The Ten Books on Architecture, 2.5.3

Vitruvius  Parallel editions

‹‹‹ Vitr. 2.5.2 | Table of Contents | Vitr. 2.6.1 ›››

Gwilt translation

3Hence, limestone, previous to its burning, is much heavier than it is after having passed through the kiln: for, though equal in bulk, it is known, by the abstraction of the moisture it previously contained, to lose one-third of its weight by the process. The pores of limestone, being thus opened, it more easily takes up the sand mixed with it, and adheres thereto; and hence, in drying, binds the stones together, by which sound work is obtained.

Morgan translation

3Consequently, limestone when taken out of the kiln cannot be as heavy as when it was thrown in, but on being weighed, though its bulk remains the same as before, it is found to have lost about a third of its weight owing to the boiling out of the water. Therefore, its pores being thus opened and its texture rendered loose, it readily mixes with sand, and hence the two materials cohere as they dry, unite with the rubble, and make a solid structure.