Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus, who was also referred to as Pliny the Elder, was born in the year AD 23 in Italy. He was commander of the navy and army in the early Roman Empire. Pliny was later also an author, naturalist, and natural philosopher, He is best known for his thirty-seven-volume encyclopedia called Naturalis Historia, a describing just about everything there was to describe.His opus includes a book on cosmology, another on farming, and a book on magic. In one of his later volumes, Earth, book XXXV, Pliny tells this fascinating story of a goldsmith who once brought a strange dinner plate to the court of Emperor Tiberius. The plate was gorgeous, made from a strange new metal, it was shiny, light, almost the color of silver. When the goldsmith was privately asked where he got it, he claimed he’d extracted it from plain clay and using a secret technique, the formula was known only to himself and the gods.Tiberius, though, somewhat concerned, was an emperor and one of Rome’s greatest generals, a person who regularly encouraged warfare towards other nations and who conquered most of Europe, amassing a fortune of silver and gold along the way. EMPEROR TIBERIUS WHO HAD THE DISCOVERER OF ALUMINIUM BEHEADED.He was also a financial wizard who knew the value of his treasure would seriously depreciate ifpeople suddenly had access to another shiny new metal, much rarer than gold. “thus,”recounts Pliny, “instead of giving the goldsmith the acknowledgment he deserved, he issued an order for his beheading.”The lightweight shiny new metal was aluminum, and that single beheading lost it to the world for almost two millennia. It only reappeared in the early The 19th century. 1801 being the century marked by the collapse of the Spanish, Napoleonic, Holy Roman and Mughal empires. The metal was at the time still rare enough to be considered the most valuable metal on earth. EMPEROR NAPOLEON IIIEmperor Napoléon III himself threw a banquet for the king of Siam where the honored guests were each given aluminum utensils, while the regular guests, had to make do with gold. KING OF SIAM VISIT TO NAPOLEON IIIThe rarity of Aluminium all comes down to chemistry. Since, technically, behind oxygenand silicon, it’s the third most abundant element in the Earth’s crust.It accounts for no less than 8.3 percent of the earth’s weight. It’s cheap, it’s omnipresent and used with a disposable mindset, but—as Napoléon’s banquet teaches—this wasn’t always the case. Because of aluminum’s high rapport for oxygen, it never surfaces in nature as a pure metal. It is instead, found tightly bound in the form of silicates and oxides in a claylike material called bauxite.
The 1. Lesson Aluminum Teaches Us All.
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