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On Hades' purple cloak. Purple, what?

Her gaze landed upon a young man across the room in a dark purple cloak, his beard clipped short, his curly black hair braided back and adorned with a wreath of ivy—much less showy than the bright spring flowers Persephone and the others wore in honor of the equinox. He stood apart from the others, squinting against the bright sun as he gazed out the window at the sea.

Soon he turned his head and noticed her. The brooding expression on his face evaporated as he regarded her, an appreciative smile taking its place. Truly, he was quite beautiful. They gazed at each other a moment longer than was proper. A pleasant flutter danced in Persephone’s belly. Was he an immortal? Gold did seem to glint beneath the ivy, as if the vines were twined around one of the gods’ crowns.

Then she recognized him. Hades.
- Persephone's Orchard

* * *

On Hades' purple cloak: in early versions I had him in black robes, as black sounds appropriate for the god of the dead. But online research suggests black cloth was hard to obtain in ancient (and in this case prehistoric) Greece. Dyes required a lot of effort and frequently expense, and black was difficult to make. White wool was the basic material for clothing. Nonetheless, Greeks liked their colors where they could get them, and in addition to adding pretty embroidery to the hems, they did seem to have some reliable dyes. Purple was one of the most expensive. Hence Hades, with his access to the gemstones falling out of the Underworld's walls, could afford it.

But real historians should jump in here to correct any misinformation. We can make adjustments in the next volume.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 8th, 2013 05:27 am (UTC)
I think purple is perfect for Hades, it definitely indicates his status and also helps him avoid looking like the Grim Reaper or something. :)
Aug. 8th, 2013 05:05 pm (UTC)
Hehe. Exactly. Purple has regal connotations, and he is a "king" of sorts. And even in the mythology, he isn't a Grim Reaper; he doesn't *cause* death. People often equate him with that, or even with Satan, which just ain't right. :)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )