The importance of the color scarlet to ancient rome


Ad Honorem
Oct 2016
Interesting ... now we are being 'watched' after my post ... but not due to the above 'fight' .

I think I will leave this thread before it gets too 'scarlet' in the face .
Oct 2013
Planet Nine, Oregon
So you're saying scarlet and purple were both made from this dye
. He's saying the dyes are totally different.
Tyrian Purple:

Tyrian Purple, genuine | KREMER-made and historic Pigments | Pigments | Kremer Pigments Inc.

Kermes (insect) - Wikipedia
or the nearly identical chemical from:
Cochineal - Wikipedia

Also madder root was used to make deep reds:
Rubia tinctorum - Wikipedia

And, since red & blue make purple, a garment could be dyed with madder AND indigo (blue) in a reduction bath, to make purple!
Indigo dye - Wikipedia

The edging on the helmets seen here is goat leather dyed with cochineal and a bit of madder = scarlet, a "cool" (bluish) red.
Likes: specul8
Jan 2015
Well! Um, just to clarify or muddy a few issues, "scarlet" is a dangerous word because in the 18th century when many of our translations were done, it simply meant "bright". So, NO, Caesar is not known to have worn a red cloak, the Latin simply says it was brightly colored. "Scarlet" is a bad translation. It was indeed distinctive enough in some way that his men recognized him at a distance--that was an effect, not necessarily a deliberate purpose. So be careful with translations of colors, they could be wildly inaccurate. Things like this are particularly rife in Bible translations, so it is always best to go to the original language and pick it apart carefully. And then find some good studies on culture, etc., because it may just be that "scarlet" was not considered a fashionable color for *women in Babylon*. Nothing necessarily to do with Rome at all.

Kermes red was an expensive dye, much purer and brighter than madder. Madder was cheap, and made more of a yellowish or orangey red. (It's the same dye used for British soldiers' coats in the 18th and 19th centuries.) Now, just what the Romans or any modern scholars might define as "scarlet" or "crimson" or any other shade is a matter of huge debate, not easily solved. And while colors *did* have significance in some contexts, sometimes they were just colors.

Jul 2016
All right, that's enough. It's been dealt with. Next time , report him and then put him on ignore.
Sorry, that was within minutes of the death threat email. I'd googled his username and read some of the other things he posted in other forums on the internet, figured the advice was warranted.

Also, how was this dealt with? Not seeing the user temporary suspended, let alone banned.