What Does Blue Mean in Ancient Greece?

Blue is a color that has been used throughout history to convey various meanings and emotions. In ancient Greece, blue was a particularly significant color that held great cultural and religious importance. Understanding the significance of this color can provide valuable insight into the beliefs and values of ancient Greek society.

The Meaning of Blue in Ancient Greece

In ancient Greece, the color blue was associated with the gods, specifically with Zeus, the king of all gods. This association can be seen in many depictions of Zeus, which often show him wearing blue clothing or surrounded by a blue aura.

Beyond its association with the divine, blue also had practical uses in ancient Greek society. It was commonly used to decorate pottery and other household items, as well as clothing and textiles.

The Symbolism of Blue

The symbolism of blue in ancient Greece was multifaceted. On one hand, it represented the heavens and the infinite expanse of the sky. This connection to the celestial realm made it a symbol of spirituality and transcendence.

On another level, blue also represented the sea – an important element in Greek culture due to their reliance on trade and naval power. As such, it symbolized wealth and prosperity.

Additionally, blue was believed to have protective properties – particularly against evil spirits. It was common for people to wear amulets or other items that were dyed with indigo (a type of blue dye) for this purpose.

Blue in Art

Art played an important role in ancient Greek society, and many examples survive from this period that showcase the use of blue. One notable example is found on pottery from the Geometric period (around 900-700 BCE), which often features intricate designs in shades of black and white with accents of red and blue.

Another famous example is found in frescoes from Akrotiri on the island of Santorini. These frescoes, which date back to the Minoan period (around 1700-1450 BCE), feature vivid depictions of blue dolphins and other sea creatures.

Conclusion

In conclusion, blue was a color of great significance in ancient Greece. It represented the divine, the heavens, the sea, and protective properties against evil spirits. Its use in art and everyday objects provides valuable insight into the beliefs and values of this ancient civilization.