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Purple
(582 words)

[German version]

(πορφύρα/porphýra, Lat. purpur) was a dye (Dyeing) used in Antiquity for the manufacture of costly materials and garments. It was obtained from various species of sea-snails (Snails and slugs) living in the Mediterranean; Aristotle devoted lengthy disquisitions to the purple-snail (Aristot. Hist. an. 546b-547b), but the most important ancient description of the creature and the manufacture of the dye is found in Pliny (Plin. HN 9,124-138).

It is likely that the technique of obtaining dye from sea-snails was first developed by the Phoenicians. In the Augustan pe…

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Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel), “Purple”, 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 22 November 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e1014860>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510



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