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Essays in Global Color History


Interpreting the Ancient Spectrum


Edited by Rachael B. Goldman
A collection of essays discussing historical, cultural and social aspects of color in the Ancient World and Pre-Columbian America (circa 3000 B.C.- 1000 A.D.).
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-0582-9
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Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Oct 14,2016
Interior Color: Black with Color Inserts
Trim Size: 7 x 10
Page Count: 349
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0582-9
$60.00

This collection of 13 interdisciplinary essays (3000 B.C.- 600 A.D) examines a wide range of topics, examining the use and cultural significance of color in the Ancient World. A unifying theme of these essays is that they examine which colors were preferred in ancient cultures, what social and cultural meanings were attached to them, and how we can gain a greater understanding of these cultures by examining how they used and perceived color. After an introduction, the essays will cover the civilizations of Ancient China, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Mesoamerica, and the Islamic world. This set of essays will explore how color was used in art (as in sculpture and maps) and cultural attitudes towards color, especially colored clothing and color as applied to physiognomic ideals. This volume addresses the subject of color in an interdisciplinary, world historical approach, including China and Mesopotamia and the Middle East, as well as Mesopotamia and the Classical World.






Cover: Six pottery bowls containing colored paints. Roman, of Egyptian manufacture. 1st century, A.D. Found in a tomb at Hawara, Egypt. © The Trustees of the British Museum.

This collection of 13 interdisciplinary essays (3000 B.C.- 600 A.D) examines a wide range of topics, examining the use and cultural significance of color in the Ancient World. A unifying theme of these essays is that they examine which colors were preferred in ancient cultures, what social and cultural meanings were attached to them, and how we can gain a greater understanding of these cultures by examining how they used and perceived color. After an introduction, the essays will cover the civilizations of Ancient China, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Mesoamerica, and the Islamic world. This set of essays will explore how color was used in art (as in sculpture and maps) and cultural attitudes towards color, especially colored clothing and color as applied to physiognomic ideals. This volume addresses the subject of color in an interdisciplinary, world historical approach, including China and Mesopotamia and the Middle East, as well as Mesopotamia and the Classical World.






Cover: Six pottery bowls containing colored paints. Roman, of Egyptian manufacture. 1st century, A.D. Found in a tomb at Hawara, Egypt. © The Trustees of the British Museum.

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Contributor Biography

Rachael Goldman

Dr. Rachael Goldman is a historian of the Ancient Mediterranean and Ancient Near East. She has published on the subject of ancient color and social and cultural history. She has won awards for her work from the New York Classical Club, The College Art Association, and The Association of Greek and Latin Epigraphers. Her recent book Color-Terms in Social and Cultural Context in Ancient Rome was published by Gorgias Press, 2013. Another article, “The Multicolored World of the Romans” is forthcoming from the journal Glotta in 2015. Her current research involves the color analysis of mosaics in Galilean Synagogues.

  • Table of Contents (page 7)
  • Acknowledgments (page 9)
  • Notes on Contributors (page 11)
  • List of Illustrations (page 15)
  • Abbreviations (page 17)
  • Introduction (page 19)
  • Part I. The Ancient Near East: Unraveling the Color Terminology for the Divine, the Sublime and the Ordinary (page 25)
    • The Color of Fortune: The Role of Color in Mesopotamian Divination (Duane E. Smith) (page 27)
    • Colorful Garments of Mesopotamian Stone Statues (Astrid Nunn) (page 49)
    • The Color Blue as an 'Animator' in Ancient Egyptian Art (Lorelei H. Corcoran) (page 59)
    • The Origins, Development, Diffusion and Significance of Early Color Terminology (David A. Warburton) (page 83)
  • Part II. The Classical World: Reconfiguring the Human Face and Body (page 113)
    • The Materiality of Color in Ancient Mediterranean Art (Jennifer M. S. Stager) (page 115)
    • Gold, and Purple: Brilliance, Materiality and Agency of Color in Ancient Greece (Adeline Grand-Clement) (page 139)
    • Mens's Cosmetics in Plato and Xenophon (Velvet Yates) (page 157)
    • Plautus' and Terence's Colorful Pimps and Slaves (Rachael B. Goldman) (page 181)
    • Color and Clothing in Artemidoros' Dream Visions (Denise Reitzenstein) (page 207)
    • Meaning and Materiality: Early Christian Theology of Color and Pagan Aesthetics (Kunibert Bering) (page 223)
  • Part III. Asia and America: Interweaving New Worlds and Exploring Traditions (page 241)
    • Perceptions of Color in Islamic Texts and Traditions with Special Reference to Shi'i Sources (Majid Daneshgar) (page 243)
    • Ancient Chinese 'Five Colors' Theory: What Does Its Semantic Analysis Reveal? (Victoria Bogushevskaya) (page 257)
    • Aztec Reds: Investigating the Materiality of Color and Meaning in a Pre-Columbian Society (Elodie Dupey Garcia) (page 277)
  • Bibliography (page 297)
  • Index (page 343)
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