Re: Coloring today

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Sun Oct 12 1997 - 19:01:11 EDT

At 4:48 PM -0500 10/11/97, James C. Clardy, Jr. wrote:
>In Chapter six of Revelation the four riders are on horses colored
>white, red, black, pale. Can anyone tell me if there are any ancient
>Greek writings where this same color scheme is followed in an effort to
>illustrate the point of the author?
>Also, is there any way to define the actual English equivalent color of
>CHLWROS (v.8)?

There's one very interesting passage regarding CLWROS: it's a passage in
Sappho where she is describing with astounding clinical precision the
symptoms of her erotically overwrought condition. The line reads something

        CLWROTERA DE POIAS EMMI fIDESQHN (EMMI is Lesbian Aeolic dialect
for EIMI, and "f" here represents a Digamma, which was still pronounced in
Lesbian Aeolic; -SQHN is here a Lesbian Aeolic infinitive ending): "I am
greener [paler] than grass to look at." The commentators usually note that
grass in the Mediterranean climate is not so lush a green but pale, and
that a Mediterranean skin complexion, when pale, is greenish.

As for the other colors, see the commentaries; I think that there's little
disagreement on white for victorious and pale for death; as for red and
black, I think that they represent plague and famine, but I'm not sure
which is which. I think the commentaries have probably gotten the sense
right--and I think the context in which the four horses operate is pretty
clearly indicative of their intended sense. But I have no ready access to a
commentary at hand, and I really meant only to comment on the question
regarding CLWROS.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649 OR

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