By Baruch Sterman
For centuries, dyed materials ranked one of the costliest items of the traditional Mediterranean international, fetching as much as 20 occasions their weight in gold. large fortunes have been made up of and misplaced to them, and battles have been fought over regulate of the undefined. The few who knew the dyes’ advanced secrets and techniques rigorously guarded the dear wisdom. The Rarest Blue tells the fantastic tale of tekhelet, or hyacinth blue, the elusive sky-blue dye pointed out 50 instances within the Hebrew Bible. The Minoans came across it; the Phoenicians stole the procedure; Cleopatra cherished it; and Jews—obeying a Biblical commandment to hitch a unmarried thread of the radiant colour to the nook in their garments—risked their lives for it. yet with the autumn of the Roman Empire, the method used to be misplaced to the a long time. Then, within the 19th century, a marine biologist observed a fisherman smearing his blouse with snail guts, marveling because the yellow stains became sky blue. yet what was once the key? while, a Hasidic grasp keen about reviving the traditional culture posited that the resource wasn’t a snail in any respect yet a squid. sour scuffling with ensued until eventually one other rabbi found that one in all them used to be wrong—but had an unscrupulous chemist intentionally deceived him? Baruch Sterman brilliantly recounts the full, striking tale of this sacred dye that modified the colour of history.
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