The idiomatic clause ''to be born with a silver spoon in the mouth'' in english was somehow egual with the clause used by byzantium people ''to be born in Purple''. while the first one describes the situation of being born in a rich or aristocratic family, the second one defines being a member of the royalty by birth rights.
''BORN in PURPLE''
Traditionally, born in the purple was a category of members of royal families born during the reign of their parent. This notion was later loosely expanded to include all children born of prominent or high-ranking parents. The parents must be prominent at the time of the child's birth so that the child is always in the spotlight and destined for a prominent role in life. A child born before the parents become prominent would not be "born in the purple". This color purple came to refer to Tyrian purple, restricted by law, custom, and the expense of creating it to royalty.
. The reason for purple’s regal reputation comes down to a simple case of supply and demand. For centuries, the purple dye trade was centered in the ancient Phoenician city of Tyre in modern day Lebanon. The Phoenicians’ “Tyrian purple” came from a species of sea snail now known as Bolinus brandaris, and it was so exceedingly rare that it became worth its weight in gold. To harvest it, dye-makers had to crack open the snail’s shell, extract a purple-producing mucus and expose it to sunlight for a precise amount of time. It took as many as 250,000 mollusks to yield just one ounce of usable dye, but the result was a vibrant and long-lasting shade of purple.
“Tyrian purple” came from a species of sea snail now known as Bolinus brandaris,
Clothes made from the dye were exorbitantly expensive—a pound of purple wool cost more than most people earned in a year—so they naturally became the calling card of the rich and powerful. It also didn’t hurt that Tyrian purple was said to resemble the color of clotted blood—a shade that supposedly carried divine connotations.
Its production was extremely expensive, so the dye was used as a status symbol by the Ancient Romans, e.g. a purple stripe on the togas of Roman magistrates. By the Byzantine period the colour had become associated with the emperors, and sumptuary laws restricted its use by anyone except the imperial household. Purple was thus seen as an imperial colour.
The Byzantines themselves ascribed this situation either to the fact that the child was born to parents bearing the imperial purple, or because the child was born in a special porphyry chamber in the Great Palace of Constantinople. As the porphyrogennētē 12th-century princess Anna Komnene described it, the room, "set apart long ago for an empress's confinement", was located "where the stone oxen and the lions stand" (i.e. the Boukoleon Palace), and was in the form of a perfect square from floor to ceiling, with the latter ending in a pyramid. Its walls, floor and ceiling were completely veneered with imperial porphyry, which was "generally of a purple colour throughout, but with white spots like sand sprinkled over it."
The royal class’ purple monopoly finally waned after the fall of the Byzantine empire in the 15th century, but the color didn’t become more widely available until the 1850s, when the first synthetic dyes hit the market.
Ruins of Bucholeon Palece nowadays.
Ruins of the Palace of Porphyrogenitus in ıstanbul (2007)
The concept of porphyrogénnētos (literally meaning "born in the purple") was known from the sixth century in connection with growing ideas of hereditary legitimacy.
Last Emperor Constantine died the day Constantinople fell to Ottomans. There were no known surviving eyewitnesses to the death of the emperor and none of his entourage survived to offer any credible account of his death. The Greek historian Michael Critobulus, who later worked in the service of Mehmed, wrote that Constantine died fighting the Ottomans. İt is also said that the corpse of the emperor who were fighting like a simple gradeless soldier were identified by noticing the royal ''Tyrian purple'' shoes on his feet.
even today especially the European side of the Bosphorus are ornamented every spring with ''Tyrian Color'' judas trees as a reminder of the royal color of Byzantium.
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