I am just curious on the history of yellow and the significance it may have had.

I know purple often represented power, but what about yellow?

Thank you!

  • Actually purple usually represented power. – Oldcat Mar 27 '14 at 0:47
  • Proof of my lack of knowledge in this area! Thanks for the correction. – Ava Mar 27 '14 at 0:52
  • 2
    Actually... purple represented royalty in Rome, faith in North Africa, mourning in Southeast Asia, and likely something different in most other places. I don't think this question is specific enough to warrant any sort of quality answers. – Comintern Mar 27 '14 at 0:54
  • Alright, I thought I'd ask anyway. Thank you for the history on purple at least! – Ava Mar 27 '14 at 0:55
  • Nothing specific, just what was its most common meaning? – Ava Mar 27 '14 at 3:17

In medieval Europe character was defined by the four temperaments. The choleric temperament is called "gele gal" in dutch, which translates to yellow bile. From Wikipedia:

The choleric temperament is traditionally associated with fire. People with this temperament tend to be egocentric and extroverted. They may be excitable, impulsive, and restless, with reserves of aggression, energy, and/or passion, and try to instill that in others. They tend to be task-oriented people and are focused on getting a job done efficiently; their motto is usually "do it now." They can be ambitious, strong-willed and like to be in charge. They can show leadership, are good at planning, and are often practical and solution-oriented. They appreciate receiving respect and esteem for their work. Pedagogically, they can be best reached through mutual respect and appropriate challenges that recognize their capacities.

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