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In the social hierarchy of ancient Rome, purple was the color reserved for the Emperor; red was the color worn by soldiers (red cloaks for the officers, red tunics for the soldiers); white the color worn by the priests, and black was worn by craftsmen and artisans.
In the 6th century BC, they began making black-figure pottery and later red figure pottery, using a highly original technique.
Old High German also had two words for black: swartz for dull black and blach for a luminous black.
These are parallelled in Middle English by the terms swart for dull black and blaek for luminous black. The Lascaux Cave in France contains drawings of bulls and other animals drawn by paleolithic artists between 18,000 and 17,000 years ago.
Later they reversed the process, painting the spaces between the figures with slip.
This created magnificent red figures against a glossy black background.
Black ink is the most common color used for printing books, newspapers and documents, because it has the highest contrast with white paper and is the easiest to read.