chapter  2
The word and the plant
Pages 8

ONE WAY of finding out where something existed is to see which languages have a word for it. A refinement is to date the earliest occurrences of the word by its appearance in ancient languages. Words for madder appear in the Ancient Oriental languages, in Biblical period languages, in Classical and Old European languages, and in modern Oriental and European languages. There are also words for artist’s madder lake in several languages (see appendix 2.1, page 313).