101

If Homer talks about the dark-wine sea, it seems he also talks about the "blue eyebrows of Poseidon". You can read here about Homer's colorful descriptions that helped orators remember the verses of his poems. κυανό is known to be "blue" for ancient greeks and became "cyan" in english. In this book about Homer writing, κυανό entry represents "smalt, blue ...


89

The first claim is based on the research of Berlin and Kay "Basic Color Terms", which posits the hypothesis that languages evolve colour terms in the following order, and therefore that ancient languages did not possess separate terms for blue and green: Stage I: Dark-cool and light-warm Stage II: Red Stage III: Either green or yellow Stage IV: Both green ...


31

Ancient Hebrew has the word תכלת for blue (or more specifically, azure), as attested to in the Bible: Numbers 15:38: Speak to the children of Israel and you shall say to them that they shall make for themselves fringes on the corners of their garments, throughout their generations, and they shall affix a thread of sky blue [wool] on the fringe of each ...


16

What a case of sneaky reporting! Let's dissect the sequence of events in detail: A Croatian girl learns German (enough to read books and watch movies). Her parents don't think she is very good. They are not German experts though. She goes in a coma, wakes up and speaks German but not Croatian. The hospital director makes a very generic declaration, e.g. "...


15

This addresses the second claim. There are 4 types of photoreceptive neurons in your eye. One is the rod, which is sensitive to green but creates a black/white percept (for "scotopic" or night-adjusted vision) and the other 3 are cones with various types of rhodopsin, a receptor that is sensitive to photons. In a normal, unmutated (non-colorblind) person, ...


14

Most likely no. X is one of many symbols used for unknowns throughout the history of mathematics, and comes from a notation in the 1600's that used several other letters alongside X. Some Arab mathematicians used the Arabic word for 'thing' to represent an unknown, however it was several hundred years between that and X becoming popular, with many other ...


13

I was waiting for somebody with much better understanding of linguistics theory to take a stab at this. But no one has come forth and, in the meantime, many people have started questioning the pertinence of the question itself, so let me give it a try: First off (contrary to what many of the comments above have suggested): dialectal accents are extremely ...


8

Concerning the second claim, the differences seem to be cultural/linguistic, not genetic according to this article from the American Psychological Association: The study tracked color naming, comprehension and memory in two populations over three years. Researchers led by Debi Roberson, PhD, of the University of Essex, compared young English children with ...


6

My first thought after seeing your question was surprise that it was being asked, as I had heard the claim previously, and found it so much in agreement with my experience that I had assumed it true. However the evidence is actually rather more interesting than I would have guessed. Key results: 1. There are fewer fluent bilinguals than monolinguals in ...


5

I found the following words in the Latin dictionary at http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/ caesĭtĭus (-cĭus ), a, um, adj. id., I. [select] bluish, dark blue: “linteolum,” Plaut. Ep 2, 2, 46; cf. Doed. Syn. III. p. 17. cūmātĭlis (cȳm- ), e, adj. from κῦμα, with the Lat. ending ilis. I. Adj., of the waves: “deus,” i. e. Neptune, Commod. 10, 1.— B. Esp., ...


4

To clarify, I see four claims you are skeptical about: Ancient people literally were not able to perceive the color blue. The linked article states: Greeks lived in a murky and muddy world, devoid of color, mostly black and white and metallic, with occasional flashes of red or yellow. Gladstone thought this was perhaps something unique to ...


3

Lapis lazuli is a blue semi-precious stone that was mined in Mesopotamia in ancient times as early as the 7th millenium BC, see http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=P_Ixuott4doC&pg=PA86&dq=Lapis+lazuli+++mines+in+the+Badakhshan&hl=en&ei=sW6_TvWKBIKr8AOTn623BA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&sqi=2&ved=...


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