Samian earth

a species of clay from Samos, formerly used in medicine as an astringent.

See also: Samian

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by G. & C. Merriam Co.
References in periodicals archive ?
Melian earth [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] from the island of Melos, used by painters, is characterized by Theophrastus as soft (mild), rough and meagre, Samian earth [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] from Samos (which Theophrastus describes as mined, i.e.
In book 35 Pliny enumerates the natural colours used by painters: Sinopian earth, red ochre (rubrica), Paretonian earth (paraetonium, "after the place in Egypt where it is found"), Melian earth (melinum, after the island of Melos), Eretrian earth (eretria, after the place where it is found); Samian earth is reported to be too unctuous for painters (Samian earth is dug in cracks intersecting rocks, and when touching the tongue it is astringent).
With respect to applications of earths in medicine Pliny describes Samian earth (two types: kollyrion--fresh and soft, aster--lumpy and white, both types are heated and washed), Eretrian earth (two types: white and ash-grey, tested with respect to softness), Chian earth (white, medical properties similar to Samian earth), earth from Selinus (milky-white and easily dissolved in water, with milk used for wall coatings), pnigitis (very similar to Eretrian earth, but occurring in larger lumps, sticky, with properties like Cimolian earth, but weaker) and ampelitis (similar to asphalt, soluble in wax and oil, while retaining its dark color; as a medicament softening and dividing, also used for colouring hair).