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Black was also the Roman color of death and mourning.
In the 2nd century BC Roman magistrates began to wear a dark toga, called a toga pulla, to funeral ceremonies.
In the 14th century, it began to be worn by royalty, the clergy, judges and government officials in much of Europe.
It became the color worn by English romantic poets, businessmen and statesmen in the 19th century, and a high fashion color in the 20th century.
Old High German also had two words for black: swartz for dull black and blach for a luminous black.
A Benedictine abbot, Pierre the Venerable, accused the Cistercians of excessive pride in wearing white instead of black.
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.
Later, under the Empire, the family of the deceased also wore dark colors for a long period; then, after a banquet to mark the end of mourning, exchanged the black for a white toga.
In Roman poetry, death was called the hora nigra, the black hour.