In Greek mythology, the ore was said to have been found by the Greek god Hephaistos, who used it to craft a helmet for his spouse Aphrodite. As the goddess loved the ore for its red-glowing color, it was named after her.
5th century BCE
During the 5th century BCE, the ore was mined and used by the blacksmiths of Lalaia, notably the father of Methiadusa who used it to forge a dagger for her mother. By the time of the Peloponnesian War, the Spartan misthios Kassandra was sent by Methiadusa to collect the metal so that equipment could be crafted to aid the village against the Sons of Xerxes.