Before the invention of writing, cinnabar pigments

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Before the invention of writing, cinnabar pigments

Post by jancancook on Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:51 am

Before the invention of writing, cinnabar pigments were used by humans. This is evidenced across the Old World, east (China, India (as Sindoor)) to west (Spain). As minium it was ancient Rome's most valued pigment[citation needed]. Grateful Romans led victorious generals in procession to Capitolinus Temple, the victors' faces covered with minium, honoring the vermilion visage of Jupiter upon Capitoline Hill. Pliny the Elder records that it became so expensive that the price became fixed by decree- 70 sesterces per libum,[4]-- ten times more costly than red ochre.
From ancient times vermilion was regarded as the color of life (i.e., blood). Cinnabar provided the ubiquitous "China red", coloring Chinese life from the palatial red lacquers to the printing-pastes for personal name chops, and a unique red calligraphic ink reserved for Emperors. Chinese Taoists associated vermillion with eternity.


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