τἀπὸ Σάρδεων ἤλεκτρον: electron, or silver-gold, from the goldmines of Tmolus in Lydia, the range s. of Sardis. Croesus dedicated at Delphi a lion of refined gold (“χρυσὸς ἄπεφθος”), standing on a pedestal formed by 117 half-plinths, or ingots, of gold,—four being of refined gold, and the rest of this electron, or ‘white gold’ (“λευκὸς χρυσός”); Her. 1.50. The celebrity of this “ἀνάθημα” in Greece helps to explain the poet's phrase. Stein on Her.l.c. shows that the ratio of silver to gold in electron was about 3 to 7. Pliny, who makes the ratio only 1 to 4, describes electron both as a natural blend of metals, and as an artificial product (“fit et cura, … addito argento”, Her. 33.80).— Paus. 5. 12§ 7 distinguishes the two senses of “ἤλεκτρον”, (1) silver-gold, (2) amber. The latter is the “ἤλεκτρον” of Herodotus (3. 115), and of Od. 15.460, where a Phoenician brings a golden “ὅρμος, —μετὰ δ᾽ ἠλέκτροισιν ἔερτο” (‘strung with amber beads’). τἀπὸ is a certain correction of L's “τὰ προ” (cr. n.): in class. Greek “ἤλεκτρον” is always neut., as it is in Paus. also. Ἰνδικὸν χρυσόν: Her. 3.94 speaks of the “Ἰνδοί” as sending Dareius an annual tribute of 360 talents in gold dust (“ψῆγμα”).
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.