch, 13 staters; bitumen, 8 staters; melt in a vessel of baked earth luted around (the top); after having cooled, mix 10 staters of copper in round grains and 3 staters of asem first and (then) 12 staters of broken stone of Magnesia. Melt, and make what you wish.

84. Manufacture of Egyptian Asem. Recipe of Phimenas (or Pammenes). Take some soft copper of Cyprus; purify it with some vinegar, some salt and some alum; after having purified it, melt 10 staters of the copper throwing on it 3 staters of well-purified ceruse, 2 staters of golden-colored litharge, after which it will become white. Then add to it 2 staters of very soft asem without blemish and the product will be obtained. Take care in melting that it does not liquate. This is not the work of an ignorant person, but of an experienced man, and the union of the two metals will be good.

85. Another (Procedure). An exact preparation of asem, preferable to that of asem properly so-called. Take: orichalcum, 1 drachma for example; place in a crucible until it melts; throw upon it 4 drachmas of salt of Ammon or Cappadocian salt; remelt, add to it lamellose alum, (in an amount equal to) the weight of an Egyptian bean; remelt, add to it 1 drachma of decomposed sandarach, not the golden sandarach but that which whitens; then transfer to another crucible previously coated with earth of Chios; after fusion add a fourth part of asem and put into use.

86. Another (Proceeding). Take: tin, 12 drachmas; mercury, 4 drachmas; earth of Chios, 2 drachmas; melt the tin, throw upon it the earth in powder, (and) then the mercury; stir with a bar of iron; fashion into globules.

87. Doubling of Gold. For augmenting the weight of gold. Melt (it) with a fourth part of cadmia, and it will become heavier and harder.

88. Another (Proceeding). Gold can be altered and increased by means of misy and earth of Sinopus. One first casts it in the furnace with equal parts (of them). When it has become clear in the crucible, one adds each as it is desired, and the gold is doubled.

89. Another (Preparation). The invention of sulfur water. A handful of lime and another of sulfur in fine powder; place them in a vessel containing strong vinegar or the urine of a small child. Heat it from below, until the supernatant liquid appears like blood. Decant this latter properly in order to separate it from the deposit, and use.

90. How Asem is Diluted. Having reduced the asem into leaves and having covered it with mercury and applied (it) strongly upon the leaf, one sprinkles pyrites upon the leaf thus prepared, and places it upon the coals, in order to dry it up to the point when the color of the leaf appears changed; for the mercury evaporates and the leaf softens. Then one incorporates in the crucible 1 part of gold, (and) 2 parts of silver. Having blended them, throw upon the floating scum some golden-colored arsenic, some pyrites, some salt of Ammon, some chalcitis, (and) some bloue; and having ground with sulfur water, heat, then spread mercury upon the surface.

91. The Fixation of Alkanet. Urine of sheep, or arbute-berry, or henbane in the same manner.

92. Falsification of Alkanet. Alkanet is diluted with pine-cones, the inside part of peaches, purpura, beet juice, dregs of wine, the urine of a camel and the interior of citrons.

93. Fixation of Alkanet. Navelwort and alum mixed in equal parts, crush finely (and) throw the alkanet in it.

94. Styptic Agents. Melantheria, calcined copperas, alum, chalcitis, lime, bark of pomengranate, pod of a thorny tree, urine with aloes. These things serve in dyeing.

95. The Preparation of Purple. Break into small pieces stone of Phrygia; put it to boiling, and having immersed the wool, leave it until it cools. Then throwing in the vessel a mina of seaweed, put it to boiling and throw in it (again) a mina of seaweed. Let it boil and throw the wool into it, and letting cool, wash in sea water... [the stone of Phrygia is roasted before being broken]... until the purple coloration appears.

96. Dyeing with Purple. (Two Methods). Grind lime with water and let it stand overnight. Having decanted, deposit the wool in the liquid for a day; take it out (and) dry it; having sprinkled the alkanet with some vinegar, put it to boiling and throw the wool in it and it will come out dyed in purple.... alkanet boiled with water and natron produced the purple color.

Then dry the wool, and dye it as follows: Boil the seaweed with water and when it has been exhausted, throw in the water an imperceptible quantity of copperas, in order to develop the purple, and then plunge the wool in it, and it will be dyed. If there is too much copperas, it becomes darker.

97. Another (Procedure). Grind some walnuts with some alkanet of good quality. This done, place them in some strong vinegar; grind again; add some pomegranate bark to this; lay aside three days; and after this, plunge the wool in it and it will be dyed cold........ It is said that there is a certain acanthus which furnishes the purple color; moistened with some natron of Berenice in place of nuts, it produces the same effect.

98. Another (Procedure). Clean the wool with fullers plant, and hold at your disposal some lamellose alum. (Then) grinding the interior part of gall-nut, throw it in a pot with the alum, then put in the wool and let it remain several hours. Then take it out and let it dry. Follow this procedure first: Having ground the lees (from wine) and having placed them in a vessel, pour in sea water, agitate and set aside. Then decant the clear water into another vessel and hold it at your disposal. Taking the alkanet and placing it in a vessel, mix with the water from the lees until it thickens conveniently and becomes as though sandy. Then place the product in a vessel, diluting it by estimation with the preceding water which comes from the alkanet. Then, when it has become as though slimy, place it in a small kettle, add to it the remainder of the alkanet water, and leave until lukewarm. Then plunge the wool in it, lay aside several hours, and you will find the purple fast.

99. Another (Process). Taking alkanet, (and) some leontice, strip off the bark, take it and grind it as fine as stibnite in a mortar. Add to it some hydromel diluted in water, grind again, place the ground product in a vessel and boil. When you observe (the liquid) to be lukewarm, plunge the wool in it (and) let it remain. The wool ought to be cleaned with fullers plant and thickened. Then take it, plunge it in lime water; let it soak; take it out; wash thoroughly with some sea salt (and) dry. Plunge it again in the alkanet and let it remain.

100. Another (Procedure). Take the juice of the upper part of the alkanet and a solid gall-nut roasted in the oven. Having ground it with the addition of a little copperas, mix with the juice, boil, and make the purple dye.

101. A Substitute for Greenish-Blue Color. In place of greenish-blue color, take scoria of iron, crush it with care until reduced to the appearance of smegma, and boil it with some vinegar until it becomes stiff. Immerse the wool, previously cleaned with heavy fullers herb, and you will find it dyed in purple. Dye in this way with the colors that you have.

Extracts from the Materia Medica of Dioscorides

102. Arsenic. 103. Sandarach. 104. Misy. 105. Cadmia 106. Chrysocolla. 107. Rubric of Sinopia. 108. Alum. 109. Natron. 110. Cinnabar. 111. Mercury.

Definitions: Asem - probably an alloy of gold and silver. Misy - probably iron or copper pyrites or the oxidised products of these. Chrysocolla - a gold alloy for soldering gold. Aphronitron - a natural alkali, possibly sodium carbonate. Sinopian red - red ochre, ferric oxide. Cadmia - soot condensed in copper and brass smelting furnaces, usually containing zinc oxides.

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