Literally meaning: “pertaining to magnitis”
Origin: Anc Greek
The name derived from Greek toponym (a prefecture in modern Greece) Magnesia as Manganese and Magnesium were abundant in ores in this region (Magnitis lithos, Μαγνήτις λιθος). The name Μαγνησια (Magnesia) derives from the name of the first settlers in the region, the "Magnetes" from the Macedonian tribe name Magnetes (Μαγνήτες).
About 17000 years ago, in stone age (paleolithic), human used manganese dioxide as apigment for the cave paintings.
In ancient Greece it was though that in ore “Magnetes lithos” there were two mineral forms with different gender. The feminine ore was later called magnesia or pyrolusite and the male one was called magnenite. In the 16th cen pyrolusite called magnesis negra (black ore) by glassemakers in order to distinguish it from magnesia alba (also from Magnesia). The name magnesia eventually was then used to refer only to the white magnesia which gave the name to the element that isolated it.
Swedish-German chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele (1742-1786) had used pyrolusite (manganese dioxide) and he noted that it contained a new element but he could not able to isolate it. Swedish minerologist Johann Goottlieb Gahn (1745-1818) was the first who isolated magnanese in 1774 by reducing its dioxide with Carbo.
Manganese is a gray-white chemical element with atomic number 25 and atomic mass 54.938045. It is occurring in several allotropic forms found worldwide especially in the ore pyrolusite and in nodules on the ocean floor. It is used mainly to increase strength in steel.