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Incense from Ancient Byzantium

Incense Inspiration

Incense from Ancient Byzantium

Byzantium being a part of ancient Greece is popularly known for its wonderful incense, a lovely fragrance. This fragrance merges both spicy and floral scents. This gives one the best of these two worlds. These capture the warm sweet fragrance, which had subtle hints of wild berry, lily, geranium that's rounded out by galbanum, warm vanilla, clove, cinnamon and neroli. 


How did the Incense from Ancient Byzantium Smell?

The scent from Ancient Byzantium is a scent that was used to talk to the Gods directly. These were questions which people from the British school at Ecole and Rome had to keep asking. Classicists, historians and archeologists all gathered to explore the use of scented oils, perfume and incense in antiquity. They also attempted to remake the ephemeral smell scapes from the past.

At various times, the streets from the ancient world might have been rife using the smell of decayed animals, garbage and sewage. However, some smells were sweet that might have been gotten for a price. The use of incense historically stretched back for several years though the substances used had to be burnt, and they needed to vary from one place to the next. There was smoke that smelled sweet, which was usually how the people of Ancient Byzantium communicated with their gods. This also demonstrated what is known as piety (being devoted to who they worship). You could think of this as a type of telephone line which directly links people to who they worship in ancient Byzantium. 

Ancient Byzantium

Types of Incense used From Ancient Byzantium.

Saffron was a type of burnt incense from Ancient Byzantium. It was also valued because it developed and created what was known as a yellow dye. This was seen during a display from the Getty Museum at Los Angeles during a recent exhibit on ancient forms of colour and alchemy.

What happened during the Aegean Bronze Age?

All through the Aegean Bronze Age at around 3000-1000 BCE, the Minoans and their ancient cultures from the Crete Island made great use of fragrance substances, including saffron and ladanum. It was also said that these shepherds would collect various remnants of ladanum. These were sticky resins that came from the cistus ladanifer shrubs. Gotten from the beards of goats after they were grazing.

What did Jo Day State?

Jo Day, a professor at the University of Dublin, stated that the Myceneans and the Minoans burnt other types of spices as incense. These include various types of frescoes at other Minoan sites. Incense from Ancient Byzantium included Santorini and Akrotiri. These also depicted the collection of saffron from islands. At later points in time, saffron was then called κρόκος. This is where the word crocus is gotten from.

Things like Gralygia, clay and censer were found close to Ierapetra Crete during the Late Minoan III period. 1400-1200 BC. The


What was the experience of aromatic oils like?

The complete experience of these oils wasn't just used as a direct conversation line with the gods; it was also felt by people around and in spaces where they got burnt. This was specifically true within the Assyrian culture in the northern part of Mesopotamia. Kiersten Neumann, a curator and associate researcher at the Chicago Oriental Institute, talked about some materials that connected the aromatics with Assyrian temples. These aromatics include terebinth, fir, boxwood, juniper, cypress and cedar.

Servicing the Gods was done by special personnel around the temple. The Arabian peninsula was also a conscientious place that acquired these incenses and spices. There were Arabic caravans that used camels that travelled along a specific trade route, which ended up selling some precious substances to people who desired to burn them out. 

aromatic oils

While there were cheaper aromatics to burn, there were also several luxury incenses. Cinnamon was a common one, particularly at Roman funerals. One of the best known is frankincense, which is a resin procured from Boswellia trees. The Romans often imported this precious substance from the southern part of Arabia. That is where it is grown. 

Not all Romans agreed with importing from exotic parts of the world. From 189 BCE, there were censors which Rome forbade the sales of unguents that were exotic around the city. This tactic was retaken in the year 89 BCE, all during the colonial wars. 

Just like what happened during the Second World War, there were periods during wars which meant one had to cut back on items of luxury and those which included the consumption of goods which were expensive to it was then that there was legislation that was sumptuous which got passed to reduce the purchase of unguents and incense by members of the public. 

When Myrrh and Frankincense were brought with gold to Jesus, they donated sacred substances so the house of the newborn baby Jesus and made his body scent better with more fragrance. 

Though frankincense was typically placed inside an incense burner, myrrh came from a tree at Arab that was usually turned to an ointment used on the dead in Egypt. It was usually applied as a particular type of salve. 

An exciting thing about studying incense is the amount of change that one could use in making brand new incense. From Ancient Byzantium, the type of reconstructive archeology like these allowed one to experience the things these ancient sanctuaries, houses and temples might have smelled like. Many recipes survived for different types of incense, like the types used from ancient Byzantium known as Kyphi. These include raisins, cassia, cinnamon, saffron, frankincense, myrrh. Kyphi was an aromatic incense that was quite popular in ancient Byzantium. It was used in homes to aid people in getting very high-quality sleep. 

So there we have it. Now you know all about the various forms of incense which were used in ancient Byzantium. This way, if you see an incense type used in a place, you can tell if it was Byzantium or not. If you’re an incense lover, you would be glad you had this information. 

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