A majestic gemstone that has been with us for centuries. The incredible ancient civilizations like the Greeks and Roman Empire, its uses in the artistic and healing world, lapis in Religion and Theophrastus Book of Stones. Lapis Lazuli – Gemstone Preserved in Time only shows you the tip of the iceberg when we talk about this magical gem.
An incredible stone found in human history since the beginning of time. Lapis Lazuli is a deep blue semi precious stone. Lapis is defined as a rock geologically speaking. I also found out that it appears in the most ancient civilizations known to man. Furthermore it was of utmost importance because it was a stone used to revere gods and God. Its spiritual journey through the Silk Route to acquire the Lapis Lazuli for temples and churches superseded primitive quests.
Historians believe the link between lapis lazuli and human beliefs dates back over 6,500 years. Ancient civilizations, including Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Chinese, Roman and Greek, valued highly this stone.
From experience, I’ve discovered that ancient civilizations were wiser than the new ones. Ancient civilizations were convinced that lapis should accompany royalty to the afterlife. Maybe Lapis Lazuli really has these godly properties they apparently made use of.
Lapis lazuli is found in Neolithic tombs in Mauritania and in the Caucasus. The Egyptians decorated Tutankhamen’s (1341-1323 B.C) funeral mask with Lapis Lazuli. Egyptians also used scarabs and amulets on their tombs.
One of the most extraordinary uses of Lapis Lazuli in history is that it is believed that the Law given to Moses on the Mount was engraved on tablets of sapphire in addition to the High Priest’s Breastplate of Aaron. The twelve stones the breastplate had, represented the twelve tribes of Israel. Lapis Lazuli, the fifth stone, symbolized the tribe of Issachar.
The ancients called lapis sapphire. We should understand that in the ancient times when there was a reference to sapphire they were really speaking of lapis lazuli.
I had no idea the importance lapis had to the Catholic religion. I am Catholic and the Law given to Moses is one of the pillars of my religion and I never knew that they were engraved in Lapis. Now I see lapis in a new perspective now.
Greeks and Romans rewarded with lapis lazuli those who performed some feat and showed great bravery
Theophrastus studied at Athens and became an ardent supporter of the philosophies of Plato (424/3 B. C. – 348/7 B. C.). While there, he became a pupil and friend of Aristotle (384 B. C. – 322 B. C.), and when Aristotle went into exile, Theophrastus succeeded him as the leader and principal spokesman of the Peripatetic school of philosophy – a leadership he held until his death.
Many descriptions are given of specific minerals, which Theophrastus divides into two broad categories, Earths and Stones, and then into about fifty “species.” Within each commentary, the author recounts various physical characteristics such as texture, color, transparency, hardness, luster, and density, as well as the practical uses. Thus described, it is possible to apply modern names to many of the minerals. Theophrastus wrote about eighteen centuries ago, and read the Greek ideas about marble, pumice, onyx, gypsum, amber, pyrite, coal, azurite, realgar, orpiment, cinnabar, quartz, lapis lazuli, emerald, sapphire, ruby, diamond, and others.
Book Of Stones
Theophrastus’s work is of special interest in the history of mineralogy because it is the largest fragment to survive from classical times that treats mineral substances in a meaningful way. The text, written as a series of 69 paragraphs, suggests that the De Lapidibus was originally written as a series of lecture notes that the author would have delivered in the gardens of the Lyceum almost two millennia ago. Metals are said to be composed of water, while stones and mineral earths are composed of earth. A mineral occurs because its substance has been purified through filtration, and its degree of purity can be determined by examining such qualities as smoothness, density, luster, and also transparency.
On Stones, Theophrastus said that exist a kind of false emerald and a kind of melted lapis lazuli like glass paste and give us more details on the manufacture of kyanos chytos as a product similar to the real thing (probably natural lapis lazuli), but which became after firing.
The ancient scholars mixed up Lapis Lazuli and sapphire because there was confusion when it came to mineral, rocks, semi precious and precious stones of the day because of the different cataloguing of earliest scholars as to specific points, qualities and attributes of a stone.
Lapis Lazuli was also commonly used for religion shrines and for their artisans, painters and decorative elements on the altars of churches. Master artists like Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Fra Angelico and others, used the mineral as a pigment. Ultramarine was the finest and most expensive of all blue pigments. Lapis was also reserved for the clothing of almost all the central figures of their paintings, especially the Virgin Mary.
Russian Czars praised the beautiful Imperial Egg designed by Peter Carl Faberge made in Lapis Lazuli.
Wonderful news! Lapis Lazuli is also known for its healing properties. There was a myth of Lapis Lazuli as a cure for eye diseases. Alchemists propagated the old belief that Lapis Lazuli unleashed energy to remedy optical disorders. They also used it for serpent bites, circulatory diseases, pregnancy, eye tumors and fever.
Greeks and Romans also used Lapis in the treatment of epilepsy, circulatory diseases and skin troubles.
Lapis Lazuli was also the symbol of royalty and honor, gods and power, spirit and vision. That`s why there’s an amazing display of a queens lapis lazuli beads, tiara and artifacts.
Lapis Lazuli is a third eye chakra stone that will develop your intuition as well as amplifying and expanding psychic visions and clairvoyant abilities. This stone is known to heal hearing loss and vertigo.
Nammu.com has a variety of beautiful amulets.
We have seen the beautiful things artisans have created with lapis pigments. The healing properties they have are amazing. Although I have never used lapis for healing, I have spoken to people who have. One of them told me that when they wear lapis, they feel at peace and capable of anything. I for once want to try it.
I was watching T.V with my 5 year old and there it was. Lapis Lazuli in a cartoon. A magical and one of the most powerful characters in Steven Universe. With its characteristic blue color, this character represents one of the gems of this universe. Even my son knew more about lapis than me.
Mankind has used Lapis for the arts, for religion, for healing mind and body and since the most ancient cultures, for representing and worshiping gods. In other words Lapis has been a part of our lives since the beginning.
Lapis Lazuli had, has and will keep having a significant importance in human life. I know it and I know you know it too.