Nature created glass, long before man. Our ancestors fashioned arrow-heads, knives and other utensils for everyday use, out of a shiny, black, volcanic rock called "obsidian".
We can only accept the existing testimony of the alleged invention of glass which is placed in the year 77 B.C. and has been written by Pliny the Older. The Roman historian refers to the Phoenician sailors who sailed the river "Bilo" along the coast of Syria, 2.000 years before his time. In the evening, the merchants dropped anchor near a sandy bank on the river, to warm up their food. In order to prop their cooking utensils they used pieces of natural soda (natron) that they had loaded on their ships. As soon as it came into contact with the fire, the white lumps of soda melted and together with the sand of the river bank, formed a glass mass.
Naturally, the Roman historian's description is embroidered since today we know that in order for the required materials to melt for the manufacture of glass, temperatures over 1.000 °C must be reached.
The Egyptians can be regarded as the first glass-makers today and the first glass bottles are dated around 1.500 B.C.
The revolution in glass-making took place near the first century, when Syrian glassmakers thought of using a metal pipe and blowing into it, thus creating glass shapes on the other end.
During the Roman Empire, the art is transported to Rome. Roman glassmakers succeed in creating wonderful glass objects of virtu. In fact, they knew how to cut, decorate and colour glass using various pigments.
With the fall of the Roman Empire, the history of glass is transferred to other areas such as Greece and Asia Minor, with Constantinople as base.
Greek craftsmen raised the art to a high standard and small colorful bits, typical of the art of mosaics, were now decorating the churches.
In another part of the Adriatic however, the naval power of Venice was being established.
After the fall of the Constantinople to the Crusaders, the Venetian government decided to call to Venice the ablest and most famous artisans of glass. In fact it instituted favorable laws and ordered a strict decree which ensured the exclusiveness of the work of the craftsmen who blew and gave shape to glass in Venice.