(880 words)

The element arsenic (As) belongs to Group 15 (old notation: Group V) of the Periodic Table (pnictogens). While elemental arsenic itself seems not to be toxic, arsenic compounds usually contain arsenic trioxide (As2O3), which is the most powerful metallic poison.

Traces of arsenic, which occurs as abundantly as tin, can be found almost everywhere, e.g. in igneous rock, volcanic sulfur, coal, seawater, and mineral water. The most important arsenic minerals are arsenopyrite (mispickel), loellingite, orpiment, and realgar. Arsenic gene…

Cite this page
Weitensfelder, Hubert, “Arsenic”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Executive editor of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy. Consulted online on 21 March 2018 <>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160321

▲   Back to top   ▲