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CHAP. 5.—AT WHAT PERIOD LINEN WAS FIRST DYED.

Attempts, too, have even been made to dye linen, and to make it assume the frivolous colours1 of our cloths. This was first done in the fleet of Alexander the Great, while sailing upon the river Indus; for, upon one occasion, during a battle that was being fought, his generals and captains distinguished their vessels by the various tints of their sails, and astounded the people on the shores by giving their many colours to the breeze, as it impelled them on. It was with sails of purple, too, that Cleopatra accompanied M. Antonius to the battle of Actium, and it was by their aid that she took to flight: such being the distinguishing mark of the royal ship.

1 "Vestium insaniam."

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    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), GE´LDUBA
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