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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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Sar´dius, one of the precious stones in the breastplate of the high-priest (; ), and also mentioned in . The sardius is the stone now called the carnelian, from its color, which resembles that of raw flesh. The Hebrew name is derived from a root which signifies being red. The sardius or carnelian is of the flint family, and is a kind of chalcedony. The more vivid the red in this stone, the higher is the estimation in which it is held. It was anciently, as now, more frequently-engraved on than any other stone. The ancients called it sardius, because Sardis in Lydia was the place where they first became acquainted with it; but the sardius of Babylon was considered of greater value. The Hebrews probably obtained the carnelian from Arabia. In Yemen there is found a very fine dark-red carnelian, which is called el-Akik. The Arabs wear it on the finger, on the arm above the elbow, and in the belt before the abdomen. It is supposed to stop hemorrhage when laid on a fresh wound.





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Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Sardius'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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