Cinnabar or cinnabarite (s) (red mercury(II) sulfide
Mercury sulfide
Mercury sulfide, mercuric sulfide, or mercury sulfide is a chemical compound composed of the chemical elements mercury and sulfur. It is represented by the chemical formula HgS...

Mercury (element)
Mercury is a chemical element with the symbol Hg and atomic number 80. It is also known as quicksilver or hydrargyrum...

A sulfide is an anion of sulfur in its lowest oxidation state of 2-. Sulfide is also a slightly archaic term for thioethers, a common type of organosulfur compound that are well known for their bad odors.- Properties :...

), native vermilion
Vermilion is an opaque orangish red pigment, similar to scarlet. As a naturally occurring mineral pigment, it is known as cinnabar, and was in use around the world before the Common Era began. Most naturally produced vermilion comes from cinnabar mined in China, and vermilion is nowadays commonly...

), is the common ore
An ore is a type of rock that contains minerals with important elements including metals. The ores are extracted through mining; these are then refined to extract the valuable element....

 of mercury
Mercury (element)
Mercury is a chemical element with the symbol Hg and atomic number 80. It is also known as quicksilver or hydrargyrum...

The name comes from κινναβαρι (kinnabari), a Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 word most likely applied by Theophrastus
Theophrastus , a Greek native of Eresos in Lesbos, was the successor to Aristotle in the Peripatetic school. He came to Athens at a young age, and initially studied in Plato's school. After Plato's death he attached himself to Aristotle. Aristotle bequeathed to Theophrastus his writings, and...

 to several distinct substances. Other sources say the word comes from the Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 شنگرف shangarf (زینجیفرح zinjifrah), a word of uncertain origin (also compare, Sanskrit: sugara). In Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 it was sometimes known as minium, meaning also "red lead", though both of these terms now refer specifically to lead tetroxide.
HgS adopts two structures, i.e.