What Element Was Originally Called Stibium?


Quick Answer

The element antimony, with the chemical symbol Sb, was originally called stibium by Pliny, an ancient Roman author who is believed to have produced it by heating one of its compounds, the mineral stibnite. Antimony and its compounds, stibine and stibnite, are extremely toxic.

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Full Answer

The name antimony, used by the 1500s, is a combination of two Greek words meaning "not alone." This is appropriate because antimony is rarely found in nature in its elemental form, but is mostly commonly found in a compound with silver, sulfur, copper or lead. Thousands of years earlier, ancient Egyptians used black-colored stibnite as eyeliner.

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