תמונות בעמוד
[blocks in formation]

Blue, non, techeleth, generally supposed to mean an azure or sky colour, rendered by the Septuagint, vaxıbov, and by the Vulgate, hyacinthum, a sky-blue or deep violet.

“PURPLE, 1927X, argamen, a very precious colour, extracted from the purpura, or murex, a species of shell-fish, from which, it is supposed, the famous Tyrian purple came, so costly, and so much celebrated in antiquity.

“SCARLET, nosin, tolaath, signifies a worm of which this colouring matter was made ; and, joined with ''w, shani, which signifies to repeat or double, implies that to strike this colour, the wool or cloth was twice dipped; hence the Vulgate renders the original.coccum bis tinctum,' 'scarlet twice dyed ;' and to this Horace refers, Odar. lib. ii. od. 16, v. 35:

Te BIs Afro
Vestiunt LAN X.

*Thy robes the twice-dyed purple stains,"


“It is the same colour which the Arabs call al kermez, whence the French cramoisi, and the English crimson.”

Fine linen, or fine-twined linen, follows next among the articles enumerated, and here it is curious that this article is always mentioned in connexion with the scarlet colour, as if that texture (which some suppose to be silk) was dyed scarlet. The very obvious and striking similarity of these colours, as shown by their derivations, and in particular that of the twice-dyed scarlet, to the account of the Roman naturalist, is so plain and distinct that it requires little comment.

But there are other substances mentioned in this description that claim our attention :

“ Goat's-hair, S7, izzim, goats, but used here elliptically, for goat'shair. In different parts of Asia Minor, Syria, Cilicia, and Phrygia, the goats have long, fine, and beautiful hair,-in some cases almost as fine as silk, which they shear at proper times, and manufacture into garments. From Virgil, Geor. iii. v. 305, we learn that goat's-hair, manufactured into cloth, was nearly of equal value with that formed from wool.

• For hairy goats of equal profit are
With woolly sheep, and ask an equal care.
'Tis true the fleece, when drunk with Tyrian juice,
Is dearly sold,' &c.


“ Ram's-SKINS DYED RED, 097892 ob 17), oroth eglim meoddamim, literally the skins of red rams ;'" and these the learned commentator supposes to have been of a violet colour, and that such was the

[blocks in formation]

Datural colour of the fleece; and, to this effect, he quotes the passage in
Homer's Odyss. lib. ix. v. 425 :-

** Strong were the rams, with native purple fair,
Well fed, and largest of the fleecy care."

And again, in Virgil, Eclog. iv. v. 43:-

" With native purple or unborrowed gold,
Beneath his pompous fleece shall proudly sweat,
And under Tyrian robes the lamb shall bleat."

DRYDEN. I cannot subscribe to this, as no such sheep are known to inhabit any of these countries. If they really were of a violet colour, it is not improbable that they may have been dipped in the Tyrian dye ; but the sheep that now inhabit Syria and Asia Minor, that in any way differ from the common, are of a reddish fawn, or chocolate colour. This peculiar tint is sought for, among the Mooslims, even at the present day, and is sometimes produced artificially. Thus Captains Irby and Mangles arrived at an encampment of the Jellaheen Arabs, near El Baid, beyond Hebron; among whom was a tailor, making sheep-skin coats, which were dyed red with ochre, or some such clay colouring matter.

“ BADGER’S-SKINS, D'inn nyv, oroth techashim. Few terms have afforded greater perplexity to critics and commentators than this. Bochart has exhausted the subject, and seems to have proved that no kind of animal is here intended, but a colour. None of the ancient versions acknowledge an animal of any kind, except the Chaldee, which seems to think the badger is intended, and from it we have borrowed our translation of the word. The Septuagint and Vulgate have, skins dyed a violet colour; the Syriac, azure; the Arabic, black; the Coptic, violet ; the modern Persian, ram'sskins, &c. The colour contended for by Bochart is the hysginus, which is a very deep blue. So Pliny, Coccoque tinctum Tyrio tingere, ut fieret hysginum. “They dip crimson in purple to make the colour called hysginus.'- Hist. Nat. Lib. IX. c. 65."

In the coverings of the Tabernacle, mentioned in the 26th chapter, the “fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet,” are again brought before us, the latter as being the colours of which each of the four curtains were dyed, and were, in all probability, placed in the following numerical order :— The first, or outermost, was a stuff of goat's-hair, and was, in all probability, blue. The second was of "ram's-skins dyed red;". this was a plain red. The third was of “ Badger's-skins,” and most likely purple, violet, or hysginus ; and the fourth, of “fine twined linen," was scarlet, and seems to have been a diaper, or embroidery, termed in Scripture “cunning work.” Besides these distinct textures of different hues, there may have been, in some cases, an intermixture of them, in the manner of embroidery, as in the instance of the veil, and the hanging for the door of the tent, "of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine-twined linen, wrought with needle-work." (v. 36.)

[blocks in formation]

In after times, Josephus informs us that this veil " was a Babylonish curtain, embroidered with blue, and fine linen, and scarlet, and purple, and of a contexture that was truly wonderful. Nor was this mixture of colours without its mystical interpretation, but was a kind of image of the universe ; for, by the scarlet there seemed to be enigmatically signified fire, by the fine flax the earth, by the blue the air, and by the purple the sea-two of them having their colours the foundation of this resemblauce; but the fine flax and the purple have their own origin for that foundation, the earth producing the one, the sea the other."-Josephus' Wars of the Jews, b. v. ch. v. s. 4.

To the Rev. George Sidney Smith, Professor of Biblical Greek in our University, I am indebted for the following account of the names of some of the colours used by the Hebrews and other Oriental nations :

“ In Isaiah i. 18, we find the word porn.xoữe of the Septuagint rendered scarlet ; and xoxxivoy crimson. The corresponding Hebrew words are Dyw (Shaneem), and when (Thola). There is no difficulty, of course, in recognizing in xoxxos, or xoxxivos, the dye called kermes. The worm which yields this dye, is, in Hebrew, Thola vermis. However, in 2 Chron. ii. 7, xoxxos answers to suppo (Carmeel), which is the same as the Arabic ; %, kermes, the Persian kerm, and sanscrit krimi ; and from the same root came crimson, carmine, carmoisi, &c. in modern tongues. But the Arabic letters Kaf and Fe(3, 3) differ only by one having a single dot over it, and the other, two dots; the one, in fact, being a digammated form of the other; so that the Arabic kermes easily passes into vermes, from which comes vermillion and its cognates.

But xexx85 also frequently answers to the Hebrew yw (Shanee), and to ww nybin (Tholahath Shanee); the meaning, however, of Shanee is disputed. It properly means duo, two ; and hence, is often put as equivalent to twice dyed, dibaphum. But as this operation of double dying was properly belonging to the manufacturer of purple, and not of scarlet, the best authorities, such, as Braun, Bochart, &c. dispute this sense. bably, it comes from an Arabic root, shanah, splenduit. The Syriac name for coccus, Zehoree, comes likewise from Zahar, splenduit.

Purple is called, in Hebrew, an 29% (Argäman.) It was 'color sanguinis concreti,' as is collected from the Rabbin. The word is derived, by Bochart, •quasi Armagon or Aramgevan,' from Aram, Syrian, and Gon or Gevan, the common Syriac for colour.' Gesenius objects to this, as against the analogy of Shemitic compounds, in which the genitive should follow, and not precede the nominative, and proposes some conjectural derivations, not very satisfactory.

“From the mixture of the scarlet of the xoxzos, and the purple, (Argaman,) was produced a compound called, vorivos, or, in Syriac, Sasgon which means, worm-colour-00 (Sus,) being a worm.

“But there was another important colour derived also from the sea. This was called nbon (Thechēlet), translated úmxolos and óhorogpuper by the Septua

Most pro

[blocks in formation]

gint, and is described as being the cærulean, or deep blue of the skyindigo, as we should say.

“ This Thechēlet, or deep blue, was obtained from a molluscous animal called 797567 (Chilzon), whether a buccinum or not, I do not know, (perhaps, Buccinum Lapillus.) The Rabbins say, that as the animal grows, its shell grows with it, which leaves no doubt as to its molluscous nature, and is against the supposition of its being a kind of Sepia, as some think.

“ The Rabbins, however, have many fables about this Chilzon—such as, that it rises to the surface of the sea every seventy years.

And one of their questions was, “Does a man commit one sin, or several, who crushes a live chilzon, for the sake of the dye, on the Sabbath-day! And the passage, Deut. x. xxiii. 19, 'They shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid in the sand,' is paraphrased in the Targum of Jonathan, “They shall feed on abundance of the Taritha, (a delicious fish of the Thunny kind,) and catch numbers of the chilzön!

“Maimonides gives an account of the manufacture of Thechēlet from the chilzon. There is nothing very important in it; the wool was steeped and washed, and then the blood of the chilzön, with various dyer's drugs, was poured on it, till it was the colour of the sky.

“No other blue would answer for sacred use but this; and the command of Moses, Numbers xv. 38, “To put on the fringe of the garment a ribbon of blue,' is now disobeyed by the Jews, because they have lost the art of dying from the chilzon.

“The purple (Argaman) and the hyacinth, or conchylium (Thechēlet) are constantly distinguished by ancient writers. Vitruvius states, (but I do not know with what authority,) that the purple was made 'ex buccino et conchylio admisto ;' but that the colour called conchylium was

ex solo conchylio.'

“Another red colour was called xan Laca, and was principally employed in dying leather ; perhaps not unlike the present morocco leather. It was called, too, x3370 (Sarlaca) or Tyrian red; and this word Sarlaca affords the most probable derivation that I have met for our word Scarlet. The Laca was, I think, obtained from some kind of alga; 790 (Phook) is the Hebrew word for fucus, which is plainly derived from it."

The chilzon may be a species of serpula, of which I found such numbers on the coast of Tyre, the interior of which were stained a purple colour.

The engraving at page 379 exhibits a fragment of the breccia of shells that I obtained in the mills or dye-pots sunk in the rocks at Tyre, of which no doubt can now exist, but that they are portions of the Murex Trunculus ; and those at page 380 show a recent specimen of the same shell, from the coast about Smyrna, and a smaller one of the same kind, which I picked up on the strand near the Tyrian peninsula.

The larger Murex belongs to my friend Mr. R. Ball, who, on my show.

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

ing him the breccia, at once produced this shell, as being the saine as those broken-up pieces in the conglomerate.

No doubt, a dyeing material can be obtained from a variety of turbinated shells, that have a very large geographical distribution. Fabius Columna seems, however, to be the first who supposed that the Murex Trunculus was the actual shell, and since his day, this opinion has been adopted by Cuvier and Lamark; and experiments were performed on different shells, but particularly the Buccinum Lapillus of Linnæus, by Reaumur and Duhamel, to show how the dye could be obtained; but the opinions of authors amount, at best, to a well-founded supposition, and might as well have applied to any of the several varieties of mollusca that afford a colouring matter; whereas, the fact of finding the shell in the actual dyeing-pots at Tyre, appears to set this disputed question at rest. This dye appears to have been in use up to the introduction of Christianity; for, besides that a Syrophænician woman is represented as a seller of purple, the elder Pliny, from whom I have already quoted so largely, flourished seventy-nine years after the birth of Christ. After this, we have no account of the manufacture ; probably it declined with the decay of its native city, and even at the time of the Roman naturalist a substitute had been found in the Kermes procured from the Coccus Ilicis, a parasitic insect found upon the evergreen oak. The dye then seems to have been lost; until, upon the discovery of India and the New World, equivalents for it were found in indigo and cochineal. Da Costa was of opinion that the liquor of the purple-marking whelk of Cornwall (Buccinum Lapillus) was a valuable dye to the ancient English, and quotes the venerable Bede, who lived in the seventh century. “ There are,” says Bede, “snails in very great abundance, from which a scarlet or crimson dye is made, whose elegant redness never fades, either by the heat of the sun or the injuries of rain; but the older it is, the more elegant.”Bede Eccles. Hist. L. 1, c. 1. p. 227.

From my friend, George Finlay, Esq. of Athens, who kindly undertook to make inquiries for me with regard to the ancient manufacture of the Tyrian dye upon the coast of Elis, I have lately received the following communication :

“ That no tradition of any kind exists in Greece, which ascends back for centuries, I can safely say, as I have paid a good deal of attention to searching for the traditions of the country, in every part of it, and I have seldom found any traces which ascended more than a few generations. I have, however, for some time been engaged in writing a history of the Hellenic people, from the decline of the Roman empire to the present time, and I find frequent mention of the manufactures of the Peloponnesus. The Jewish traveller, Benjamin of Tudela, who yisited Greece in the twelfth century, mentions also a Jewish colony of 2,000 persons, which was established at Thebes, and carried on an extensive silk manufactory, and purple dyeing. In the life of Basil, the Macedonian, by the Emperor

« הקודםהמשך »