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When chrysocolla has been thus dyed, painters call it "orobitis," and distinguish two kinds of it, the cleansed1 orobitis,2 which is kept for making lomentum,3 and the liquid, the balls being dissolved for use by evaporation.4 Both these kinds are prepared in Cyprus,5 but the most esteemed is that made in Armenia, the next best being that of Macedonia: it is Spain, however, that produces the most. The great point of its excellence consists in its producing exactly the tint of corn when in a state of the freshest verdure.6 Before now, we have seen, at the spectacles exhibited by the Emperor Nero, the arena of the Circus entirely sanded with chrysocolla, when the prince himself, clad in a dress of the same colour, was about to exhibit as a charioteer.7

The unlearned multitude of artisans distinguish three kinds of chrysocolla; the rough chrysocolla, which is valued at seven denarii per pound; the middling, worth five denarii; and the bruised, also known as the "herbaceous" chrysocolla, worth three denarii per pound. Before laying on the sanded8 chrysocolla, they underlay coats of atramentum9 and parætonium,10 substances which make it hold, and impart a softness to the colours. The parætonium, as it is naturally very unctuous, and, from its smoothness, extremely tenacious, is laid on first, and is then covered with a coat of atramentum, lest the parætonium, from its extreme whiteness, should impart a paleness to the chrysocolla. The kind known as "lutea," derives its name, it is thought, from the plant called "lutum;" which itself is often pounded with cæruleum11 instead of real chrysocolla, and used for painting, making a very inferior kind of green and extremely deceptive.12

1 "Elutam." Though this is the reading given by the Bamberg MS., "luteam" seems preferable; a name owing, probably, to its being coloured with the plant "lutum," as mentioned at the end of this Chapter.

2 So called, probably, from being made up into little balls resembling the "orobus" or vetch.

3 A powder, probably, prepared from "cæruleum." See the end of the present Chapter, and Chapter 57 of this Book. Littré renders the words "in lomentum," kept "in the form of power," without reference to the peculiar pigment known as "lomentum."

4 "Sudore resolutis."

5 A strong proof that chrysocolla was a preparation from copper, and not cobalt. Copper owes its name to the Isle of Cyprus, in which it was found in great abundance. See Beckmann's Hist. Inv. Vol. II. p. 480. Bohn's Edition.

6 The colour now known by painters as Emerald green.

7 As a "trigarius." See B. xxviii. c. 72, and B. xxix. c. 5. From Suetonius, c. 18, we learn that the Emperor Caligula, also, had the Circus sanded with minium and chrysocolla. Ajasson is of opinion that the chrysocolla thus employed was a kind of yellow mica or talc.

8 "Arenosam." He alludes, probably, to the kind previously mentioned as "aspera" or "rough chrysocolla."

9 For its identification, see B. xxxiv. cc. 26, 32.

10 See B. xxxv. cc. 12, 18.

11 Making a spurious kind of "lomentum," possibly, a pigment mentioned in c. 57 of this Book. This passage seems to throw some light. upon the words "in lomentum," commented upon in Note 81 above.

12 As to durability, probably.

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