Edward Hopkins here addresses and debunks the color theory, which assumes that ancient peoples were unable to perceive shades of green and blue because they lack vocabulary parallel to our own words for color.
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Edward Hopkins was a noted scholar of Sanskrit literature and here addresses the so-called color theory, which assumes that the human eye was incapable three or four thousand years ago of perceiving certain colors of the spectrum (chiefly green and blue) that are now clearly seen and distinguished. This has since been shown to be untrue, more an artifact of different ways of describing color used in ancient sources and indeed the fact that culture often determines how color is discussed and perceived. This paper presents this interesting issue clearly and concisely and is useful as both an introduction to discussions of color in ancient texts and a targeted analysis of color in Vedic literature/