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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.
In the Roman Empire, it became the color of mourning, and over the centuries it was frequently associated with death, evil, witches and magic.
Swart still survives as the word swarthy, while blaek became the modern English black. They began by using charcoal, and then made more vivid black pigments by burning bones or grinding a powder of manganese oxide.In Roman poetry, death was called the hora nigra, the black hour.The German and Scandinavian peoples worshipped their own goddess of the night, Nótt, who crossed the sky in a chariot drawn by a black horse.They also feared Hel, the goddess of the kingdom of the dead, whose skin was black on one side and red on the other. They believed that Odin, the king of the Nordic pantheon, had two black ravens, Huginn and Muninn, who served as his agents, traveling the world for him, watching and listening.In fashion, black did not have the prestige of red, the color of the nobility.