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This must suffice for the sculptors in marble, and the works that have gained the highest repute; with reference to which subject it occurs to me to remark, that spotted marbles were not then in fashion. In making their statues, these artists used the marble of Thasos also,1 one of the Cyclades, and of Lesbos, this last being rather more livid than the other. The poet Menander, in fact, who was a very careful enquirer into all matters of luxury, is the first who has spoken, and that but rarely, of variegated marbles, and, indeed, of the employment of marble in general. Columns of this material were at first employed in temples, not on grounds of superior elegance, (for that was not thought of, as yet), but because no material could be found of a more substantial nature. It was under these circumstances, that the Temple2 of the Olympian Jupiter was commenced at Athens, the columns of which were brought by Sylla to Rome, for the buildings in the Capitol.

Still, however, there had been a distinction drawn between ordinary stone and marble, in the days of Homer even. The poet speaks in one passage of a person3 being struck down with a huge mass of marble; but that is all; and when he describes the abodes of royalty adorned with every elegance, besides brass, gold, electrum,4 and silver, he only mentions ivory. Variegated marbles, in my opinion, were first discovered in the quarries of Chios, when the inhabitants were building the walls of their city; a circumstance which gave rise to a facetious repartee on the part of M. Cicero. It being the practice with them to show these walls to everybody, as something magnificent; "I should admire them much more," said he, "if you had built them of the stone used at Tibur."5 And, by Hercules! the art of painting6 never would have been held in such esteem, or, indeed, in any esteem at all, if variegated marbles had been held in admiration.

1 As well as that of Paros.

2 Only completed in the time of the Emperor Adrian.

3 Cebriones, the charioteer of Hector. See Il. B. xvi. l. 735.

4 See B. xxxiii. c. 23.

5 This is generally explained as meaning ordinary stone, but covered with elaborate paintings, as was then the practice in the magnificent villas that were built at Tibur, the modern Tivoli. See, however, Chapter 48, and Note 36.

6 As applied to the decorations of the walls of houses.

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