Rarest Blue

The Remarkable Story of an Ancient Color Lost to History and Rediscovered

Author: Baruch Sterman

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN:

Category: History

Page: 320

View: 251

For centuries, dyed fabrics ranked among the most expensive objects of the ancient Mediterranean world, fetching up to 20 times their weight in gold. Huge fortunes were made from and lost to them, and battles were fought over control of the industry. The few who knew the dyes’ complex secrets carefully guarded the valuable knowledge. The Rarest Blue tells the amazing story of tekhelet, or hyacinth blue, the elusive sky-blue dye mentioned 50 times in the Hebrew Bible. The Minoans discovered it; the Phoenicians stole the technique; Cleopatra adored it; and Jews—obeying a Biblical commandment to affix a single thread of the radiant color to the corner of their garments—risked their lives for it. But with the fall of the Roman Empire, the technique was lost to the ages. Then, in the nineteenth century, a marine biologist saw a fisherman smearing his shirt with snail guts, marveling as the yellow stains turned sky blue. But what was the secret? At the same time, a Hasidic master obsessed with reviving the ancient tradition posited that the source wasn’t a snail at all but a squid. Bitter fighting ensued until another rabbi discovered that one of them was wrong—but had an unscrupulous chemist deliberately deceived him? Baruch Sterman brilliantly recounts the complete, amazing story of this sacred dye that changed the color of history.

The Rarest Blue

The Remarkable Story of an Ancient Color Lost to History and Rediscovered

Author: Baruch Sterman

Publisher:

ISBN:

Category:

Page:

View: 140

For centuries, blue and purple dyed fabrics ranked among the ancient world s most desirable objects, commanding many times their weight in gold. Few people knew their secrets, carefully guarding the valuable knowledge, and strict laws regulated their production and use. The Rarest Blue tells the incredible story of tekhelet, the elusive sky-blue color mentioned throughout the Bible. Minoans discovered it; Phoenicians stole it; Roman emperors revered it; and Jews obeying a commandment to affix a thread of it to their garments risked their lives for it. But as the Roman Empire dissolved, the color vanished. Then, in the nineteenth century, a marine biologist marveled as yellow snail guts smeared on a fisherman s shirt turned blue. But what had caused this incredible transformation? Meanwhile, a Hasidic master obsessed with the ancient technique posited that the source of the dye was no snail but a squid. Bitter controversy divided European Jews until a brilliant rabbi proved one side wrong. But had an unscrupulous chemist deceived them? In this richly illustrated book, Baruch Sterman brilliantly recounts the amazing story of this sacred dye that changed the color of history.

A Companion to the Archaeology of Religion in the Ancient World

Author: Rubina Raja

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN:

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 520

View: 889

A Companion to the Archaeology of Religion in the AncientWorld presents a comprehensive overview of a wide range oftopics relating to the practices, expressions, and interactions ofreligion in antiquity, primarily in the Greco-Roman world. • Features readings that focus on religious experience andexpression in the ancient world rather than solely on religiousbelief • Places a strong emphasis on domestic and individualreligious practice • Represents the first time that the concept of“lived religion” is applied to the ancient history ofreligion and archaeology of religion • Includes cutting-edge data taken from top contemporaryresearchers and theorists in the field • Examines a large variety of themes and religioustraditions across a wide geographical area and chronologicalspan • Written to appeal equally to archaeologists andhistorians of religion

Beware the Evil Eye Volume 3

The Evil Eye in the Bible and the Ancient World--The Bible and Related Sources

Author: John H. Elliott

Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers

ISBN:

Category: Religion

Page: 378

View: 253

The Evil Eye is mentioned repeatedly throughout the Old Testament, Israel's parabiblical writings, and New Testament, with a variety of terms and expressions. The Old Testament (Greek Septuagint) contains no less than fourteen text segments involving some twenty explicit references to the Evil Eye (Deut 15:9; 28:54, 56; Prov 23:6; 28:22; Tob 4:7, 16; Sir 14:3, 6, 8, 9, 10; 18:18; 31:13; 37:11; Wis 4:12; 4 Macc 1:26; 2:15; Ep Jer 69/70). At least three further texts are also likely implied references to an Evil Eye (1 Sam 2:29, 32; 18:9), with some other texts as more distant possibilities. The Evil Eye is mentioned also in the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the writings of Philo and Josephus--all of which are discussed in the following pages. Evil Eye belief and practice continued in the early Jesus movement. Jesus mentions the Evil Eye on more than one occasion (Matt 6:22-23; Luke 11:33-36; Mark 7:22). Paul makes explicit and implicit mention of the Evil Eye in his letter to the Galatians (3:1; 4:12-20). Possible implicit references to the Evil Eye are also examined. Both the common and the distinctive features of biblical Evil Eye belief are identified, along with its operation on multiple levels (biological/physiological, psychological, economic, social, and moral) and its serving a variety of purposes. The numerous references to the Evil Eye in Israel's rabbinic writings and those of postbiblical Christianity (second-sixth centuries CE), together with the material evidence from this period, are examined in volume 4.