Tyrian Purple

Tyrian Industries is inspired by the ancient Phoenician island city of Tyre and the remarkable natural dye that was its central industry.

The trade and prosperity of Phoenicia was dependent on it. Never before in history—or since—has a color brought more prosperity to a nation. Today that dye is known as Tyrian Purple®.

While the true origins of the purple-dyeing industry of Tyre have faded into history, according to Phoenician mythology, the discovery of purple was credited to a dog, but not just any dog. This one was the companion of the quintessential greek hero and demigod Hercules (Greek Heracles).

The Origin of Tyrian Purple

As the story goes, Hercules was strolling along the shores of Phoenicia with the nymph Tyrus, whom he loved when his dog happened upon a snail protruding from the sand. The dog devoured the shellfish, today known as a Murex snail, and came away with a mouth stained a brilliant purple. Tyrus was enthralled by the color and requested a robe of the same striking shade as the price that Hercules would have to pay for her hand. Thus goes the legend of the origin of Tyrian purple.

Tyrian purple, the most expensive and sought after dye of classical antiquity, was praised by historians and poets. Homer wrote his great epic poems during the heyday of Phoenicia and spoke of the brilliance and beauty of the cloths that Paris brought back from the island to Troy.

Tyrian purple was quite literally worth more than its weight in gold. It is estimated that it took 10,000 shellfish to produce 1 gram of dye – only enough to dye the hem of a garment in deep color. A pound of pre-dyed wool cost its weight in gold, roughly $22,000 at todays prices!

We are familiar with the color purple being associated with royalty. The term “born to the purple” refers to a royal birth because during the Byzantine period empresses bore their royal offspring in special chambers draped in the opulence of purple cloth. Purple was the prerogative only of high priests, Roman senators and the emperor. In fact by the 4th century AD, sumptuary laws or laws that pertained to items deemed extravagant, were so restrictive that only the Roman emperor was allowed to wear the color purple.

Luckily times have changed!

How Does This Relate to Our Company and Aronia?

At Tyrian Industries we are deeply connected to this remarkable berry that is so deeply purple in color that it almost appears black. Our founders have been growing, harvesting and processing Aronia berry for many years. In fact, during the early years we picked the berries by hand! One thing that was evident immediately is that the pigments, primarily anthocyanins, that help give the berry its health qualities are also exceedingly good at staining everything! Our hands, clothing and machinery came away from each harvest dyed a luxurious purple/burgundy which is strikingly similar to the original Tyrian Purple prized by nobility. The intense color of Aronia truly is our modern version of the classical Tyrian Purple. At Tyrian Industries our products are loaded with polyphenols and derive their rich colors only from the natural pigments of the berries.

Today we can all be emperors and realize the wealth of benefits found in TCore® and TGuard®.

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