In the first place, they dug out of the earth whatever was to be found there, solid as well as fusile, and that which is now only a name and was then something more than a name, orichalcum, was dug out of the earth in many parts of the island, being more precious in those days than anything except gold.
Some of their buildings were simple, but in others they put together different stones, varying the colour to please the eye, and to be a natural source of delight. The entire circuit of the wall, which went round the outermost zone, they covered with a coating of brass, and the circuit of the next wall they coated with tin, and the third, which encompassed the citadel, flashed with the red light of orichalcum.
Originally posted by Pisky
The sestertius, a coin worth four asses and dupondius, worth two asses were both struck in orichalcum brass ...
An alloy of copper and zinc called orichalcum was used a great deal by the Romans. This consisted of eighty percent copper and twenty percent zinc, with small amounts of lead, tin, and other metals and would be called yellow brass today.
Bronze, Brass and Orichalcum
I have a Sestertius of Antoninus Pius - so there is Orichalcum within 10 feet of where I am sitting.
Originally posted by NephraTari
I don't believe these latter versions to refer to the same substance as the original dialogues say it was mined from the earth not smelted or created.
Perhaps they used the name later for a combination metal thinking it was similar to what the original might have been?
[Edited on 16-2-2004 by NephraTari]
This consisted of eighty percent copper and twenty percent zinc, with small amounts of lead, tin, and other metals and would be called yellow brass today.