Definitions for tyrian purple
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word tyrian purple
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
Also called Tyr′ian dye′. a highly prized purple dye of antiquity, an indigo derivative orig. obtained from a certain shellfish and later synthetically produced.
Category: Textiles, Antiquities
a vivid, purplish red.
a red-purple to deep purple dye obtained from snails or made synthetically
a vivid purplish-red color
A deep purple dyestuff obtained from the bodies of mollusks of the genus Murex
Of a deep purple colour, tinted with red, like that of the dye.
Tyrian purple, also known as royal purple, imperial purple or imperial dye, is a reddish-purple natural dye, which is a secretion produced by certain species of predatory sea snails in the family Muricidae, a type of rock snail by the name Murex. This dye was possibly first used by the ancient Phoenicians as early as 1600 BC. The dye was greatly prized in antiquity because the colour did not easily fade, but instead became brighter with weathering and sunlight. Tyrian purple was expensive: the 4th-century-BC historian Theopompus reported, "Purple for dyes fetched its weight in silver at Colophon" in Asia Minor. The expense meant that purple-dyed textiles became status symbols, and early sumptuary laws restricted their uses. The production of Tyrian purple was tightly controlled in Byzantium and was subsidized by the imperial court, which restricted its use for the colouring of imperial silks, so that a child born to a reigning emperor was porphyrogenitos, "born in the purple", although this term may also refer to the fact that the imperial birthing apartment was walled in the purple-red rock known as porphyry. The dye substance comprises a mucous secretion from the hypobranchial gland of one of several medium-sized predatory sea snails that are found in the eastern Mediterranean. These are the marine gastropods Bolinus brandaris the spiny dyemurex, the banded dye-murex Hexaplex trunculus, and the rock-shell Stramonita haemastoma. The dye is an organic compound of bromine, a class of compounds often found in algae and some other sea life, but much more rarely in the biology of land animals.
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