The Remarkable Story of an Ancient Color Lost to History and Rediscovered
Author: Baruch Sterman,Judy Taubes Sterman
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.
The Remarkable Story of an Ancient Color Lost to History and Rediscovered
Author: Baruch Sterman
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
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.
Empire, Espionage, and the Quest for the Color of Desire
Author: Amy Butler Greenfield
Publisher: Harper Collins
A Perfect Red recounts the colorful history of cochineal, a legendary red dye that was once one of the world's most precious commodities. Treasured by the ancient Mexicans, cochineal was sold in the great Aztec marketplaces, where it attracted the attention of the Spanish conquistadors in 1519. Shipped to Europe, the dye created a sensation, producing the brightest, strongest red the world had ever seen. Soon Spain's cochineal monopoly was worth a fortune. Desperate to find their own sources of the elusive dye, the English, French, Dutch, and other Europeans tried to crack the enigma of cochineal. Did it come from a worm, a berry, a seed? Could it be stolen from Mexico and transplanted to their own colonies? Pirates, explorers, alchemists, scientists, and spies -- all joined the chase for cochineal, a chase that lasted more than three centuries. A Perfect Red tells their stories -- true-life tales of mystery, empire, and adventure, in pursuit of the most desirable color on earth.
Reflections on a Colour
Author: Carol Mavor
Publisher: Reaktion Books
Category: Social Science
The sea, the sky, the veins of your hands, the earth when photographed from space--blue sometimes seems to overwhelm all the other shades of our world in its all-encompassing presence. The blues of Blue Mythologies include those present in the world's religions, eggs, science, slavery, gender, sex, art, the literary past, and contemporary film. Carol Mavor's engaging and elegiac readings in this beautifully illustrated book takes the reader from the blue of a newborn baby's eyes to Giotto's frescoes at Padua, and from the films of Derek Jarman and Krzysztof Kiéslowski to the islands of Venice and Aran. In each example Mavor unpicks meaning both above and below the surface of culture. In an echo of Roland Barthes' essays in Mythologies, blue is unleashed as our most familiar and most paradoxical color. At once historical, sociological, literary, and visual, Blue Mythologies gives us a fresh and contemplative look into the traditions, tales, and connotations of those somethings blue.
The Art History of a Color
Author: Elena Phipps
Publisher: Metropolitan Museum of Art
From antiquity to the present day, color has been embedded with cultural meaning. Associated with blood, fire, fertility, and life force, the color red has always been extremely difficult to achieve and thus highly prized." "This book discusses the origin of the red colorant derived from the insect cochineal, its early use in Precolumbian ritual textiles from Mexico and Peru, and the spread of the American dyestuff through cultural interchange following the Spanish discovery and conquest of the New World in the 16th century. Drawing on examples from the collections of the Metropolitan Museum, it documents the use of this red-colored treasure in several media and throughout the world.
The Evil Eye in the Bible and the Ancient World--The Bible and Related Sources
Author: John H. Elliott
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
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.
Author: Gil Zohar
Publisher: Mitchell Lane Publishers, Inc.
Culture in Israel is dynamic. Like in America or in Europe, pop culture, though rooted in history, is ever-changing and evolving. In many countries, culture is influenced by the neighboring countries, global immigration, and military heritage. But in the pressure cooker of contemporary Israel, culture changes more quickly than elsewhere. You can see evidence of this ultra-modernity by the country's almost universal cellphone and internet usage, the high percentage of consumers who make purchases online, and the two-thirds of Israelis who traveled outside the country in 2014. Language here reflects this warp-speed change. Welcome to an exploration of one of the world's oldest yet newest cultures, and certainly one of its most vibrant.
The Evil Eye in the Bible and the Ancient World--Introduction, Mesopotamia, and Egypt
Author: John H. Elliott
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
In the "Sermon on the Mount," Jesus of Nazareth makes reference to one of the oldest beliefs in the ancient world--the malignity of an Evil Eye. The Holy Scriptures in their original languages contain no less than twenty-four references to the Evil Eye, although this is obscured by most modern Bible translations. John H. Elliott's Beware the Evil Eye describes this belief and associated practices, its history, its voluminous appearances in ancient cultures, and the extensive research devoted to it over the centuries in order to unravel this enigma for readers who have never heard of the Evil Eye and its presence in the Bible.
Cobalt to Cerulean in Art and Culture
Author: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Blue, the world's favorite color, is elegantly showcased in more than 200 artworks from the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Representing a diversity of movements, cultures, and media that spans the ages and the globe, the objects in Blue range from ancient Egyptian jewelry and traditional Japanese prints to Impressionist paintings and indigo-dyed textiles. Short essays from museum curators on the significance and symbolism of the color at various times and places provide historical context for this visual feast. With page edges dyed blue, this distinctive volume is a bijou treasure.
The History of a Color
Author: Michel Pastoureau
A beautifully illustrated visual and cultural history of the color blue throughout the ages Blue has had a long and topsy-turvy history in the Western world. The ancient Greeks scorned it as ugly and barbaric, but most Americans and Europeans now cite it as their favorite color. In this fascinating history, the renowned medievalist Michel Pastoureau traces the changing meanings of blue from its rare appearance in prehistoric art to its international ubiquity today. Any history of color is, above all, a social history. Pastoureau investigates how the ever-changing role of blue in society has been reflected in manuscripts, stained glass, heraldry, clothing, paintings, and popular culture. Beginning with the almost total absence of blue from ancient Western art and language, the story moves to medieval Europe. As people began to associate blue with the Virgin Mary, the color became a powerful element in church decoration and symbolism. Blue gained new favor as a royal color in the twelfth century and became a formidable political and military force during the French Revolution. As blue triumphed in the modern era, new shades were created and blue became the color of romance and the blues. Finally, Pastoureau follows blue into contemporary times, when military clothing gave way to the everyday uniform of blue jeans and blue became the universal and unifying color of the Earth as seen from space. Beautifully illustrated, Blue tells the intriguing story of our favorite color and the cultures that have hated it, loved it, and made it essential to some of our greatest works of art.
DIY Projects, Hacks, and Upcycles
Author: Chris Peterson
Publisher: Voyageur Press (MN)
Category: House & Home
Why just reuse a bucket when you can reinvent it? Five-gallon buckets are ubiquitous and cheap (indeed, they are often free). But did you know they can also be hacked, hot-rodded, reengineered, and upcycled to create dozens of useful DIY projects for homeowners, gardeners, small-scale farmers, and preppers? 5-Gallon Bucket Book contains 60+ ideas that put these humble and hard-working mainstays to work past their prime and keep them out of landfills. Simple step-by-step instructions, as well as parts lists and images of the completed projects, make sure you will have fun and love the results of your work. Projects include perfect additions to your yard and garden, tools to care for your animals, useful innovations, handy home helpers, and even family-oriented designs! They range from simple things such as chicken feeders to much more complex projects (small room air conditioner, anyone?). For anyone who doesn't already have fifteen of them cluttering up the garage, 5-Gallon Bucket Book also offers advice on where to get cheap and free buckets and how to tell if a bucket is safe to use for food.
Can it Survive?
Author: Richard Cohen
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
The Washington Post's widely syndicated columnist writes a passionate account of his fears and hopes for the survival of Israel.
The History of a Color
Author: Michel Pastoureau
About the history of the color black, its various meanings and representations.
The Evolution of Everything
Author: Adrian Bejan
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
The Physics of Life explores the roots of the big question by examining the deepest urges and properties of living things, both animate and inanimate: how to live longer, with food, warmth, power, movement and free access to other people and surroundings. Bejan explores controversial and relevant issues such as sustainability, water and food supply, fuel, and economy, to critique the state in which the world understands positions of power and freedom. Breaking down concepts such as desire and power, sports health and culture, the state of economy, water and energy, politics and distribution, Bejan uses the language of physics to explain how each system works in order to clarify the meaning of evolution in its broadest scientific sense, moving the reader towards a better understanding of the world's systems and the natural evolution of cultural and political development. The Physics of Life argues that the evolution phenomenon is much broader and older than the evolutionary designs that constitute the biosphere, empowering readers with a new view of the globe and the future, revealing that the urge to have better ideas has the same physical effect as the urge to have better laws and better government. This is evolution explained loudly but also elegantly, forging a path that flows sustainability.
How one man invented a colour that changed the world
Author: Simon Garfield
Publisher: Canongate Books
1856. Eighteen-year-old chemistry student William Perkin's experiment has gone horribly wrong. But the deep brown sludge his botched project has produced has an unexpected power: the power to dye everything it touches a brilliant purple. Perkin has discovered mauve, the world's first synthetic dye, bridging a gap between pure chemistry and industry which will change the world forever. From the fetching ribbons soon tying back the hair on every fashionable head in London, to the laboratories in which scientists first scrutinized the human chromosome under the microscope, leading all the way to the development of modern vaccines against cancer and malaria, Simon Garfield's landmark work swirls together science and social history to tell the story of how one colour became a sensation.
In Pursuit of One of the World's Most Coveted, Sacred, and Mysterious Books
Author: Matti Friedman
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Winner of the 2014 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature A thousand years ago, the most perfect copy of the Hebrew Bible was written. It was kept safe through one upheaval after another in the Middle East, and by the 1940s it was housed in a dark grotto in Aleppo, Syria, and had become known around the world as the Aleppo Codex. Journalist Matti Friedman's true-life detective story traces how this precious manuscript was smuggled from its hiding place in Syria into the newly founded state of Israel and how and why many of its most sacred and valuable pages went missing. It's a tale that involves grizzled secret agents, pious clergymen, shrewd antiquities collectors, and highly placed national figures who, as it turns out, would do anything to get their hands on an ancient, decaying book. What it reveals are uncomfortable truths about greed, state cover-ups, and the fascinating role of historical treasures in creating a national identity.
Author: Jerry Spinelli
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Category: Juvenile Fiction
Jeffrey Lionel "Maniac" Magee might have lived a normal life if a freak accident hadn't made him an orphan. After living with his unhappy and uptight aunt and uncle for eight years, he decides to run--and not just run away, but run. This is where the myth of Maniac Magee begins, as he changes the lives of a racially divided small town with his amazing and legendary feats.
The Most Important Things to Know About the Jewish Religion, Its People, and Its History
Author: Joseph Telushkin
Publisher: Harper Collins
What does it mean to be a Jew? How does one begin to answer so extensive a question? In this insightful and completely updated tome, esteemed rabbi and bestselling author Joseph Telushkin helps answer the question of what it means to be a Jew, in the largest sense. Widely recognized as one of the most respected and indispensable reference books on Jewish life, culture, tradition, and religion, Jewish Literacy covers every essential aspect of the Jewish people and Judaism. In 352 short and engaging chapters, Rabbi Telushkin discusses everything from the Jewish Bible and Talmud to Jewish notions of ethics to antisemitism and the Holocaust; from the history of Jews around the world to Zionism and the politics of a Jewish state; from the significance of religious traditions and holidays to how they are practiced in daily life. Whether you want to know more about Judaism in general or have specific questions you'd like answered, Jewish Literacy is sure to contain the information you need. Rabbi Telushkin's expert knowledge of Judaism makes the updated and revised edition of Jewish Literacy an invaluable reference. A comprehensive yet thoroughly accessible resource for anyone interested in learning the fundamentals of Judaism, Jewish Literacy is a must for every Jewish home.
Author: Victoria Finlay
Publisher: Getty Publications
The history of art is inseparable from the history of color. And what a fascinating story they tell together: one that brims with an all-star cast of characters, eye-opening details, and unexpected detours through the annals of human civilization and scientific discovery. Enter critically acclaimed writer and popular journalist Victoria Finlay, who here takes readers across the globe and over the centuries on an unforgettable tour through the brilliant history of color in art. Written for newcomers to the subject and aspiring young artists alike, Finlay’s quest to uncover the origins and science of color will beguile readers of all ages with its warm and conversational style. Her rich narrative is illustrated in full color throughout with 166 major works of art—most from the collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum. Readers of this book will revel in a treasure trove of fun-filled facts and anecdotes. Were it not for Cleopatra, for instance, purple might not have become the royal color of the Western world. Without Napoleon, the black graphite pencil might never have found its way into the hands of Cézanne. Without mango-eating cows, the sunsets of Turner might have lost their shimmering glow. And were it not for the pigment cobalt blue, the halls of museums worldwide might still be filled with forged Vermeers. Red ocher, green earth, Indian yellow, lead white—no pigment from the artist’s broad and diverse palette escapes Finlay’s shrewd eye in this breathtaking exploration.
Young People's War Diaries, From World War I to Iraq
Author: Zlata Filipovic,Melanie Challenger
Publisher: Penguin Group
Category: Juvenile Nonfiction
From the author of the international bestseller Zlata’s Diary comes a haunting testament to war’s brutality. Zlata Filipovic´’s diary of her harrowing war experiences in the Balkans, published in 1993, made her a globally recognized spokesperson for children affected by conflict. In Stolen Voices, she and co-editor Melanie Challenger have gathered fifteen diaries of young people coping with war, from World War I to the struggle in Iraq that continues today. A profoundly affecting look at shattered youth and the gritty particulars of war in the tradition of Anne Frank, this extraordinary collection – the first of its kind – is sure to leave a lasting impression on young and old readers alike. From the Trade Paperback edition.