The Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece and Rome. By E.M. Berens. First published in 1886.
The Matchmaking Ant - a Korean Folktale An angleworm wanted to get married, so he asked an ant to act as a go-between and find him a wife. The ant arranged for the angleworm to wed a thousand-legged worm. When the angleworm heard this, he cried: “Oh, no! I never
Amethyst – The "maid stone." It's said that she who wears an amethyst will sleep calmly and have innocent dreams. Amethyst is believed to remove drunkenness, particularly wine-coloured stones. The word, amethyst comes from, the Greek word amethystos, meaning “not drunken. It also was thought to divert hailstones and plagues of
Amber – Amber has enchanted humanity for at least 10,000 years. From the Mycenaeans to the Mayans, amber has been considered sacred and used by cultures across time on nearly every continent. It was believed by some, that if one wore amber, no harm could befall them. In particular, amber
Alabaster – At Antiparos in the Aegean sea, the ancients used alabaster for incense and for funeral urns. If it turned yellow and lost its whiteness, it meant sickness and famine would come. Church statues made of alabaster are sometimes found to be chipped, in many cases this damage is purposeful.
Agate – an agate stone is believed to quench thirst and turn away thunder in lightning. A black agate veined with white will protect a person from all violent dangers. Hyena-coloured agate can cause domestic unhappiness. Agate was thought to protect from the effects of poison, but agate shaped as eyes
Adamant – Adamant was a stone that once believed to be impenetrable, giving rise to the saying: "As hard as adamant." (Daniels, Encyclopaedia of Superstitions) It may be an archaic word for diamond. Because adamant was believed immune to fire, artisans would soak the mineral in goat's blood to soften it.