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Authors, too, have paid some attention to the stones in use for mortars, not only those employed for the trituration of drugs and pigments, but for other purposes as well. In this respect they have given the preference to Etesian1 stone before all others, and, next to that, to Thebaic stone, already mentioned2 as being called "pyrrhopœcilon," and known as "psaranus" by some. The third rank has been assigned to chrysites,3 a stone nearly allied to Chalazian4 stone. For medicinal purposes, however, basanites5 has been preferred, this being a stone that remits no particles from its surface.6

Those stones which yield a liquid, are generally looked upon as good for the trituration of ophthalmic preparations; and hence it is, that the Æthiopian stone is so much in request for the purpose. Tænarian stone, they say, Phœnician stone, and hæmatites, are good for the preparation of those medicinal compositions in which saffron forms an ingredient; but they also speak of another Tænarian stone, of a dark colour, which, like Parian7 stone, is not so well adapted for medicinal purposes. We learn from them, too, that Egyptian alabastrites,8 or white ophites,9 from the virtues inherent in them, are considered still better adapted for these purposes than the kinds last mentioned. It is this kind of ophites, too, from which vessels, and casks even, are made.

1 Delafosse suggests that this may have been grey-spotted granite. The name is doubtful, as "Edesian" and Ephesian" are other readings.

2 In Chapter 13 of this Book.

3 "Golden stone." A variety, perhaps, of the Thebaic stone with gold spots, mentioned in Chapter 13 of this Book.

4 Possibly so called from χάλαζα "hail," it being, perhaps, a granite with spots like hailstones.

5 See Chapters 11 and 38 of this Book.

6 In consequence of its extreme hardness.

7 Phœnician stone and Tænarian stone do not appear to have been identified. Parian stone may probably have been white Parian marble.

8 See Chapter 12 of this Book.

9 Serpentine. See Chapters 11 and 30.

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