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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”).


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hide References (5 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (5):
    • Euripides, Heracles, 33
    • Herodotus, Histories, 1.50
    • Herodotus, Histories, 3.94
    • Homer, Odyssey, 15.460
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 5.12
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