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CYANUS : Κνανος : Lazulite.
It has been asserted positively by some modern mineralogists, adopting the conjecture of De Boot, that Pliny's Cyanos was our Sapphire ; an opinion, however, by no means borne out by his description of the former stone. " The Cyanos shall be described separately, a favour granted to the blue colour lately mentioned (i. e. when speaking of the Blue Jasper). The best sort is the Scythian, then the Cyprian, and last of all the Egyptian. It is very largely imitated by staining crystal, and a certain king of Egypt has the credit of having first discovered how to tinge crystal of this colour. This stone also is divided into the male and female kind. Sometimes there is gold-dust seen within it, but differently from that in the Sapphirus : for in the latter the gold shines in points or specks amidst the azure."
Pliny appears to have written the above, not from a knowledge of the actual stone, as then known by that name to the Roman lapidaries, but merely as a translation, somewhat inaccurate, of the words of Theophrastus (55) :—" And as there is a Eed Ochre both natural and artificial, so is there a Cyanos, also both pro­duced naturally and made by art, like that manufactured in Egypt. Of this Cyanos there are three kinds : the Egyptian, the Cyprian, and a third the Scythian. The Egyptian is the best for thick-bodied paints, but the Scythian for those of a diluted kind. The Egyptian is produced artificially, and the writers of the history of their kings record this also, which of the kings it was who made a fused Cyanos in imitation of the natural stone ; and that this mineral used to be sent as a present from other countries. From Phoenicia, however, it was brought as an appointed tribute, a fixed quantity of Cyanos, so much in the native state, and so much ready calcined. The persons who