From Simon Online
Jump to: navigation, search

Kassiteros grece stagnum.


Kassiteros ACD ef | Kasisteros B


Kassiteros is Greek for Latin stagnum {"tin"}.


Greek κασσίτερος /kassíteros/, Attic καττίτερος /kattíteros/ means "tin" (LSJ).

The metals lead and tin were often not distinguished before the 17th century but were seen as different manifestations of the same metal plumbum, with plumbum nigrum being "lead" and plumbum candidum or album being "tin". According Goltz (1972: 179), Greek κασσίτερος /kassíteros/, which less ambiguously denoted tin, was introduced into Latin in the form cassiterum, but its adoption was unsuccessful. Finally in late Latin tin was called stagnum or stannum, which was originally the name for the impure crude or pig lead that accumulates during the smelting process in the lower part of the furnace and which contains up to 5% impurities like copper, tin, antimony, arsenic, bismuth or precious metals like gold or silver.

Greek κασσίτερος /kassíteros/ was thought by some to be derived from the Κασσιτερίδες νῆσοι /Kassiterídes nêsoi/, the tin islands in the West {of unknown location, Scilly Isles?} first mentioned by Herodotus. But this etymology is disputed.

Wilf Gunther 08/12/12

See also: Cazdir, Kazdir, Stagnum, Aserebum

Next entry