Brill’s New Pauly

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(332 words)

[German version]

In antiquity, ink took its name from its colour: μέλαν (mélan, literally ‘black’), Lat. atramentum (from ater, ‘black’). In the late-antique Latin period and later in the Byzantine period, the terms énkauston or respectively Lat. encaustum (‘burnt in’) became prevalent. The Latin term tincta (‘bedewed’, ‘dipped’) only appears in the Middle Ages [1. 23 ff.]. References to ink and its production are found in Vitr. De arch. 7,10; Dioscorides 5,162 Wellmann; Plin. HN 35,41. In the Middle Ages, ink production became the topic o…

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Magrini, Sabina, “Ink”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 25 October 2021 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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