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And yet it cannot be said that Scaurus, by way of a first essay in vice, took the City by surprise, in a state of ignorance and totally unguarded against such evils as these. Already had L. Crassus,1 the orator, he who was the first to possess pillars of foreign marble, and in this same Palatium too, received from M. Brutus, on the occasion of a dispute, the nickname of the "Palatine Venus," for his indulgence in this kind of luxury. The material, I should remark, was Hymettian marble, and the pillars were but six in number, and not exceeding some twelve feet in height. Our forefathers were guilty of this omission, no doubt, because morals were universally contaminated; and, seeing that things which had been interdicted had been forbidden in vain, they preferred the absence of laws to laws that were no better than a dead letter. These particulars and others in the sequel will show that we are so far improved; for who is there at the present day that has, in his atrium, any such massive columns as these of Scaurus?

But before proceeding to treat of the several varieties of this material, it will be as well to mention the various artists, and the degrees of estimation in which they are held, who have worked in marble. We will, therefore, proceed to review the sculptors who have flourished at different periods.

1 See B. xvii. c. 1.

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