Amethyst coincides with a variety of violet-coloured quartz but in ancient classifications it belongs, more generically, to the category of purple-coloured stones and includes not only quartz but also other purplish stones such as garnets and zircons. The stone was used for sculptures and worn as a talisman. It is mainly attributed with the virtue of combating drunkenness, as expressed by the name itself, which can be traced back to a compound formed by the privative prefix a- and an adjective derived from the verb methýō «I am drunk». This belief continued throughout the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance.
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