Tyrian Purple(redirected from Imperial purple)
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a natural dye of a reddish purple color. Ty-rian purple is obtained from glands of marine gastropod mollusks known as purple snails. It may be chemically derived from natural indigo (6,6’-dibromindigo). The use of Tyrian purple for dyeing dates back to 1600 B.C. Its discovery is attributed to the Phoenicians, and its use was mentioned in ancient Egyptian papyruses, in the writings of Pliny the Elder, and in other sources. Tyrian purple was extracted from the gastropod Murex brandaris echinus. In ancient Rome the wearing of purple garments was a mark of high office.