marbles contain black veins streaked with white resembling certain dark
streams. The columns in the shrine of St. Michael in Hildes-heim are
cut from this variety. Other marbles contain characteristic white but
very thin veins. A red variety is found in Hildesheim with the upper
portion of the stone black.
may contain distinctive white spots such as that in the famous columns
in the shrine of St. Sabina and the shrine of St. Saba on Mt. Aventine,
Rome. Some are a very dark green with numerous pale green spots. This
variety is found in thin beds in Rome. A tablet of green marble with
the appearance of wood is found in a monastery between Venice and
Murano where it has been placed in the wall near the high altar.
As stated above, porphyrias is called leucostictos when
it contains small white spots. A vessel in Hildesheim of the oval shape
commonly known as a Canaanian urn is cut from this variety and, having
been inlaid with silver, hangs in the shrine of St. Michael. Some of
the columns mentioned above are cut, in part, from this material.
Certain marbles are reddish brown with numerous spots of a lighter color.
Ophites is a mottled stone with three varieties. One is white, the second black and the third gray. The Greeks call the latter tephrias because of its color. Augustian and Tiberian marbles differ from ophites in
that the former are mottled like a serpent while the latter, to use
the words of Pliny, has the spots of color arranged in a different
pattern. The mottling in Augustian marble is in lines resembling the
crests of waves, in the Tiberian stone, in scattered grayish white
whorls. The two columns at the shrine of St. Lawrence in Lucina on the
Plain of Mars near the Tiber river are of ophites.
light gray marble with very narrow interrupted black veinlets and
numerous minute white spots is quarried in Misena not far from the
castle of Lauterstein near the village of Zeblich. The marble we call serpentaria may
contain spots or numerous broad black veins. The rostrum of the
cathedral of the Holy Spirit in Hildesheim is of this material while
the columns have a reddish black color with curly undulations.
marble contains varicolored spots, Rhodan marble golden-yellow veins,
both being found on the islands from which they take their names.
Theban marble is black with golden spots while syenites has reddish spots.7 Because of the reddish spots the latter is also called pyrrhopoecilos. Both pyrrhopoecilos and syenites are
found at Thebes, Egypt, between Phila and Syene, whence comes the
latter name. Other varigated marbles are Carystan from Carystus,
Euboea; Deucalan from Deucalion, Phthia; Scyran from the island of
Scyros; Hierapolan from Hierapolis, Phrygia; and a marble found in
Phrygia at Docimium near Synnada that the Romans called Synnadic, lapis phryges, Docimites, and Docimian marble. The latter has a variable color similar to lapis alabastrites.
7 Syenites was a hornblende granite with reddish feldspar.