Toxic Reputation

The Toxic History Of Colour

Whitney Bauck | Atmos | 21st November 2022

Colour has always been deadly. The Romans sent slaves underground to mine the poisonous arsenic sulphur known as orpiment so they could make gold paint. In the Middle Ages, dyers were using realgar both as an orange pigment and as a rat poison. In the 1800s, synthetic colours were developed and lead to multicoloured environmental waste that, in some cases, still causes harm today (2,298 words)

The Library Of Alexandria And Its Reputation

Peter Gainsford | Kiwi Hellenist | 22nd November 2022

Was the burning of the Library of Alexandria as catastrophic an event as we think? Manuscript evidence suggests local copies of key texts were regularly made in the Hellenic world to avoid long journeys. This book trade long outlived one library. The library's reputation as a "magical irreplaceable repository of unique items" in large part dates back to Carl Sagan's 1980 TV series Cosmos (2,536 words)

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