The Ten Books on Architecture, 7.6.1

Vitruvius  Parallel editions

‹‹‹ Vitr. 7.5.8 | Table of Contents | Vitr. 7.7.1 ›››

Gwilt translation

6Marble is not alike in all countries. In some places it contains pellucid particles, similar to those of salt, which, when bruised and ground, impart great solidity to plastering and cornices. When these are not to be obtained, the chips (assulæ), as they are denominated, which the workers in marble throw off in working, may be substituted after being pounded and sifted. They are to be separated into three sorts, of which that which contains the larger particles, is, as we have above directed, to be laid on with the sand and lime: then follows the second coat, and afterwards, the third which is finer in texture. After this preparation, and a careful polishing of the work, the colours which it is to receive are to be considered, so that they may be brilliant. Their variety and the method of preparing them will be found in the following pages.

Morgan translation

6Marble is not produced everywhere of the same kind. In some places the lumps are found to contain transparent grains like salt, and this kind when crushed and ground is extremely serviceable in stucco work. In places where this is not found, the broken bits of marble or “chips,” as they are called, which marble-workers throw down as they work, may be crushed and ground and used in stucco after being sifted. In still other places—for example, on the borderland of Magnesia and Ephesus—there are places where it can be dug out all ready to use, without the need of grinding or sifting, but as fine as any that is crushed and sifted by hand.