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Adamant in classical mythology and later works is the hardest of all substances. In ancient Greek ἀδάμας (adamas), genitive ἀδάμαντος (adamantos), literally "unconquerable, untameable", referred to both a hard metal (probably steel) and to diamond. In fact, the English word diamond is ultimately derived from adamas, via Late Latin diamas and Old French diamant. The corresponding adjective in English is adamantine, from Latin adamantinus and Greek ἀδαμάντινος.
In the Middle Ages adamant also became confused with the magnetic rock lodestone, and a folk etymology connected it with the Latin adamare, "to love or be attached to". Another connection was the belief that adamant (the diamond definition) could block the effects of a magnet. This was addressed in chapter III of Pseudodoxia Epidemica, for instance.
Since the word diamond is now used for the hardest gemstone, the increasingly archaic term "adamant" has a mostly poetic or figurative use. In that capacity, the name, and various derivatives of it, are frequently used in popular media and fiction to refer to a very hard substance.
- In Greek mythology, Cronus castrated his father Uranus using an adamant sickle given to him by his mother Gaia. An adamantine sickle or sword was also used by the hero Perseus to decapitate the Gorgon Medusa while she slept.
- In the Greek tragedy Prometheus Bound (translated by G. M. Cookson), Hephaestus is to bind Prometheus "to the jagged rocks in adamantine bonds infrangible".
- In Virgil's Aeneid, the gate of Tartarus is framed with pillars of solid adamant, "that no might of man, nay, not even the sons of heaven, could uproot in war"
- In John Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost, adamant or adamantine is mentioned eight times. First in Book 1, Satan is hurled "to bottomless perdition, there to dwell in adamantine chains and penal fire" (lines 47–48). Three times in Book 2 the gates of hell are described as being made of adamantine (lines 436, 646 and 853). In Book 6, Satan "Came towring [sic], armd [sic] in Adamant and Gold" (line 110), his shield is described as "of tenfold adamant" (line 255), and the armor worn by the fallen angels is described as "adamantine" (line 542). Finally in book 10 the metaphorical "Pinns [sic] of Adamant and Chains" (lines 318–319) bind the world to Satan, and thus to sin and death
- In some versions of the Alexander Romance, Alexander the Great builds walls of Adamantine, the Gates of Alexander, to keep the giants Gog and Magog from pillaging the peaceful southern lands.
- In The Divine Comedy by Dante, completed 1320, the angel at purgatory's gate sits on adamant.
- In the Medieval epic poem The Faerie Queene, published 1590, Sir Artegal's sword is made of Adamant.
- In William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream (1595/96), Helena says to Demetrius, "You draw me, you hard-hearted adamant!".
- In the Holy Sonnet I, published 1620, John Donne states in line 14, "And thou like adamant draw mine iron heart".
- In the 1726 novel Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift, the base of the fictitious flying island of Laputa (Part III of Gulliver's Travels) is made of Adamant.
- In Princess Ida by Gilbert and Sullivan, first performed 1884, the hardnosed princess's castle is called Castle Adamant.
- In J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium (The Lord of the Rings published in 1954-5), Nenya, one of the Three Rings of Power, is set with a gem of adamant.
- In the 1956 movie Forbidden Planet, Dr. Morbius describes the Krell towers as being made of "glass and porcelain and adamantine steel."
- In Marvel Comics, adamantium (first appearance: Avengers #66, July 1969) is a nearly indestructible metal that coats the skeleton of the superhero Wolverine and makes up the body of the supervillain Ultron.
- In the tabletop roleplaying game Dungeons and Dragons, Adamantine is an extremely hard exotic metal. Adamantine weapons can easily deal damage to golems and tough inanimate objects.
- In the MMORPG game RuneScape, Adamantite is a durable metal used for armor and weapons.
- In the multi-platform game Terraria, Adamantite is a material used to craft several tools and armor.
- In the action role-playing game Dragon Age: Inquisition, Adamant Fortress is the name of an ancient Grey Warden keep besieged by the player's forces.
- In the Japanese manga/anime Land of the Lustrous (Houseki no Kuni), Kongo-sensei (金剛先生, Kongō-sensei, Literally meaning "Adamant Teacher") is the head of the Gems, acting as the teacher, protector, and father figure
- In the The Fate of Atlantis DLC for the action role-playing video game Assassin's Creed Odyssey, adamant is a nearly indestructible resource used by an ancient Precursor civilization to build and power the Pieces of Eden.
- Adamant (1811 ship)
- Adam Ant, musician
- adamant, a noun defined at Wiktionary
- Adamant, Vermont, a village in Washington County, Vermont, US
- Adamantane, a bulky hydrocarbon
- Adamantine, a real mineral
- adamantine, an adjective defined at Wiktionary
- Aggregated diamond nanorods, ultrahard, nanocrystalline form of diamond
- Unobtainium, a name given to exotic, fictional materials used in science fiction
- Adamantina, a Brazilian municipality in the state of São Paulo.
- adamas, adamantinus. Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short. A Latin Dictionary on Perseus Project. ἀδάμας ἀδαμάντινος. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; A Greek–English Lexicon at the Perseus Project.
- Webster's dictionary definition of adamant Archived June 20, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, 1828 and 1913 editions
- Hesiod; Richard S. Calwell (1987). Hesiod's Theogony. Cambridge, Ma: Focus Information Group. pp. 37–38 at lines 161–181. ISBN 9780941051002.
Quick she [Gaia] made the element of grey adamant, made a great sickle...
- Virgil, Eclogues. Georgics. Aeneid: Books 1-6, trans. H. Rushton Fairclough, rev. G. P. Goold, Loeb Classical Library 63 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1916), p. 571.
- John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book one, two, six, and ten (1667). (see text from Project Gutenberg)
- "Adamantite Bar". Terraria Wiki. Retrieved 2018-03-05.
- "Kongo". Fandom.com. Retrieved 1 June 2020.
- Ubisoft Quebec (16 July 2019). Assassin's Creed Odyssey – The Fate of Atlantis: The Judgement of Atlantis (PC, PS4, Xbox One). Ubisoft. Level/area: Most Adamantly.