fossil ivory of Theophrastus was a substance of mottled blue-andwhite color, not really ivory at all, but the mineral known as turquoise. Some later autiiors, e.g., Lenz253 and Bailey,254 have accepted this suggestion and have attempted to improve upon it by proposing that the material in question was not true turquoise, which is often light blue or green, but false turquoise or odontolite, which consists of fossil bones colored blue by vivianite, a hydrated iron phosphate. However, since all these identifications are based on the assumption that the material which Theophrastus calls fossil ivory was partly blue in color, they must be considered as little better than conjectures. As evidence against them it should be noted that Pliny discusses turquoise255 and fossil ivory256 in separate places, and when he mentions fossil ivory, he directly quotes this passage of Theophrastus and other passages about bones found in the earth and bony stones, most of which were clearly fossil remains. Though Theophrastus classifies fossil ivory as a stone, it does not follow that the identification that has been suggested is wrong, since elsewhere in the treatise he classifies amber and coral, also of organic origin, in the same way.
37. sappheiros. It is certain that the σάπφβιρος or sapphirus of the ancients was not the same stone as the transparent blue gem now called the sapphire. Theophrastus lists it here with other opaque minerals, and by comparing it with the kyanos implies that it was dark blue in color. Pliny, though apparently following Theophrastus in part, specifically states that it was blue and never transparent.257 The statement of Theophrastus in section 23 that sappheiros seems to be spotted with gold is especially important for its identification. Pliny states in one passage258 that eastern sapphirus was a stone in which gold sparkles, and in a second passage259 that it was refulgent with spots like gold; and in a third passage280 he compares it witli another stone that was covered with drops of
253 Mineralogie der alten Griechen und Romer, p. 23.
254 The Elder Pliny's Chapters on Chemical Subjects, Part II, pp. 253-54. 25» The callaina of XXXVII, 110-12. 25e XXXVI, 134.
2" XXXVII, 120.
258 XXXIII, 68.
2»e XXXVII, 119.