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THEOPHRASTUS ON STONES
does harden quickly. This is another sign that Theophrastus confused die different materials grouped under the term gypsos.
67. And it can even be removed and calcined and made fit for use again and again.
Since Theophrastus is alluding to the mortar used in constructing the walls of buildings, the material which was reburnt and used again was almost certainly lime mortar, not gypsum mortar. Both this passage and the preceding section show that the term gypsos was used to describe hardened mortar and not simply the essential ingredient of mortar.
67. but in Italy it is also used for treating wine. The emendation τον olvov ("wine") appears in the text of Turnebus. The manuscripts and the Aldine edition have τον οικέίον, which is hard to translate. Hill followed a suggestion of Salmasius and changed this to την κονίσχτιν ("plastering"), but both Schneider and Wimmer accept τον οϊνον.
The accounts of later writers show that the gypsos used for treating wine was either lime or partly dehydrated gypsum. The first, either in the form of quicklime or slaked lime, served to neutralize the excess of acid in wine that had soured or was naturally sour; and the second, normally added before fermentation, served to clarify and improve the wine. Several Latin audiors describe the practice of treating wine with lime or with partly dehydrated gypsum. For example, Columella explains in one place508 how wine is treated with gypsum, and in another place509 how it is treated with either gypsum or marble. In several places Pliny mentions the practice of treating wine with different calcium compounds. For example, he remarks that "the people of Africa reduce the acidity with gypsum, and in some parts with lime"510 {Africa gypso mitigat asperitatem nee non aliquibus partibus sui calce). This shows clearly enough that die ancients used both lime and gypsum in the treatment of wine. Greek authors have less to say about this practice. Dioscorides511 only once mentions the use of gypsos in the preparation of wine, diough he writes at length about the different kinds of wine and the methods of preparing
608 XII, 26.                            S°9XII, 20.                            ""XIV, 120.
511 V, 82 (Wellmann ed., V, 72).
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