The Ten Books on Architecture, 2.4.1

Vitruvius  Parallel editions

‹‹‹ Vitr. 2.3.4 | Table of Contents | Vitr. 2.4.2 ›››

Gwilt translation

4In buildings of rubble work it is of the first importance that the sand be fit for mixing with the lime, and unalloyed with earth. The different sorts are these; black, white, deep red, and bright red. The best of each of these sorts is that which, when rubbed between the fingers, yields a grating sound. That, also, which is earthy, and does not possess the roughness above named, is fit for the purpose, if it merely leave a stain or any particles of earth on a white garment, which can easily be brushed away.

Morgan translation

4In walls of masonry the first question must be with regard to the sand, in order that it may be fit to mix into mortar and have no dirt in it. The kinds of pitsand are these: black, gray, red, and carbuncular. Of these the best will be found to be that which crackles when rubbed in the hand, while that which has much dirt in it will not be sharp enough. Again: throw some sand upon a white garment and then shake it out; if the garment is not soiled and no dirt adheres to it, the sand is suitable.