The Sparkling Stories of Diamond according to Greek and Roman Mythology

The Sparkling Stories of Diamond according to Greek and Roman Mythology



Diamonds, as they say, are women’s best friend and are forever. While clever marketing of diamond selling companies has a lot to do with popular culture around them, do you know that diamonds actually go back to centuries in their popularity? 

Diamonds in Greek Mythology

Diamonds have a lot of mentions in different Greek myths. Diamonds appear in a number of different Greek myths. In one such myth, Zeus, the most powerful of gods, transforms some children into what is called adamastos. Adamstos is derived from 2 words which mean “diamond” and “adamant”. 

Uranus was castrated by his son Cronos using an adamant - a diamond - sickle. This sickle was given to him by his mother, Gaia. This is not the only myth that mentions adamant, In another one, the Greek hero Perseus has killed the monstrous Medusa using a similar sickle.

Diamonds have also found a place in the writings of the great classic Greek philosopher Plato. According to him, diamonds were living celestial spirits embodied in stones. This is just added to the reverence they already enjoy.  The Greek people believed the diamonds were tears of the gods or broken splinters from fallen stars. There is a reason behind this belief. According to Greek mythology, stars were believed to have been children of the gods Eos and Astraios, and diamonds, hence are a very important part of these legends. 

Diamonds in Roman mythology

Roman mythology has a lot of shared elements with Greek. In fact, they are similar in many ways with gods of various realms. Cupid is one such figure who was revered as god of love. According to the legends, Cupid’s arrows were diamond-tipped.

Like Greeks, Romans valued the diamonds so much that they considered them to be the pieces of their gods. It was a prevalent practice of wearing diamonds as a show of respect to these gods. In fact, the Romans valued diamonds more than gold.

According to them, wearing diamonds would protect them from any harm as they are pieces of gods and keep them safe. Roman soldiers used to wear diamonds on the battlefields as a belief of protective charms.

But what is very interesting to note, while you visualize all these diamonds adorned by these people and worshipped, these are not the sparkly ones as we know the diamonds are to be. They are not the polished diamonds that we happen to see these days. They are raw uncut diamonds because they believed cutting diamonds is akin to cutting their gods and they will lose their protective charms by doing so. 

Not just the Roman and Greek, but many world mythologies mention diamonds but these are just more prominent. With the fall of these empires, the significance of these mythologies also declined. But like they say, diamonds kept shining and are continuing to be a part of human culture and literature. 


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