Difference between revisions of "Imperial Purple"

From Cunnan
Jump to navigationJump to search
m (Poryphyry moved to Imperial Purple: The title Poryphyry is confusing, since that name usually refers to a mineral-- it's also misspelled)
(Substantial rewrite)
Line 1: Line 1:
'''Poryphyry''' is a deep [[purple]] [[dye]] made from the marine snail ''Haustellum brandaris''.  Rare and expensive, since ancient [[Rome|Roman]] times, it has been the colour of Emperors, and restricted to their use alone.  Varying shades of purple can be created by watering down the dye, and an entire heirarchy of shadings developed in [[Constantiople]] to depict social standingHowever, if an over-ambitious [[courtier]] should happen to wear a shade too close to the Imperial poryphyry, punishments ranged from exile to death.
+
Imperial Purple (also known as Tyrian Purple) is a deep [[red]] colour resulting from a [[dye]] extracted from the marine snail ''Haustellum brandaris''.  Only kings, noblemen, high-ranking church officials and judges were able to afford this rare and expensive luxury, and in the Roman Republic, there were strict regulations, based on the wearer's rank and status, on how much of this purple an article of clothing could containRestrictions tightened when the emperor came to rule, as emperors were distinguished by wearing togae purpurae, purple togas; hence the phrase "to don the purple" for the assumption of imperial dignity
  
Poryphyry was the only source of purple dye until the nineteenth century, when synthetic dyes were developed. Therefore, the custom of royalty wearing poryphyry was adopted by many other [[European]] peoples as a mark of royalty in imitiation of the Roman practice.
+
As the Roman Empire weakened, and other dyes such as lichen purple and madder became more widely available and less expensive, the use of Tyrian purple declined.  It ceased as an industry in 1453 with the conquer of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks (1). Throughout the Renaissance, the dye became even more uncommon. The so-called “Cardinal's Purple,” was really the first luxury dye of the Renaissance- scarlet extracted from the [[kermes]] insect.  
  
 
The [[SCA]] places no restrictions on wearing or using the colour purple in its [[garb]] or [[heraldry]].
 
The [[SCA]] places no restrictions on wearing or using the colour purple in its [[garb]] or [[heraldry]].
 
[[category:dyes]]
 
[[category:dyes]]

Revision as of 16:34, 22 August 2008

Imperial Purple (also known as Tyrian Purple) is a deep red colour resulting from a dye extracted from the marine snail Haustellum brandaris. Only kings, noblemen, high-ranking church officials and judges were able to afford this rare and expensive luxury, and in the Roman Republic, there were strict regulations, based on the wearer's rank and status, on how much of this purple an article of clothing could contain. Restrictions tightened when the emperor came to rule, as emperors were distinguished by wearing togae purpurae, purple togas; hence the phrase "to don the purple" for the assumption of imperial dignity

As the Roman Empire weakened, and other dyes such as lichen purple and madder became more widely available and less expensive, the use of Tyrian purple declined. It ceased as an industry in 1453 with the conquer of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks (1). Throughout the Renaissance, the dye became even more uncommon. The so-called “Cardinal's Purple,” was really the first luxury dye of the Renaissance- scarlet extracted from the kermes insect.

The SCA places no restrictions on wearing or using the colour purple in its garb or heraldry.