In ancient times there was the color blue, and you can disappear again

It is difficult to imagine, however, the color blue in human history appeared relatively recently. The ancients did not know such a concept. For example, in the “Odyssey” of Homer , the sea was “the color of the dark wine” and the sheep were purple! Why did this happen? How the world was different in ancient times?

In Great.guru we try to understand what was wrong with the perception of color in the ancient people and for what for someone, something that has no name, does not exist.

For the first time, William Ewart Gladstone, noticing an unusual coloration of the objects in the poems of Homer (sheep purple and honey green) hesitate about the perception of colour in antiquity. After calculating all the references of that book, he discovered that the white and the black were appointed about 300 times, while the red, yellow and green, not more than 30. Other texts of that time also was limited to these shades. What is that in the world of the ancient greeks alone there were 5 colors? Yes and no.

The philologist Lazarus Geiger continued the work of Gladstone and found that the number of tones as limited was a feature of all ancient civilizations. Or in the icelandic sagas, nor in the Qur’an, nor in the writing of the Chinese, we found a single mention of the color blue. For example, in the hymns of hindu vedic is a description of the sky many times, but not once mentions his color.

Studying the ancient texts, Geiger, also found that the names of the colors appeared in the language little by little. First were the white and the black to determine the light and the darkness, then the red, the color of blood and only after the yellow. It is difficult for us to imagine, but the civilizations of before simply not evolved in their time, to understand the color blue, not unlike the dark and green.

The only culture that differentiated it among the other was the egyptian. Also created by blue paint, what they did not do their contemporaries.

After the theoretical justification of the hypothesis, it was necessary requiring it experimentally. The investigator Guy Deutscher was a curious experience. Raised her daughter trying not to mention the color of the sky, and once asked him in that tone was. The girl could not answer, was colorless to her. Only after a time came to the conclusion that it was blue.

This raises an interesting question: can a person see a color which you do not know the name? A tone that has no name. On the basis of this thought, the scientist Jules Davidoff conducted an experiment in Namibia on the tribe Himba, in whose language there is no difference between blue and green.

He showed them a circle with 11 green squares, one of which was heavenly. The majority of the tribe could not find differences, while others needed much more time than a modern man with a view, incredibly bad.

However, in Himba to distinguish a lot more shades of green than the English and have an own name for each one of them . Watching 11 green squares, one of which was slightly different in color than the other, they were able to name it instantly.

Can you?

What did you accomplish?

Do you give up? For many of us, this is really difficult.

From this experiment, we can conclude that until there is a word that defines the color, it is difficult for us to identify you. The ancient could see the blue, but simply didn’t understand what they were watching. Of course, all the tones are there originally in our world, just with the time, the human brain develops and becomes able to see and distinguish them. However, if there were a global catastrophe and the level of intelligence of the people to decline drastically, humanity could again return to the original spectrum.

Just a question global one remains open. If you see one thing, but do not know it, does it exist? Do you see something that has no name and no analogy?

Look at the world around you! Can you imagine that you do not see the color blue or not distinges of the green? Share your opinion in the comments.

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