Until the Middle Ages only a few elements were known, including lead, iron, gold, silver, tin, mercury, copper, carbon and sulfur.
The symbol of the elements was given according to their name derived from Latin.
- Gold - Au (Aurum) - Yellow
- Silver - Ag (Argentum) - Shiny
- Carbon - C (Carbon) - Coal
- Tin - Sn (Stanum) - easy to fuse
During the Middle Ages, chemistry did not yet exist as a science. At this time it was known as Alchemy.
Some symbols used until the Middle Ages:
Other elements also had different figures such as antimony, lead, fire, water, air, sulfur, arsenic and bismuth. Note that at this time fire was still considered a chemical element and water as well.