The substance commonly known as alabaster is a fine-grained variety of gypsum. Oriental alabaster, the alabastrites of the classical writers, is a translucent marble obtained from stalagmitic deposits

Catholic Encyclopedia. . 2006.

     Catholic_Encyclopedia Alabaster
    (Greek alabastros, -on; Latin alabaster, -trum; of uncertain origin).
    The substance commonly known as alabaster is a fine-grained variety of gypsum (calcium sulphate) much used for vases and other ornamental articles. Oriental alabaster, the alabastrites of the classical writers, is a translucent marble (calcium carbonate) obtained from stalagmitic deposits; because of its usually banded structure, which gives it some resemblance to onyx, it is also called onyx marble, or simply, though incorrectly, onyx. From remote times it was highly esteemed for decorative purposes. Among the ancients Oriental alabaster was frequently used for vases to hold unguents, in the belief that it preserved them; whence the vases were called alabasters, even when made of other materials. Such was the "alabastrum unguenti" (Matt., xxvi, 7; Mark, xiv, 3, Luke, vii, 37), with which the sinful woman anointed the Saviour. The vase, however, though probably of alabaster, was not necessarily of that material, as our English translation "alabaster box of ointments" seems to imply.
    THOMAS in VIG., Dict. de la Bible, I, 330.

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII. — New York: Robert Appleton Company. . 1910.

Catholic encyclopedia.

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  • Alabaster — is a name applied to varieties of two distinct minerals: gypsum (a hydrous sulfate of calcium) and calcite (a carbonate of calcium). The former is the alabaster of the present day; the latter is generally the alabaster of the ancients. The two… …   Wikipedia

  • Alabaster — massiges Aggregat Chemische Formel CaSO4 · 2 H2O Mineralklasse Wasserhaltige Sulfate ohne fremde Anionen siehe Gips (nach Strunz) siehe Gips …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Alabaster — Sm Edelgips erw. fach. (12. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus l. alabaster m., alabastrum n., dieses aus gr. alábastros m. und on n. (älter gr. alábastos) Alabaster (als Mineral), aus Alabaster gefertigtes Salbengefäß . Wohl zu einem ägyptischen Wort …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • alabaster — [al′ə bas΄tər] n. [ME < OFr alabastre < L alabaster < Gr alabastros, earlier alabastos, vase for perfumes (often made of alabaster), prob. < Egypt *ʼ a labaste, vessel of (the goddess) Bast] 1. a translucent, whitish, fine grained… …   English World dictionary

  • Alabaster — Al a*bas ter, n. [L. alabaster, Gr. ala bastros, said to be derived fr. Alabastron, the name of a town in Egypt, near which it was common: cf. OF. alabastre, F. alb[^a]tre.] 1. (Min.) (a) A compact variety or sulphate of lime, or gypsum, of fine… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Alabaster — Alabaster, AL U.S. city in Alabama Population (2000): 22619 Housing Units (2000): 8594 Land area (2000): 20.472605 sq. miles (53.023800 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.054715 sq. miles (0.141711 sq. km) Total area (2000): 20.527320 sq. miles… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Alabaster — Alabaster: Der Name der feinkörnigen weißlichen Gipsart, mhd. alabaster, führt über entsprechend lat. alabaster auf griech. alábast‹r›os »Gips; gipserne Salbenbüchse« zurück …   Das Herkunftswörterbuch

  • Alabaster — Alabaster. Eine Kalkart. In der Regel sehr weiß, von seinem Gefüge, halb durchsichtig. Wegen seines schönen Aussehens ist er als Stein zu Statuen kleinerer Art sehr geschätzt. In Florenz gibt es ganze Fabriken, welche sich mit nichts Anderem… …   Damen Conversations Lexikon

  • alabaster — (n.) translucent whitish kind of gypsum used for vases, ornaments, and busts, late 14c., from O.Fr. alabastre (12c., Mod.Fr. albátre), from L. alabaster colored rock used to make boxes and vessels for unguents, from Gk. alabastros (earlier… …   Etymology dictionary

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