Evidence of interior lighting has been found in caves from as far back as 17,000 B.C. where torches were used and set in holes in the walls of a cave. In the 6th century oil lamps suspended from the ceiling using ropes tied to the wall that allowed for it to be lowered and lit were used throughout Byzantium.
It was not until the early middle ages that the first “chandeliers” started to show up in churches and gathering places and were usually comprised of 2 pieces of wood in the shape of a cross on top of which animal fat candles were set and lit. That is where the word comes from. “Chandelier” is a French word that literally means “candle holder”.
The next big change came in the mid 15th century as artisans learned to work with metal and began to create elaborate frames for the wealthy. Then in 1679, a Brit named George Ravenscroft, figured out how to add lead to glass which made the glass clearer and hard enough to cut into facets. Those big changes allowed for light play and frames strong enough to support the weight of the crystal. Some of these early styles are still produced today!