Colors in Ancient Greek

Stephen Nelson
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Re: Colors in Ancient Greek

Post by Stephen Nelson » December 7th, 2019, 3:08 am

Thank you so much!!!

Here's a cursory attempt to incorporate those suggestions.

I changed up the ordering of the colors, showing red at either side of the colored bands.

I moved ὑακίνθινον into a spot at the end of the purple spectrum with a little dark blue and black. Maybe that's a better home for it.

I moved θειῶδες into the bottom left corner with some bright yellow grading into μήλινον. I also tapered the edge of ξανθόν to give a bit more of a 'blonde' look in the spectrum

I haphazardly added some footnotes for the spellings of "cyan". I also added a note under οἶνοψ ("Epic").

Now that I have notes, I suppose I've opened Pandora's pithos; so I'll probably have to add a lot more notes to designate time periods with more precision.

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RandallButh
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Re: Colors in Ancient Greek

Post by RandallButh » December 7th, 2019, 3:45 am

I would switch the purple and red bands so that the red is closest to white-black. Then the first two bands would be universal for all languages.
Or you could place white-black at the bottom. Again, the universal base is light~dark~reddish.
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Stephen Nelson
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Re: Colors in Ancient Greek

Post by Stephen Nelson » December 7th, 2019, 4:44 am

Thanks

Here's an updated version. I basically flipped everything around.

I realized too late that you were seemingly suggesting to go light-dark. But it felt natural to go dark-light based on the other gradations. IDK, maybe it's the phrase "black & white" exuding some influence on my subconscious. Or maybe I'm going cross-eyed at that time of the night.

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Brian Gould
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Re: Colors in Ancient Greek

Post by Brian Gould » December 7th, 2019, 12:21 pm

Thank you, Stephen, for your color chart, which I am now referring to in yet another attempt to decode the symbolism of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Having met, in John’s order, first the ἵππος λευκός, followed by the ἵππος πυρρός, then the μέλας, and finally the χλωρός, we are told (in v. 8) that Hades has been given free rein to ἀποκτεῖναι ἐν ῥομφαίᾳ καὶ ἐν λιμῷ καὶ ἐν θανάτῳ καὶ ὑπὸ τῶν θηρίων τῆς γῆς. I have never been able to make out whether the sequence of the four causes of death is intended to match the sequence of the colors, and if so, what the connection might be between the θηρία and the color χλωρός. The commentaries often tell us that χλωρός here is to be understood as the sickly greenish color of a rotting corpse, but that has always struck me as unduly Gothic and melodramatic.

I am also puzzled by the standard translation of θάνατος here as “plague” or “pestilence,” but that isn’t a question about color and it would be drifting too far off topic.
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Stephen Nelson
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Re: Colors in Ancient Greek

Post by Stephen Nelson » December 7th, 2019, 1:20 pm

I've made some minor tweaks.

NOTES:
*οἶνοψ - only attested in Homer (rather than "Epic").
*γλαυκόν & χαροπόν - denote colors only later in Archaic period

The latter is a bit of a mouthful. I just can't quite think of a way to make it more concise, yet clear. Can anyone think of any other notes/clarification that I would be remiss to exclude? I'm very hesitant to overload the graph with text...

I've also added a slightly darker hue between γλαυκόν and χαροπόν, in a feeble attempt to represent the "gray" association with γλαυκόν. But it's probably far from self-evident what that actually represents.

Based on Xenophon, I've added "καρύκινον" to the 'dark-red' section and added a more purple hue to "ὄρφνινον" - since the brownish color I had looked out of place between "πορφυροῦν" and "φοινικοῦν".

That does seem to be the implication in Xenophon's "Cyropaedia" (8.3.3) -
ἐπεὶ δὲ τοῖς κρατίστοις διέδωκε τὰς καλλίστας στολάς, ἐξέφερε δὴ καὶ ἄλλας Μηδικὰς στολάς, παμπόλλας γὰρ παρεσκευάσατο, οὐδὲν φειδόμενος οὔτε πορφυρίδων οὔτε ὀρφνίνων οὔτε φοινικίδων οὔτε καρυκίνων ἱματίων.

And when he had distributed among the noblest the most beautiful garments, he brought out other Median robes, for he had had a great many made, with no stint of purple or sable or red or scarlet or crimson cloaks.
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... g=original

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Devenios Doulenios
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Re: Colors in Ancient Greek

Post by Devenios Doulenios » December 7th, 2019, 10:38 pm

Χαιρε, ω φιλε Στεφανε! Ευχαριστω σοι υπερ το εργον των χρωματων!

This is great, Stephen! This is exactly the sort of everyday vocabulary that is commonly part of the early stage of learning a modern language. Sadly, it typically isn’t common for it to be part of first year Ancient Greek, of any variety.

A while back, I started working on a slideshow presentation of the Greek cardinal numbers 1-10, presenting the vocabulary communicatively, in context. That is, giving the number word with a color phrase and a countable, concrete, everyday object. There are four projected slideshows for the project: one for each gender (3), and one giving the paradigms for the number words and some example sentences drawn from the Greek Bible and other ancient authors. Koine is the focus, but alternate Attic forms are also included.

I put it on the shelf until I could work out some issues with recording the sound files for it. Now that you’ve shared your Greek color palette, I’m wondering if I should re-think some of the color word choices. I’ve only used 3 colors, one for each gender. The following screenshots will show what color words I’ve selected so far:



Image Image Image


I chose ξανθός for “brown” based on the LSJ definition, which gives “brown, auburn” as meanings in addition to “yellow”. I chose ἐρυθρός for “red” based on the references to the “Red Sea” (e.g., Heb. 11:29). As for choice for “white”, it could be that I should refer to the βιβλία as white and gray.

I’m open to suggestions for changes, if any. (I realize now I have a typo in the ξανθός slide: the accent should be grave, not acute. I will fix it in the presentation if I keep that word.)

Meanwhile, thanks again, Stephen, for sharing your work! I wish it had been part of my basic Greek vocabulary learning when I first started. Despite working with Greek for fifty years, most of the vocabulary you’ve presented is new to me. That’s okay. I’m happy to learn it now.

Δεβένιος Δουλένιος
Dewayne Dulaney
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Dewayne Dulaney
Δεβένιος Δουλένιος

Blog: https://letancientvoicesspeak.wordpress.com/

"Ὁδοὶ δύο εἰσί, μία τῆς ζωῆς καὶ μία τοῦ θανάτου."--Διδαχή Α, α'

Stephen Nelson
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Re: Colors in Ancient Greek

Post by Stephen Nelson » December 7th, 2019, 11:21 pm

Thank you for the encouragement. I'm glad you found my work helpful. It's obviously a work in progress and a continual learning experience.
Devenios Doulenios wrote:
December 7th, 2019, 10:38 pm
I chose ξανθός for “brown” based on the LSJ definition, which gives “brown, auburn” as meanings in addition to “yellow”.
Yeah, ξανθός seems to have more of a range than what I've represented. I'll tweak the chart accordingly to represent that fluidity (between brown, beige and yellow).

Your image of ἄρτος (one loaf of bread) could be 'white bread' in modern parlance ('λευκός άρτος' in Katharevousa). But I guess the outer crust is light brown. In any case, ξανθός seems to work with your image. Or you could swap it out with a darker kind of bread and call it ξουθόν, I guess.
Devenios Doulenios wrote:
December 7th, 2019, 10:38 pm
I chose ἐρυθρός for “red” based on the references to the “Red Sea” (e.g., Heb. 11:29).
Sure. But the colors you chose look a little purple to me. Maybe it's just how it's rendering on my computer screen. But it's obviously a little subjective.

I suppose you could try "τρεῖς φοινικαῖ σφαῖραι" and it would work with the color you have. It's almost close to "pink" (ῥόδιναι). But if you're trying to drill "red" in particular, maybe just darken the color a little in the slide? Or you can just leave it as is. It gets the job done.
Devenios Doulenios wrote:
December 7th, 2019, 10:38 pm
As for choice for “white”, it could be that I should refer to the βιβλία as white and gray.
Βιβλία (scrolls) doesn't seem like the best object choice for "white" or even "gray". At least it's a little hard (for me) to imagine "white scrolls". Maybe try some "white horses" or something more simple? But you obviously have white pages on your slide, so it works.
Devenios Doulenios wrote:
December 7th, 2019, 10:38 pm
I’m open to suggestions for changes, if any. (I realize now I have a typo in the ξανθός slide: the accent should be grave, not acute. I will fix it in the presentation if I keep that word.)
Good catch. That's the only typo I see :)
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Stephen Nelson
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Re: Colors in Ancient Greek

Post by Stephen Nelson » December 9th, 2019, 3:23 pm

Here's a very slight revision to my Ancient Greek Color Palette that incorporates a bit more 'brown' into the spectrum of ξανθόν, along with a lighter 'gray' hue in between γλαυκόν and χαραπόν.

My lingering doubt is regarding whether or not κόκκινον should be set dead center in the 'bright red' box. If there were any evidence that κόκκινον were equivalent/interchangeable with ἐρυθρόν, I would be persuaded to shift things around. But the brighter hue corresponding with the 'red' in the rainbow seems to be appropriate.

I'm basing this inference on the following:

STRONGS NT 2847 -
κόκκινος, κοκκινη, κόκκινον (from κόκκος a kernel, the grain or berry of the ilex coccifera; these berries are the clusters of eggs of a female insect, the kermes ((cf. English carmine, crimson)), and when collected and pulverized produce a red which was used in dyeing, Pliny, h. n. 9, 41, 65; 16, 8, 12; 24, 4), crimson, scarlet-colored: Matthew 27:28; Hebrews 9:19; Revelation 17:3. neuter as a substantive equivalent to scarlet cloth or clothing: Revelation 17:4; Revelation 18:12, 16 (Genesis 38:28; Exodus 25:4; Leviticus 14:4, 6; Joshua 2:18; 2 Samuel 1:24; 2 Chronicles 2:7, 14; Plutarch, Fab. 15; φόρειν κόκκινα, scarlet robes, Epictetus diss. 4, 11, 34; ἐν κοκκινοις περιπατεῖν, 3, 22, 10). Cf. Winers RWB under the word Carmesin; Roskoff in Schenkel i., p. 501f; Kamphausen in Riehm, p. 220; (B. D. under the word Colors, II. 3).

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Devenios Doulenios
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Re: Colors in Ancient Greek

Post by Devenios Doulenios » December 10th, 2019, 10:18 am

Hi Stephen,

Thanks for the helpful feedback! Yes, I chose ξανθός for the bread because of the crust color. I'll keep it and the choice for red for now. As for λευκος, you're right that it doesn't go as well with βιβλιον, although the one pictured does look that way. It is, of course, an idealized one. In this case, I'm doing the neuter forms of the numbers, so a neuter countable noun and adjective are needed. I've decided to change the noun to ιερόν, "temple", as λευκός works fine with that. After all, many of them were faced with white marble. It is suggested that some were then also brightly painted, but I need not get into that. The main idea is to provide a memorable context for learning the number words.

I'll also need to change the citation form for the Biblical references (in the example sentences). This was becauseI learned that chapter and verse numbers should be given as ordinals, not cardinals. And there is still the audio issue to work out. But I hope to get things finished by sometime next year.

I would love to have the opportunity to teach Greek directly, in a classroom or to individuals. Living in a small rural community as I do, though, the interest isn't there. So I hope to provide some materials like this to help teach indirectly. That, and articles I write for my blog.

Your color chart is really useful, Stephen, and I look forward to learning the vocabulary better with this new tool.
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Dewayne Dulaney
Δεβένιος Δουλένιος

Blog: https://letancientvoicesspeak.wordpress.com/

"Ὁδοὶ δύο εἰσί, μία τῆς ζωῆς καὶ μία τοῦ θανάτου."--Διδαχή Α, α'

Stephen Nelson
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Re: Colors in Ancient Greek

Post by Stephen Nelson » December 12th, 2019, 2:32 am

I've cross-posted this to the Textkit Greek Forum for additional feedback.

I've already received a helpful suggestion to add ὠχρόν (pale or yellow). But I'm tempted to shift it further right onto the border with χλωρόν.

I'll put the update here as a remote image reference. That way I can just update the image remotely without having to continual post new images in new posts.

Image
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