The first mention of electrical phenomena in history tells us that about 2500 years ago the Greeks found they could make amber attract certain objects by rubbing it with a goatskin. People attempted little more with this "magic" until the year 1600 when William Gilbert, an English scientist, performed experiments to learn more about it. He is generally credited with originating the term "electric", probably taking it from "electron", the Greek word for amber.

I genuinely have no idea how to understand that.

  • 1
    To attempt with X = to try to do (something) using X. You open a lock with a key. Key not working? Here, try with this sledge hammer.
    – TimR
    Commented Sep 19, 2015 at 12:07

1 Answer 1


...attempted little more with this "magic"...

I take that to mean that people did not attempt to do much more than they had already done (with the "magic"), until Gilbert did so.

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