The exciting stories we repeatedly hear about our ancestors often leave us very surprised. One of the reasons is that they managed to skillfully meet your needs. They even went further and made inventions that we still don’t know about.
A delicate material becomes “Unbreakable”
It’s no secret that glass is quite a sensitive object, and that upon a brutal impact on a solid surface, it will explode within seconds. However, according to the story, it seems that the The Romans invented a flexible glass.
They had the ability to make a glass or other unbreakable object. Not only that, it could also bend it and return it to its original shapeif it fell, it would not collapse.
an artificial glass
It is known that there are a variety of materials that come from nature, such as obsidian, which is often created in volcanoes. There are also tektites, a type of crystal that forms with the impact of meteorites on Earth. Corn, the shatterproof glass was made by man.
When was flexible glass invented?
The stories that began to be written about this famous material for forging objects indicate that the invention occurred in Roman times. That is to say, around 753 BCdates from the time when he reigned over Emperor Tiberius Julius Caesar.
Bust of Emperor Tiberius. Public domain.
Over time, glaziers have been gradually improve techniques and skills used to make this material. We know that in the big Roman Empire, glass was an element that was produced a lot. But flexible glass has been one of the most eye-catching for a variety of reasons.
Is it a true story?
For many people, the story of flexible glass is just an old legend. simply because currently no physical evidence was found which attests to its existence.
However, stories have been captured that support this great invention made by the Romans. Two writings from different sources have been found which relate the chronicle and the tragic end of the creator of this material.
The worker wants to show off his great creation
There are various accounts of the glazier who discovered a glass that could be made in a different and modern way. It is said that he he wanted to show the emperor what he had discovered gain his favor.
When he obtained an audience, he exhibited his great innovation of the crystal, arriving at the meeting room, the monarch examined it. After detailing it, he returned it to the glazier, who he threw the cup to the ground with great force.
The Emperor was surprised and baffled by what the man had done. The glazier then raised the glass, showing Tiberius that it was dented but not broken. So he pulled out a small hammer, struck the glass carefully, and it returned to its original shape.
Why was it not produced in large quantities?
At first, the emperor was really shocked, however, he assumed that this discovery could threaten the economy of his empire. Why? Because it is possible that materials such as metal, gold, silver, copper, will be despised and replaced with soft glass.
Roman glass jar from Hispania. Valladolid Museum (Spain). Credit: CC BY-SA 2.1 L. Fdez/Wikimedia Commons.
An impressive recipe disappears
The man thought he had impressed the emperor and might be rewarded. But it was quite the opposite, Tiberio asked him if anyone else knew the recipe for soft glass. To which the glazier said no, his execution was immediately orderedand his prescription is gone.
How could they make this material?
Currently, many tests have been carried out to try to determine how this unfortunate Roman managed to make flexible glass. However, although some possible methods have emerged, the original recipe has not been discovered which was in use at the time.
You might also be interested in: Enigmatic objects would testify to the existence of advanced technology in ancient times.
One of the speculations indicates that maybe he used a chemical compound called boric acid, an element found in nature. It is believed that by adding a small part of this mineral to the glass, the result would be an unbreakable glass.
The Munich cut, also called the cage cut or the reticulated cut. Late Roman glassware from the second half of the 4th century AD. C. Public domain.
A coherent theory
On the other hand, it should be noted that at that time, when soft glass emerged, there was a heavy import of Borax. It has even been discovered that in the steam outlets of the region of Maremmanorth of Rome, this chemical compound could be found.
Although there is no (or to our knowledge) no proof of the existence of flexible glass, for some researchers and archaeologists, the soft glass it was one of the first manufactures of aluminum in antiquity, a material that could have been confused with that of glass at that time. But, the reality is that the Romans developed a very advanced technique for making glass, an example of this is the Lycurgus Cup, an incredible chalice with nanoparticles that give it the ability to change color and which still continues today to be the subject of studies.
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