). Brass (i. e. an alloy of copper and zinc).
Existing specimens of brass are chiefly coins (sestertii
) of Augustus and his successors, though the alloy was probably made
as early as the second century B.C. (Pliny , Pliny H.
N. xxxiv. 2Pliny H. N., 4
; and cf. De
iii. 23, 92). The word ὀρείχαλκος
(“mountain copper”) occurs first in the Homeric Hymns (In
9), and in the early writers it probably designated any bright metal that had the
appearance of gold. See Rossignol, Les Métaux dans
l'Antiquité (Paris, 1863)
; and Blümner,
, iv. pp. 91, 192 (note), and 193 foll.