Arsenosulfides also combine with transition metals such as Co, Ni, and Cu to form a variety of other sulfides and sulfosalts .In arsenic sulfides, elemental arsenic and sulfur are covalently bonded with different arrangements of As-S and As-As units.Realgar exists as high and low temperature polymorphs and at about 240°C α-realgar converts to β-realgar.

the localisation and dating of medieval icelandic manuscripts-18

Certainly, in order to gain any sense of reality the use of harmful beauty products by the Romans we need to treat the evidence very carefully, teasing any suggestion of real life from the rhetorical message to which this subject matter is so firmly attached.

However, it is the rhetoric that in a sense is a clue to the reality surrounding the use of toxic makeup at this time.

The first professor of toxicology at Leiden University was the pharmacist E. He established his name in the famous mass murder case of Goeie Mie (‘good Mary’) of Leiden in 1881–82.

She poisoned at least 100 people, 27 of whom died, with the arsenic compound .

, due to its golden color, was used in ancient times as a pigment and dye, while realgar was a common red pigment for paints and dyes.

Realgar decomposes in air to a yellow-orange compound para-realgar; consequently, old unrestored paintings have a yellow-orange tinge over a red color.

In practical terms, without any contemporary record of extensive poisoning as a result of using these products, we cannot draw any real conclusions as to the how these risks materialized.

We do know that the ancients continued to use such products despite at least some knowledge of the dangers.

) are the most common arsenic sulfide minerals, occurring primarily in hydrothermal and magmatic ore deposits.