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Later they reversed the process, painting the spaces between the figures with slip.
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.In the 12th century a famous theological dispute broke out between the Cistercian monks, who wore white, and the Benedictines, who wore black.A Benedictine abbot, Pierre the Venerable, accused the Cistercians of excessive pride in wearing white instead of black.Since the Middle Ages black has been the symbolic color of solemnity and authority, and for this reason is still commonly worn by judges and magistrates.Black was one of the first colors used by artists in neolithic cave paintings.In black-figure pottery, the artist would paint figures with a glossy clay slip on a red clay pot.
When the pot was fired, the figures painted with the slip would turn black, against a red background.
The word black comes from Old English blæc ("black, dark", also, "ink"), from Proto-Germanic *blakkaz ("burned"), from Proto-Indo-European *bhleg- ("to burn, gleam, shine, flash"), from base *bhel- ("to shine"), related to Old Saxon blak ("ink"), Old High German blach ("black"), Old Norse blakkr ("dark"), Dutch blaken ("to burn"), and Swedish bläck ("ink").
More distant cognates include Latin flagrare ("to blaze, glow, burn"), and Ancient Greek phlegein ("to burn, scorch").
Those who had committed the worst sins were sent to Tartarus, the deepest and darkest level.
In the center was the palace of Hades, the king of the underworld, where he was seated upon a black ebony throne.
In the 14th century, it began to be worn by royalty, the clergy, judges and government officials in much of Europe.