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1781 ; but which, through the excess of admi-
ration for BufFon, fell into oblivion. The opi-
nion was however soon after revived and con-
firmed by that illustrious observer Saussure,
especially in the latter part of his journeys among
the Alps. Patrin says that he has frequently
himself observed, in the immense mountainous
chains of Northern Asia, from the Uralian to
the river Amur, for an extent of more than 1000
leagues, beds of marble, which it was impossible
to suppose for a moment to have been posterior
to the other beds, of primitive rock, in which
they were enchased. He also regards the chains
of calcareous hills, mingled with clay-slate and
serpentine, which appear at the bottom of the
Alps, and other lofty mountains, often in layers
contorted in the strangest forms, but still un-
broken, as being caused by the tumescence of
the granite, while these depositions were still of
a soft consistence.

" Where the thickest calcareous beds subsided
in themselves, they formed homogenous masses,
without any divisions, or at least there are only
accidental fissures. These marbles are granular,


and palpably crystallised in all their parts ; they
are generally of a singly colour, white, grey,
red, or black, and without any mixture of fo-
reign substances, except a small quantity of
silex, which is intimately combined, and whose
presence is only found by dissolving them in an
acid. I have tried some of the purest specimens
in this manner; I always obtained a quartzy
sediment; the quartz at times is so abundant,
that these marbles yield sparks against steel.

" It is these large masses of homogenous mar-
bles which furnish the fine white statuary kinds,
such as those of Paros and Carrara : they are
never in any very elevated situation.

" Those which are found interplaced between
schistose layers, or mixed with beds of serpen-
tine, yield the marbles called Cipoline y which
present long veins parallel to each other, and
undulated in various directions. These may be
met with in the neighbourhood of the summits
of mountains.

" I have no need to mention that these mar-
bles never contain any vestige of shells, nor other
marine productions, as their formation is much
anterior to the existence of all organised bodies.

" Some are found which contain garnets, oc-
taedral iron, and even pyrites, the same as pri-
mitive schisti. Rome de ITsle says, that in the


finest white Carrara marble he has seen blackish
spots and veins, produced by a multitude of very
small crystals of octaedral iron, affecting the
magnet, exactly like those which are found in
the ollites of Corsica.

< c Ramond, in the interesting description which
he gives of the peak of Eres-Lids, near Barege,
says, that on the summit of that mountain cal-
careous beds are observed, which constitute a
greenish-white primitive marble, entirely sprin-
kled with small duodecagon garnets, round,
opake, of the size of the head of a pin. Another
variety presents garnet in large irregular crys-
tals. These beds of marble alternate with beds
of rocks which are indubitably primitive.

" I have already observed, that calcareous bri-
cias are nothing else than the primitive marbles
themselves, the beds of which have been over-
turned, while they were still in a soft state."*

It is equally probable that the calcareous and
argillaceous rocks may, in a soft state, have sub-
sided from the granite, which had previously
crystallised in arrects of great steepness.

The subject of marbles is almost infinite, as no Arrangement,
mineral substance affords such innumerable di-
versities, or has so much attracted the attention

* Patrin, ii. 304.
VOL. I. 2 C


of mankind. In a scientific point of view, sub-
servient to the general plan of this treatise, they
may be divided into four principal structures; the
Granular ; the Compact ; the Conchitic, or that
containing shells; and the Zoophytic, or that
with madrepores, &c. ; beginning with those
found in ancient monuments, and ending with
the more modern ; the colours being merely re-,
garded as varieties: though some, from their
rarity and singularity, as, for example, the white
venular marble of Durness, and lumachellas of
Bleyberg and of Castracan, or Castravan, in Sy-
ria, falsely ascribed to Astracan, ought rather to
form diversities. The bricias, and some others,
will of course be described among the Calcareous

* The division of marbles by a scale of colours, proposed by
Daubenton, has been found alike useless and impracticable. Be-
sides the six divisions here adopted, of Granular, Compact, Con-
chitic, Zoophytic ; with Serpentine marbles, and Glutenites, there
might be the following subdivisions, or aspects :

Uni-coloured, white, black, red, &c.

Straight- veined.

Mazy, with irregular short veins.

Mixed, equal spots of various colours.

Spotted, large spots.

Speckled, middling spots.

Dotted, small spots.

Ocular, like eyes, occhiato.

Streaked, long spots, &c. &c.




In general the ancient and finest marbles belong
to this description; though an ancient white or
grey, called palombino by the Italians, and that of
Proconnesus, not to mention a few others, are of
a fine earthy grain, almost compact.

The first attention is due to the Egyptian mo- Egyptian,
numents, as from that country the arts passed
into Greece, and subsequently into Europe. The
marble statues and fragments described by Wad
are very small, from 10 to 20 inches in height,
and present the following colours; milk-white,
the same with venular silver-white mica, greyish
white, passing to blue, and yellowish white. The
chief Egyptian monuments are in granite and

But in the Museum at Paris, and other princely
collections, there are many Egyptian statues, and
other monuments, in the rosso antico, the ancient Rosso antico,
red, the peculiar marble of Upper Egypt, or of
Ethiopia, for the cataracts were anciently reputed
to divide these countries ; and Syene was esteemed
the last town of Egypt, on the very confines of

It seems evident, though it has escaped all the
critics, antiquaries, and mineralogists, that the
superb rosso antico, which, in the grand statues

2 c 2


of Agrippa (formerly in the Pantheon), the Anti-
nous, Indian Bacchus, and other exquisite remains,
surpasses in beauty all the other marbles, is the
celebrated Augusteum and Tiberianum of Pliny.

1. It is allowed that this marble was from
Egypt ; and, even in the time of Pliny, was care-
fully distinguished from porphyry, which came
from the same country.

2. It was natural to give the imperial name to
the imperial colour, which was red, as is known to
every classical reader, and the very name of por-
phyry evinces. Our purple is the purpura vio-
lacea, or violet purple of the ancients.

3. The other colours were celebrated before.
The black was called Lucullean, from Lucullus,
as Pliny says. The green of Laconia, the yellow
of Numidia, were all well known : and red was
the only new colour of marble. Boot supposes
that the Augusteum was cinereum, of an ash grey,
because it is ranked with ophite : but several well-
known Greek and Italian marbles were of this
very common colour.

4. The rosso antico alone presents the singu-
larity mentioned by Pliny, and which he conveys,
as usual, in the most chosen and emphatic lan-
guage : Tiberianum SPAIISA non convoluta CA-

For the ancient red is often sprinkled

* Edit. Broticr. Some erroneously omit the non.


all over with white dots, like hoar frost. The
Augusteum undatim crispum in vertices is the
rosso fiorito of the Italians, with little tufts or
flowers of white.

o. Because the other stones, mistaken for the
Tiberian and Augustean marbles, are now known
not to be Egyptian, just as the green porphyry, or
pretended ophite, is not Egyptian.

The rosso antico therefore is rightly styled
Egyptian*. Brard describes this beautiful mar-
ble as of a deep blood red, with little distant
black or white veins, and often sprinkled with lit-
tle white dots. Such is the Egyptian Antinous ;
but two ancient seats used in the baths, and the
bust of an Indian Bacchus, are free from the
veins, though the dots be always visible. The
celebrated statue of Agrippa, son-in-law of Au-
gustus, in the Grimani palace at Venice, is of this
imperial marble, intended perhaps as a special
compliment f.

The rosso annulato is red, with round white
spots ; the seme santo, red, with little triangular

* Imperati, and Wallerius, i. 134, say the rosso antico was from
Upper Egypt. As Syene was on the borders of Ethiopia, it is also
called Ethiopieus. (See A pp.)

t A good engraving is given in Dr. Pococke's Travels in the
East, vol. ii.


spots. One of these may be the Claudianum* ,
if it be not another name for the Tiberian. Gor-
dian's villa had fifty Carystean columns (green) ;
fifty Claudian (red?); fifty Synnadian (white,
spotted with bright red, porto santo-\}; fifty Nu-
midian (yellow).

Of Pares. j n passing to the Grecian first occurs the white
marble of Paros, sometimes called tychnites by
the ancients, because the quarries were explored
by lamp-light. A transparent kind, called phen-
gites by Pliny, was also found in Cappadocia, and
is said by Chardin to occur in Persia. Domitian
is reported by Suetonius to have formed galleries of
a kind of stone that reflected the figures of persons
behind him, corruptly called phengites, while it was
probably a fine black marble.

The Parian marble was employed by the most
ancient Greek sculptors, about the fortieth Olym-

* Hist. Aug. 676.

f Perhaps thejiore de persico, or peach blossom ; but travellers
may observe the original quarries in Natolia.

The rosso antico, when unpolished, is of a dark dull appearance,
which obscures its difference from ophite. But as, in treating of
metals, Pliny begins with gold and silver ; and in gems, the dia-
mond and the emerald; so in marbles he begins with the most
precious, as he says, the Laconian green, the Egyptian (red), and
ophite. Any relation of colours or qualities is not in view, but
only the value.



piad; but being of a yellowish tint and coarse
grain, it was afterwards supplanted by the marble
of Luna, in Etruria, as afterwards by that of Car-
rara, in the same vicinity.

In the great .museum at Paris, the Venus de
Medici, Diana hunting, Venus leaving the bath,
the colossal Minerva, the Juno of the Capitol, the
Ariana called Cleopatra, and several others, are
of Parian marble. The celebrated Parian tables
at Oxford, which have illustrated many points of
ancient chronology, are also inscribed upon the
same stone.

Pentelican marble, from the vicinity of Athens *, Pentelican.
is white, like the former, but with a finer and more
compact grain. It sometimes presents blackish
veins from a siderous mixture, and sometimes
green veins of the talcous kind, so that it is at
Rome called statuary Cipoline.

Most of the noble monuments of ancient Athens-
are constructed with this marble ; and several sta-
tues are extant, as in the Museum of Paris, a
Bacchus in repose, a Jason, a Paris, a tripod of
Apollo, &c. &c. f

The vague name of Greek marble has been

so called.

* Concerning the mines of Attica see Xenophon de Vectigalibus.

t Brard, 324. Petrini says, ii. p. ix, that the Pentelican, with
mica, has grains of chalcedony, as the Carrara has rock crystal :
probably from a mixture of argil.




Of Luni,
in Italy.

given to a fine-grained and hard kind, of a snowy
whiteness. It was from several islands in the
Archipelago, as Scio, Samos, c. In the Parisian
Museum, which derives its name from the Em-
peror Napoleon, there are an Adonis, a Bacchus,
the philosopher Zeno. The Fawn is supposed by
Brard to be of the marble called Coralian by
Pliny, because found near the river Coralus, in
Asia Minor, and which, in whiteness and grain,
resembled ivory. Some assert that the finest sta-
tue in the world, the Apollo of Belvidere, is formed
of what is called the Greek marble; -but most
mineralogists infer it to be marble of Luna.

At Venice, and in different towns of Lombardy,
are columns and altars of a singular marble, so
translucent, that the light of a candle is visible
through pretty thick masses. This is perhaps the
Cappadocian phengites.

Tables of ancient elastic marble occur in the
palace Borghese at Rome. It has been recently
asserted that this quality may be imparted by a
certain modification of heat, which loosens the
structure, so that the calcareous scales move in
certain directions.

White marble of Luni (the ancient Luna), or
Carrara, on the shores of Tuscany. Though
these two places be nearly adjacent, yet some
assert that the marble of Luni is finer than that of


Carrara, and free from the grey veins that some-
times appear in the latter. The Antinous of the
Capitol is said to be of marble of Luni. That of
Carrara, as just mentioned, often presents grey
veins, so that it is difficult to procure blocks of an
uniform white. It has been much used for chim-
ney-pieces in England ; and is often mingled with
the yellow and dull purplish bricia of Sienna : but
the quarries are said to have been opened at least
as early as the time of Julius Ca3sar. The Car-
rara marble has sometimes greenish talcous veins,
like the cipolino, and sometimes crystals of iron.
But the most beautiful specimens are those which
contain, in little cavities, rock crystals of the
purest water, called in Italy diamonds of Car-

White marble of mount Hymettus, in Attica; OfHymettu*.
rather inclining to grey : but it was the first fo-
reign marble introduced at Rome, where this mo-
derate magnificence was thought so extraordinary,
that Crassus the orator was exposed to the sar-
casms of Marcus Brutus, because he had adorned
his house with six columns, twelve feet high, of
Hymettian marble. Such were the chief white
marbles employed by the ancients.

The ancient black is so intense that, when
placed beside those of Dinan and Narnur, it makes
them appear grey. Some pedestals and busts of


this marble still exist, but this kind is of extreme
rarity*. Perhaps age may have rendered the co-
lour more intense. Black marble may sometimes
serve as a touchstone ; but the test of nitrous acid
cannot be applied. Monuments of black marble
may be revived by anointing them with oil.

The ancient green marbles have already been
partly described among the Magnesian Rocks.
The Appendix may be also consulted.

Ancient marble, in long regular veins of white
and grey.

Ancient marble, of reddish white, with spots of
a slate blue, disposed in festoons.

Ancient marble, of a deep red, with numerous
grey and white veins, supposed to be from Africa.
Yellow. The ancient yellow, of three kinds, uniform ;
resembling the yolks of eggs ; and with black or
deep yellow rings, whence it is called ring marble.
Its place is imperfectly supplied with the yellow
marble of Sienna. The ancient was from Numi-
dia, in Africa, as appears from many classical
writers f.

* It is supposed to be from Tenarus, in Laconia, and entirely
dissolves in the nitrous acid. Petrini Gab. Naz. i. 143.

f See the Appendix ; and Gibbon, vii. 201. For it came from
Mount Maurasius, or Aurasius, the citadel and garden of Numidia,
near Lambesa, once a Roman city of 40,000 souls. Si tin, which
yields the turquin marble, is in the same quarter.


Other ancient marbles will appear among the
Calcareous Glutenites. To enumerate modern
marbles would be infinite, but the more remark-
able of each country shall be selected, giving the
usual and due preference to our own.

ENGLAND. Some of the most beautiful will
be found among the Conchitic, or shell kind. The
black marble of Derbyshire. Intense black mar-
ble, with distant white spots, Somersetshire. The
Cottam marble, found near Bristol, has black
dendritic delineations. Brown marble, variously
veined, from Devonshire. This is the marble
from Plymouth and Torbay, mentioned by Da
Costa, as of a fine deep black, beautifully varie-
gated with irregular veins of red, yellow, and
white. Much was brought to London, and worked
into chimney-pieces, tables, &c. He also de-
scribes a marble of a dull yellow, with many dots,
streaks, and spots of black, as found at Yeovil,
in Somersetshire ; and elegant tables of it may be
seen in that county, though it is not capable of a
fine polish *. The green and red marbles of Angle-
sea have already appeared in the Talcous Domainf .

* Fossils, p. 221, 216. The Devonshire marble is mostly dull,
of a grey or a pale red, with spots of a deeper colour. It often con-
tains madrepores. The black kinds, with red and yellow invo-
lutions, are the most elegant.

f Da Costa, p. 220, in speaking of the green marbles variegated


SCOTLAND. White statuary marble of As-
synt. White marble, with long veins of a differ-
ent tint, from Durness. Red and white marble
of Boyne. The beautiful rose-coloured marble of
Tirey, mingled with siderite, c. is reserved for
the Composite Rocks. The same isle presents a
beautiful white marble, with veins of nephrite.
Numerous other marbles might be explored in the
Highlands of Scotland; and a French author is
singularly unjust when he says that the British

with white, mentions the Egyptian, which he rather supposes to
be the Tiberian and Augustean (though no green marble be found
in Egypt) 5 then a second, which is the polzavera j and a third the
green of Susa j and a fourth from Sweden. He then adds, " These
are the chief varieties of this marble, which, besides the places
already mentioned, is found in several parts of Europe; in the
northern part of the island of Anglesea, in Wales, in the parish of
Llan Fairyng Hornuy; and in Inis Molroniad, or the Island of
Sea Calves, there are rocks of this kind of marble with veins of fine
asbestos j and a quarry of the same marble is dug near Kemlyn^ and
another at Monachty, in the same island.

" Woodw. Cat. A. X. b. 3, exhibits a dusky green marble,
veined with white, which he found in the way between Ambleside
and Penrith, in Cumberland, where it is in considerable quantity :
it probably is of the same species."

So ancient is the knowledge of the beautiful Anglesea marble,
which has been regarded as a recent discovery. In the Journal des
Mines* it an extract from Pennant's Tour in Wales concerning
this marble ; which is also said to be found in the Skerries, a little
isle near Anglesea.

* No. 16, p. 75.


Isles are poor in marbles *. It is only the fashion-
able rage after foreign kinds, joined with an old
routine of commerce, blindly followed by the ma-
nufacturers, which prevent vast treasures of this
decoration from being discovered in Great Britain
and Ireland ; particularly in Wales, and the High-
lands of Scotland.

IRELAND. Near the celebrated lake of Kil-
larney are found white and "red, and black and
white marbles. Indolence and ignorance have
prevented further research. The fine black mar-
ble of Kilkenny is conchitic; but the north of
Ireland yields a brown marble, and one of a pale
white, like earthenware f.

Having begun with these northern regions, it
may be proper to continue in the same climate,
that the comparative view may become more

NORWAY. The marble of Gillebeck, which
resembles that of Tirey, will be described among
the Composite Rocks. Even the Danes show a
more patriotic taste than Britons, for it has been
employed in constructing the church of Frederic

* Brard, 442, Some of the Assynt marbles promise well, but
the quarries are not yet sufficiently deep to expect the finest kinds.
Those of Italy have been worked for 1500 years. Adits might be
found advantageous.

f Da Costa, p. 210, says a grey marble, with white spots,, from
the county of Cork, was much used in Ireland.


at Copenhagen. Many other Norwegian marbles
are faintly described by Pontoppidan and Fabri-
cius ; but there is no encouragement for the ex-

DENMARK. The Danish islands present some
coarse marbles, but none has attracted particular

SWEDEN. This country has evinced its good
sense and patriotism in establishing considerable
manufactures of porphyry and ollite ; but marble
seems rare and of little value.

RUSSIA and SIBERIA. On this subject there
cannot be a better guide than Patrin, who resided
many years in these regions.

" In Siberia, the Ural mountains furnish the
finest and most variegated marbles. The greater
part are taken from the neighbourhood of Ekater-
inburg, where they are wrought, and from thence
transported into Russia, and particularly to Pe-
tersburg. The late empress caused an immense
palace to be built there, for Orlof her favourite,
which is entirely coated with these fine marbles 1 ,
both inside and out. It is situated on the bank
of the Neva, and is one of the chief ornaments of
that capital. This empress built the church of
Isac with the same marbles, on a vast space, near
the statue of Peter the Great. This church was
not finished in 1787. I there saw columns, of


very large dimensions, which seemed to me to be
of a single block, of a white and bluish marble, in
large veins : only this kind of marble was used in
this church. The palace of Orlof has many va-
rieties, which are distributed in compartments.

" I saw no white statuary marble in the Ural
mountains ; but in that part of the Altaian moun-
tains which is traversed by the river Irtish, I in
two places saw enormous rocks of marble, per-
fectly white and pure, from which large blocks
might be hewn. The only use made of it is to
convert it into lime, for the service of the for-
tresses situated along the Irtish.'**"

The celebrated grotto of Kungur is by some
said to be in a coarse white marble, by others in
alabaster. The village of Kungur is near -the
skirts of the Uralian chain, on the confines of
Europe and Asia, about fifty miles to the S. S. E.
of the city of Perm, in the government of the
same name. It is said to be six wersts, or about
a league, in length, and half as much in breadth.
There are several openings in the roof, so that
there is a subterraneous meadow with grass and
flowers, a little lake, a rivulet rising from a de-
tached rock, which, like another springing from a
pool, soon loses itself underground ; with natural

* Hi. 8.


stairs; an image of St. Nicholas, and crosses
erected by the Russians. Gmelin, who occupied
five or six hours in visiting a part pf this remark-
able grotto, adds, that it is not after all so singular
as that of Bauman in the Hartz, and as the Neble
Loch, or Misty Hole, in the Duchy of Wirtem-
berg *.

On descending to the more southern kingdoms,
we find the Turks occupied in converting the no-
blest monuments of Greece into lime ; instead of
exploring the ancient quarries of the islands,
among which Anti-Paros displays its celebrated
grottos in the purest white marble, with rich sta-
lactites and stalagmites of the same beautiful
substance ; and said to be as saline as that called
primitive. The beautiful green of Laconia is alike
unknown to these barbarians.

GERMANY. White marble of Ratisbon. That
of Hildesheim approaches to ivory ; and the same
place likewise furnishes an ash grey. Wolfenbutel,
greyish white. Osnabruck, fine black. Oster-
gyllen, spotted, white, yellow, and deep grey.
Between Leipsic and Bareuth there is a quarry of
chesnut and liver- colour, with veins of deeper
tints. Ash grey, with black ramifications, from
Goslar. Green, veined with yellow, probably a

* See his Journey to Siberia, in the Hist. Gen. des Voyages,
loin. 24, 4to. p. 128, where there is a ground plan.


serpentine, from Salzburg. Red, from Ratisbon,
Bohemia, and Trent. Straw yellow, with black
dendrites, from Hessia. It is only formed into
little pictures ; and, like the Florentine, is a marlite
abounding in argil.

SWISSERLAND. In general dull violet, spotted
or veined with black. There are some of a bluish
grey, resembling what is called the blue turquin,
which comes from Africa, and is spotted with
siderite, and the blue marble of Narbonne ; both

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