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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament

Marble

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(μάρμαρος, Lat. marmor; from μαρμαίρειν, ‘sparkle,’ ‘glisten’)

Marble is the name given to any limestone which is sufficiently close in texture to admit of being polished. It is mentioned as part of the merchandise of ‘Babylon,’ i.e. Rome (Revelation 18:12). It began to be used there for the adornment of buildings about the beginning of the 1st cent. b.c. For a time such luxury was viewed with jealousy by stern republicans (Pliny, Historia Naturalis (Pliny) xxxvi. 7), but the Empire effected a great change of sentiment, and Augustus boasted, not without reason, that he ‘found Rome of brick and left it of marble’ (Suet. Octav. xxix.). ‘The Emperor obtained this result, seconded by his friend and minister, Agrippa, and succeeded in leaving behind him truly a city of marble, to which the Pantheon bears sufficient witness’ (Mary W. Porter, What Rome was built with, 1907, p. 7). While the white marble of Luna (near the modern Carrara), Hymettus, Pentelicus, and Paros was used for statuary, many varieties of coloured marble were available for architecture. See, further, article Rome.

Literature.-F. Corsi, Delle pietre antiche, Rome, 1845; G. P. Merrill, Stones for Building and Decoration3, New York, 1903.

James Strahan.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Marble'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdn/m/marble.html. 1906-1918.

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