The colour purple; is a range of hues of colour occurring between red and blue. The Oxford English Dictionary describes it as a deep, rich shade between crimson and violet.
In the ancient world, purple was the colour worn by Roman Emperors and magistrates. Since that time, purple has been commonly associated with royalty and piety.
The word «purple» comes from the Old English word purpul which derives from the Latin purpura, in turn from the Greek ποϱφύϱα (porphura), name of the Tyrian purple dye manufactured in classical antiquity from a mucus secreted by the spiny dye-murex snail.
Purple was one of the first colors used in prehistoric art. The artists of Pech Merle cave other Neolithic sites in France used sticks of manganese and hematite powder to draw and paint animals and the outlines of their own hands on the walls of their caves. These works have been dated to between 16,000 and 25,000 BC.
Beginning in about 1500 BC, the citizens of Sidon and Tyre, the citizens of two cities on the coast of Ancient Phoenicia, (present day Lebanon), began to exploit a remarkable new source of purple; a sea snail called the spiny dye-murex. This deep, rich purple dye made from this snail became known as Tyrian purple, or imperial purple.
Tyrian purple became the color of kings, nobles, priests and magistrates all around the Mediterranean.