is not a stone, all writers place it amongst gems, as well for its
value as that it has been used ornamentally by almost every nation of
the earth, from the remotest period, and anterior to every historical
asserts that the Phoenicians sailed to the Baltic for the sole purpose
of procuring amber there. I am of opinion with Italian archaeologists,
that the Tyrrhenians, long before the Phoenicians, had explored those
seas, and drawn from the coasts incredible quantities of amber, with
which they made ornaments of every kind and domestic utensils. This is
proved by the vases, cups, spindles, and other articles of unknown use,
collected by me from the necropoli of the very ancient Pelasgic cities
The Tyrrhenians, and afterwards the Phoenicians, exchanged this substance with the Greeks, who named it electrum, ήλεκτρον. Homer says that the Trojan women wore necklaces of amber.
seems that the electrical phenomena which this material exhibits were
observed by the ancients, since Talete, as a result of his
observations, came to the conclusion that amber was animated. Philemon
and Pliny thought it a fossil ; and the latter person said, " heat
Tacitus, having observed that it often contains insects.