Homer left historians with the impression that the ancient Greeks and Romans had an underdeveloped appreciation of colour. The ancients, in fact, were a shade more sophisticated than that and understood colour in a completely different way to us, argues Mark Bradley.
People in ancient cultures saw colour in an altogether different way from you and me. The most famously perplexing description of colour in the ancient Mediterranean world is the 'wine-dark sea' in The Iliad and The Odyssey. Have you ever looked at the sea and thought that it was the colour of claret?
One of the first people to argue that the ancient Greeks had an under-developed colour sense was a 19th century British prime minister. As well as being a politician, William Gladstone was a classics scholar and in his spare time did a study of colour usage in early Greek literature.Read the rest of this article...
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