Talk:Armenian cochineal

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15th-century value of the insectsEdit

Presently the article states "At the time of the Renaissance in Europe, Porphyrophora insects were more valuable, by weight, than gold: in Constantinople in 1437–38, one gram of dried insectwis cost between 5.3 and 9.8 grams of gold." The source for this statement is a scholarly article by Vahedi and Hodgson, who state: "Dyes obtained from these insects [Porphyrophora] were an extremely valuable resource at one time, particularly during the 14th–16th centuries when 1 gram of dried insects in Constantinople cost between 5.3 and 9.8 grams of gold in 1437-38 (Cardon, 2000)!" The 2000 Cardon citation, which is presently cited in the Wikipedia article, is a scholarly article, written in French, included in a book published in Italy. There is also a non-paywalled source [1] (not presently cited in the article) by Łagowska and Golan (2009) that says the same thing: "In 1437–1438 in Constantinople one could receive from 5.3–9.8 grams of gold for 1 gram of dry insects of this species (CARDON, 2007)." The 2007 Cardon citation is Cardon's 2007 book Natural Dyes. I haven't been to the library to look for the relevant material in the 2007 book yet, but I did manage to find the 2000 article in a library. It includes quotes like "La livraison convenue aura effectivement lieu le 14 novembre 1437, en deux lots de 198 livres 3 onces (59,673 kg) et de 397 livres (119,497 kg) respectivement, évalués sur la base de 212 perperi la livre (équivalent à 9,8 g d'or/kg)" (p. 66) and "Ces cochinelles sont estimées moins cher que celle de Pologne: 1 perpero 9 carats la livre (5,3 g d'or par kg)" (p. 67). I don't know French, so I'm not 100% sure of the context, but to see figures that I translate as "9.8 g of gold/kg" and "5.3 g of gold per kg" makes me think that their is a discrepancy between the sources: Cardon (2000) citing prices in grams of gold per kilogram of insect, and the other sources (including Cardon's book (?!)) citing prices in grams of gold per gram of insect. If the former were true, then the insects would not actually be more valuable, by weight, than gold (as the Wikipedia article presently states). Perhaps I am misinterpreting something, though, since I cannot really read the French article. I also need to check to see what Cardon's book actually says. Ketone16 (talk) 16:21, 12 October 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I found a copy of Cardon's 2007 book Natural Dyes, which is corrected and updated English translation of her 2003 French-language book Le Monde des Teintures Naturelles. On p. 645, she writes:

[T]he account book kept between 1436 and 1440 by the Venetian merchant Giacomo Badoer during his time in [Constantinople]. . . . [lists] another kind of [dye insect] he calls cremexe di vini (carmine scale of the vine), brought by boat from Trebizond. Given its provenance and low price, this was in all probability Armenian 'cochineal', Porphyrophora hamelii.[160] At a rough estimate, based on my calculations in weighing Armenian scale insects, he must have been instrumental in sending back to Venice a total of about 1,324kg, equivalent to nearly 53 million crimson-dyeing insects. The prices he paid are given in bezants. One of the editors of Badoer's Libro dei conti supplies the equivalent in fine gold of the value of this Byzantine currency at the time in question, allowing us to calculate the total value of Badoer's purchases of cremexe as being equivalent to 9.686kg of gold.[161]

Since Badoer sent one delivery of such insects back on a Venetian ship together with eight slaves he had just purchased – Circassian women and adolescents – it can be deduced from his accounts that, weight for weight, a kilogram of live slave cost considerably less than a kilogram of Armenian 'cochineal', the cheapest of the carmine scale insects.[162] Looking at it another way, the price of a slave (107.38g of gold) was equivalent to 20.26kg of Armenian 'cochineal' bought at the best price (enough, according to the quantities given in the contemporary Venetian Manuale di Tintoria, to dye about 1.7kg of silk crimson); or to the price of 11–16kg of the more expensive Polish carmine scale – the price of which tended to fluctuate. This was enough to dye 1.8–2.6kg of silk crimson.

Thus it appears that Porphyrophora hamelii insects were not more valuable, by weight, than gold in Constantinople in the 1430s: the latter figure (107.38 g of gold per 20.26 kg of insects) works out to be 5.3 grams of gold per kilogram of insects, and the former figure (9.686 kg of gold per 1,324 kg of insects) works out to be 7.3 grams of gold per kilogram of insects. The insects were, however, and quite unfortunately, more valuable by weight than female and adolescent Circassian slaves. Ketone16 (talk) 19:11, 15 October 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Export of the dye to Rome in the Achaemenid eraEdit

Presently the article states, "During the Achaemenid era, Armenia exported the red dye extracted from the insect to Rome." The source of this information is an article by James R. Russell, who writes:

The Urarteans, somewhat oddly, decorated some of their war-helmets with hammered reliefs of chickens; the Romans, who got this fowl from an Armenia that was allied to Parthia, called it the 'Parthian bird'. Through Armenia the apricot, too, came to Rome. The ancient Armenians were good warriors and cavalrymen: in Achaemenian times Armenia offered 20,000 foals to the Persian court every year. Armenia has gold and silver mines, and fine marble and the masonry stone tufa; the Romans imported red sandix pigment from the country, and Armenia exported the famous red dye extracted from the vordan karmir worm. Carpets and textiles were produced in antiquity, and Armenia is still famed for them.

Unfortunately, Russell does not cite any sources, and I have not found any other source that mentions Armenia exporting the dye to Rome during the Achaemenid era, including what I believe to be the most authoritative Western sources who have written on this topic: Forbes, Donkin, and Cardon. Furthermore, Russell's narrative skips around a bit between time periods and he does not explicitly say that Achaemenid Armenia exported the dye to Rome, merely that Armenia exported it to someone at some time: the other information may be inferred through a particular interpretation of Russell's odd phrasing. Since during my research I have seen a fair number of unsourced statements about Porphyrophora hamelii that later turned out to be contradicted by scholarly research, I am inclined not to trust the aforementioned interpretation of Russell's statement. Most of the sources I have seen mention the red textiles seized from Urartu but say that the historical sources are silent on Porphyrophora hamelii until the Armenian historians writing in the 5th century A.D. Now, the Greco-Roman physician Dioscorides did write that the best kokkos baphike came from Galatia and Armenia (likely confusing Porphyropora hamelii with Kermes vermilio, in my opinion), but he lived hundreds of years after the fall of the Achaemenid Persian Empire and he did not explicitly say that the insects (or their dye) were exported to Rome or that they were known in the Achaemenid era. Ketone16 (talk) 14:44, 4 January 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I was the one to add that sentence. You raise legitimate questions. I agree that Russell's failure to cite a source is questionable and I wouldn't oppose the sentence being removed from the article. --Երևանցի talk 02:43, 7 January 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Articles in the Biological Journal of ArmeniaEdit

There are 29 articles in the Biological Journal of Armenia (published by the Armenian National Academy of Sciences) [2] Most are in Russian. The most recent one, published in 2012 in Armenian is about the condition of the Vordan Karmir State Reservation. One thing I noticed is that the term "Ararat cochineal" is used in almost all article titles. I think it should be added to the article as a common name. --Երևանցի talk 19:15, 16 January 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sounds reasonable. I think "Ararat cochineal" is the common name in the Russian tradition, since Hamel was from Russia and called the insect that way ("Cochenille am Ararat" in German). The source I cited for the names of the insect, Ben-Dov et al., also lists "Araratsche Cochenille" and "cochenille am Ararat" as synonyms. Since those phrases translate as "Ararat cochineal" in English, I think that the existing Ben-Dov reference should be sufficient for adding "Ararat cochineal" as a synonym. Ketone16 (talk) 00:11, 17 January 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
By the way, let me know if you ever happen to come across the exact location of the 21.52 hectares of Vordan Karmir State Reservation that are in Jrarat village. I haven't been able to find that part of the reservation. The main part is northwest of Arazap village. I suspect that this is a third location of the insects, although it is not part of the Vordan Karmir reservation. That's just a guess, though: it's a marshy area near the approximate location of the insects indicated in the Armenian National Atlas vol. I (2007). Ketone16 (talk) 01:16, 17 January 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

More sourcesEdit

  • This source (p. 53) in the journal Lraber Hasarakakan Gitutyunneri says that in 19th century Shusha one pound of vordan karmir cost 60-60 kopeks, i.e. 0.6-0.65 roubles. (Մեկ ֆունտ տորոնն արժեր 15 — 20, իսկ որդան կարմիրը՝ 60— 65 կոպեկ։)
  • This source (p. 77) in the same journal says that the 9th century historian Hovhannes Draskhanakerttsi wrote that Armenian women dyed pillows in vordan karmir.

--Երևանցի talk 02:22, 15 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The name "cochineal"Edit

The association of the name "cochineal" with Porphyrophora hamelii is somewhat complicated and I do not think that some of the recent edits to the article accurately reflect the meaning of the word. As far as I can tell, "cochineal" (or the related words "cochinilla", "cochenille", etc.), was first applied to the Dactylopius coccus species of the Americas, although the word itself derives from other words that were applied to the Old World insects of the Kermes and Porphyrophora genuses. Prior to the discovery of the New World, the dyestuff from the Porphyrophora insects was known in Europe by some of those related words, like "chermisi" in Italian. The insect/dyestuff was known in Persia as kirmiz, which itself appears to be an incorrect Arabic appropriation of "kermes", the scarlet dyestuff from Kermes vermilio that was known to the Mediterranean peopmles (Greeks, Romans, Hebrews, etc.). After "cochineal" became much more popular in Europe due to the plentiful harvests from the New World insect Dactylopius coccus, people started calling every dye and insect of that color by the name "cochineal", which eventually led to Hamel writing about the "Cochenille am Ararat" (Ararat cochineal). Once the Porphyrophora insects became known as "Armenian cochineal" and "Polish cochineal", some people started to call the Dactylopius insects (the original "cochineals") "American cochineal" or "Mexican cochineal" to distinguish them. Or, at least, that's my educated inference from reading the various sources.

The bottom line is that there really was just one insect that was originally called "cochineal": Dactylopius coccus. That is the insect that is still known as cochineal. The "Armenian cochineal" and "Polish cochineal" names seem to be misnomers, if common ones. When I created this article I called it "Armenian cochineal" because there was a "Polish cochineal" article already, but in hindsight maybe I should have called it "Porphyrophora hamelii". Cardon (2007) makes a couple of relevant statements. The first is that when it comes to the American (Dactylopius) cochineals, "The word 'cochineal' comes from the Spanish cochinilla, derived from the Latin coccum, the name used by Pliny in his Natural History for dyer's kermes." The second is that Cardon prefers the names "Armenian crimson-dyeing scale insect" and "Polish crimson-dyeing scale insect" for the Porphyrophora species "as suggested by Roman Jashenko, a scientist specialised in [the Porphyrophora] genus, instead of the name 'cochineal' which Jashenko feels is confusing because it was first applied to the American cactus cochineals, Dactylopius spp." Cardon everywhere puts "cochineal" in quotation marks when referring to the Porphyrophora species because she does not feel that it is the proper name. Cardon literally wrote the book on natural dyes, and in particular she was the one who untangled the history of the red dyes like carmine and kermes.

As a final comment, I note that the new reference added to the article (the Pigment Compendium by Eastaugh et al.) calls the dyestuff itself "cochineal". I think this is somewhat non-standard: the more scientific publications usually call the dyestuff carmine, whose principal component is carminic acid. "Cochineal" is sort of a popular synonym for carmine since natural carmine overwhelmingly comes from the Dactylopius insects. Ketone16 (talk) 02:39, 19 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Let's get it clear that cochineal is a dye:
The Concise Oxford English Dictionary says: "cochineal" = "a scarlet dye"
The American Heritage Dictionary says: "cochineal" = "A red colorant, whose primary constituent is carminic acid"
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary says: "cochineal" = "a red dye consisting of the dried bodies of female cochineal insects"
An article in a scientific journal says: "Porphyrophora hamelii is a cochineal-producing margarodid scale [insect]".
The following article reports scientific examinations of some surviving old European cloths, examined for the dyes used in them. It reports some 15th century cloths whose dye is found to be "cochineal", and others from the same century whose dye is found to be "Polish cochineal". The ones whose dye is so-called "cochineal" must be dyed with Armenian cochineal, since their date is pre 1500.
Consistent with the above usages, the book Pigment Compendium: A Dictionary of Historical Pigments (year 2007) says: "Cochineal is a red dyestuff principally derived from various species of scale insects."
Consistent with the above usages, the website COCHINEAL.INFO says: "Cochineal is A Bright Red Animal Dye". It also says: "Armenian cochineal is chemically very similar to American cochineal, and it is hard to distinguish the two dyes by analysis."
Consistent with the above usages, the book Cochineal Red: The Art History of a Color (year 2010) says: "Armenian cochineal was used as a red pigment in illuminated manuscripts."
Against the above customary usages, you've merely got the personal preference of the writer Cardon. And Cardon in practice went along with the customary usage as well, except for putting it inside apolegetic quote marks, you say (I haven't read Cardon). Other than your inclination to replicate the personal preference of Cardon, I cannot hear any grounds or reasoning or information from you in what you say above for the edit you want to make.
You have deleted from the article the statement that "The term "cochineal" means a red dyestuff derived from various scale insect species." I intend to revert and restore the statement, after giving you some time to think about how to justify your deletion better than you've done above. I also intend to restore to the lede the statement the active dye chemical in Armenian cochineal is carminic acid.
You say, using the past tense: "The bottom line is that there really was just one insect that was originally called "cochineal" ". But, in the present tense, there are several insects that produce cochineal dye and are called cochineal insects. The terms "Armenian cochineal" and "Polish cochineal" are not misnomers, not today. And not at any time in the past either. This is because they are so very similar to the usual cochineal as dyes.
Etymology and word origins is totally irrelevant here. What's relevant is customary usages. Your information about etymologies is partially incorrect, according to my information and belief, but it's not worth arguing about, since etymologies is ultimately irrelevant.
Also, please look up the meaning of the word carmine in English dictionaries. E.g. The meaning of carmine is hugely broader than carminic acid.
Seanwal111111 (talk) 20:42, 19 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The text as it presently reads is: "Although Porphyrophora hamelii and its sister species Porphyrophora polonica are sometimes called "cochineals", they are in a different taxonomic family from the insect commonly known as cochineal, Dactylopius coccus from the Americas. All three of these insect species are historical natural sources of carmine-based crimson dyes." It is a simple statement and, as far as I can tell, you have not argued that any of that wording is wrong, yet you want to add your own wording, which is being contested (by me). Why?
I think you are making slightly careless and selective interpretations of your sources, which themselves you chose selectively. Your statement "cochineal means a red dyestuff derived from various scale insect species" is "sort of" correct but it's not the most accurate statement. That usage of "cochineal" is a colloquialism, for the reasons I stated -- or perhaps it is more accurately characterized as a metonym. I find your arguments about the definition of the word "carmine" to be curious at best. I suggest you that actually read the Wikipedia article on carmine, which is wikilinked in the second sentence of the Armenian cochineal article -- for a reason. Or, alternatively, you could reexamine the dictionary definitions you posted yourself. Carmine is the crimson-colored pigment/dyestuff whose natural source is the cochineal insect. Sometimes the color produced by carmine is also called carmine, after the source of the color. The principal chemical ingredient of carmine is carminic acid. Carminic acid takes its name from the dyestuff carmine -- obviously people knew about the dye far earlier than they knew about the molecule. The same thing goes for kermes and kermesic acid. The correct statement is that the dyestuff is carmine, and the metonym for that dyestuff is cochineal. Even in the cochineal article they say that carminic acid is extracted from the cochineal to make carmine (i.e., the dyestuff). It seems that if you want to argue about what "cochineal" means, that article would be the place for it.
I think your confusion comes from trying to substitute your popular usage of "cochineal" for my scientific/technical usage of "cochineal". Most of your definitions of cochineal come from dictionaries of popular English, along with some cherry-picked scientific articles from not-the-most-expert sources. Yes, I do rely on Cardon, but as I said, she literally wrote the book on this topic! She has long passages on the history of these insects and the terminology associated with them. She is by far the most erudite scholar on this topic -- go read the reviews of her book if you are loathe to accept her as an expert. And go read her book! And it's not only her, she cites Jashenko, who is a specialist on Porphyrophora insects -- unlike, I suppose, the editors of Merriam-Webster dictionary (or even the authors of Pigment Compendium).
If you change my wording back to your previous wording, I feel that you will be re-muddying terminology that people have taken years to clarify. Yes, people call the dyestuff cochineal, and that's fine, but the people who actually pay attention to the technical use of these terms use the word carmine for a reason -- it's the specific substance that's extracted and prepared from the cochineal insects. And yes, people call Pophyrophora hamelii "Armenian cochineal" -- that's certainly the popular name for the insect in the English-speaking world, but it wasn't called that before the insect originally (and still) called cochineal, Dactylopius coccus, became popular in Europe in the 1500s. The (American) cochineal dyes became so popular that the similar-looking red scale insects in Armenia became known as "Armenian cochineals".
My current wording in the article is correct, and I think non-controversial: the Porphyrophora species are sometimes called cochineals, they are in a different taxonomic family from the common cochineal, and all of these insects are used to produce carmine, which in turn is used to dye things crimson. I suggest not replacing that text with controversial text. Ketone16 (talk) 02:59, 20 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Here's the definition of carmine as published in the regulations of USA government food and drug regulatory agency:
Sec. 73.100 Cochineal extract; carmine.
(1) The color additive cochineal extract is the concentrated solution obtained after removing the alcohol from an aqueous-alcoholic extract of cochineal (Dactylopius coccus costa (Coccus cacti L.)). The coloring principle is chiefly carminic acid.
(2) The color additive carmine is the aluminum or calcium-aluminum lake on an aluminum hydroxide substrate of the coloring principles, chiefly carminic acid, obtained by an aqueous extraction of cochineal (Dactylopius coccus costa (Coccus cacti L.)).
(3) Color additive mixtures for food use made with cochineal extract or carmine may contain only diluents that are suitable .
Please notice that the above definition is a lot different from what you have in mind by "carmine".
Similarly, the book Handbook of Natural Colorants (year 2009) says: "Treatment of carminic acid with an aluminum salt produces camine, an aluminium lake." I repeat, "carmine is an aluminium lake". Likewise, the definition of carmine in Stedman's Medical Dictionary: Carmine is "Red coloring matter used as a histology stain produced from coccinellin derived from cochineal; treatment of coccinellin with alum forms an aluminum lake of carminic acid, the essential constituent of carmine." Likewise carmine is defined solely as an aluminium lake in the book Handbook of U.S. Colorants (year 1991)
By contrast, the book The Chemical History of Color (year 2012) says: "Carmine is a red coloring material that has been used from ancient times in both hemispheres. In the Old World the source of the red color was the kermes female scale insect (Kermes vermillo)." -- And it doesn't mention Armenian cochineal in connection with carmine. With a like mindset, the book Artists' Pigments Volume 1 (year 1986) contains a chapter entitled "Cochineal carmine and Kermes carmine" and it repeatedly uses the phrase "kermes carmine". Similarly, the book The Red Dyes: Cochineal, Madder, and Murex Purple (year 1996) writes: "carmine from various types of kermes...".
Again notice that those books' meaning for word "carmine" is quite different from yours and different from the US government's.
Book, Pigment Compendium: A Dictionary of Historical Pigments handles "carmine" as a non-technical name, and tells the reader to see its entries under other, more technically specific names.
See also Indigo carmine, a very specific colorant much different from the above definitions of carmine. The name illustrates the looseness with which word carmine can be used in scientific literature.
As I said yesterday, the most common usage for word carmine in English is simply a carmine red color from any colorant material. You can see that in all the English dictionaries: they define it firstly as red color and secondarily as a dyestuff. And you can see it by searching the Internet for images (photographs) associated with word "carmine". As I said yesterday, I am proposing to delete the word "carmine" and replace it with word carminic acid. Carminic acid is the colorant in Armenian cochineal and is the right word to be using. The word carmine is deletable on grounds of vagueness and ambiguity. Above, I have not even given all the ways in which it is used as a word.
I reject your claim that my refs in my comments yesterday are unrepresentative of reality. I will also reject a claim that the refs above are unrepresentative. Also, you haven't given us any sources except Wikipedia articles (not a valid source, you know) plus the usage of Cardon. I haven't read Cardon but it sounds like Cardon has got another and a somewhat idiosyncratic usage.
Seanwal111111 (talk) 21:38, 20 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for looking up those references. I'm not sure why you think that my use of the word carmine is different from that of the sources you are citing. The word I am looking for is the word for the stuff that is chemically extracted and processed from the insect bodies, which could be put in a jar if you wanted to. I can assure you that no one in the world calls that stuff "carminic acid", although I can also assure you that the principal component of that stuff is carminic acid, or more likely one of its salts. Carminic acid is the active dye molecule, but it is not the name of the dyestuff, pigment, colorant, or whatever. Pretty much all of the definitions you cited above support "carmine" as the name of that substance. As far as I can tell, there is no ambiguity about what that stuff is called. The problem in your mind, I gather, is that some other things are also presently called carmine. Well, OK, but the actual origin of the word carmine was in reference to a substance prepared from cochineal (American cochineal).[3] Cochineal and its dyes have been confused with the dyes of kermes and other insects since basically the beginning of recorded history, so it's not surprising to me that other things are called sometimes called carmine. I don't understand your objection about the dictionary definitions. Carmine as an adjective is a color, and carmine as a noun is a substance. The word is used as a noun in this article.
You could call Cardon's usage idiosyncratic, but another word might be "educated" or "precise". You obviously are aware that there has been a lot of confusion throughout history between the names of insects, dyes, and colors. Cardon, more than anyone, has been responsible for combining the historical, linguistic, and chemical research to disentangle these terms which ones go with which insects (the kermes vs. kirmiz distinction, for example), particularly when it comes to the natural red dyes. You've amassed a jumble of sources in sort of an uncritical way and you're trying to extract meaning from them, but the sources have the same sloppiness in them -- they confuse insects and substances and colors in a haphazard way based on guesses about popular usage. In this article I'm trying to stay away from sloppy popular usages and use more precise technical usages, and I'm trying to give more weight to the people who seem to know what they're talking about (i.e., who are more informed and more precise themselves).
I do not support the use of the term "carminic acid" (which is the name of a pure molecular compound) as the substance extracted from cochineal insects. There are plenty of chemical analyses that show that there are multiple substances in these dyes and that even the carminic acid isn't found as a free acid (which is what calling the substance "carminic acid" implies). Polish cochineal dyes also contain kermesic acid. All of the cochineal dyes have other compounds that come over in the extraction, as well as any additional salts, etc. that are used in the chemical processing -- and the processed stuff is called carmine.[4] Ketone16 (talk) 02:09, 21 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Carminic acid is the one and only active dye chemical in Armenian cochineal. What's your definition of carmine?
The books The Chemical History of Color (year 2012), Artists' Pigments Volume 1 (year 1986), The Red Dyes (year 1996), and Pigment Compendium: A Dictionary are intentionally, self-consciously and educatedly using the word "carmine" with semantic scope that includes colorants from sources other than carminic acid: You are mistaken to imagine they are doing it out of confusion. Another set of books cited above are using word "carmine" with the exclusive and specific meaning that carmine is carminic acid mordanted with alum in a very specific way. You've got no evidence that the specific way they are mordanting it is the way Armenian cochineal was mordanted in the era when Armenian cochineal was used as a dye. The Wikipedia article Armenian cochineal has no mention of alums, mordants or lakes at all. Historically Armenian cochineal was used both mordanted and non-mordanted. The Wikipedia article Carmine defines carmine as carminic acid always mordanted with alum, with more than one method of preparation for the mordanting, and never non-mordanted. You say "I'm trying to stay away from sloppy popular usages." To help me understand what's your problem with my edit, please give me a one or two sentence non-sloppy definition of "carmine", your definition. Seanwal111111 (talk) 00:26, 22 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Carminic acid is the only chromophore-bearing ingredient in Armenian cochineal dye products (although not so for Polish cochineal, which also contains kermesic acid). Carminic acid is not, however, the sole ingredient of what is extracted from the insect to make dyes and pigments. After going back through the sources, it seems that carmine (used as a noun) most commonly refers to the lake pigment, which contains carminic acid (or more likely its salt, which is already chemically different from "carminic acid"). But carmine is not carminic acid. The old Color Trade Journal article I cited also says the following: "In the preparation of Carmine Lakes, which are very beautiful, the decoction of cochineal itself is used rather than the pure carminic acid, since the animal matter contained in the insect is beneficial in the preparation of the lake". Also, I understand that the authors you cited use "carmine" to refer to things other than cochineal, but nonetheless the word was invented to refer specifically to cochineal products, and it's a well-known word, and I would think that if any article on Wikipedia were to wikilink to the carmine article, it would be the cochineal article.
You raise a good point, however, about the specific preparation of Armenian cochineal -- the information I have seen about carmine generally refers to the regular cochineal (Dactylopius coccus). I presume that carmine prepared from Armenian cochineal would be pretty much the same since the dyes are almost chemically indistinguishable according to the studies of Wouters et al. and other researchers, but that's just a presumption and I don't have any information on the preparation of Armenian cochineal carmine. I do have information on the preparation of crimson dyes from Armenian cochineal for the purpose of dyeing silk, but that is a bit different. I seem to remember reading somewhere (I can't remember where right now) that the recipe for making vordan karmir light-fast was lost to history in the early 19th century and that Armenian scientists haven't recreated it yet, so it's possible that none of the historic recipes for utilizing Armenian cochineal, other than the old European recipes for dyeing silk, are known today. And I don't know for sure that Armenian cochineal was used for anything other than dyeing silk outside of Armenia.
What I was originally going for in the second paragraph of the article lede is a statement that clarifies that Armenian cochineal (Porphyrophora hamelii) is not just some variety of cochineal (Dactylopius coccus), which is a mistake that is easy to make given the name "Armenian cochineal". I am not hard-set on mentioning Cardon's proposal to call it the "Armenian crimson-dyeing scale insect" in the article lede (i.e., the text that you removed a while back for being "confusing and not informative"), but I do believe that the name "cochineal" was applied to this insect as a borrowing from the better-known insect whose name actually is cochineal (Dactylopius coccus). In fact, Cardon says that Hamel (who called the insect Cochenille am Ararat) "rescued [the insect] from the realms of myth" because at the time of his journey Porphyrophora hamelii was no longer used anywhere in the world except by monks at Holy Echmiadzin for copying manuscripts. The debate over the word "carmine" is of less interest to me than clarifying the "cochineal" nomenclature. Finally, I am somewhat uncomfortable with talking about "carminic acid" in the article lede, since the average reader will be more familiar with the terminology of pigments, dyes, and colors (hence why I originally tried to go the "carmine" route) than with chemical nomenclature. Carminic acid can be (and is) discussed later in the article. Ketone16 (talk) 05:44, 23 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't have your discomfort with carminic acid but I'm fully willing to concede that it's unnecessary to put it in the lede. We're agreed there is cochineal dye and cochineal insect. In reference to both the dye and the insect, the name "cochineal" has three different semantic scopes in different authors, namely: (1) the usual cochineal, which is the commercially cultivated Mexican/Peruvian cochineal; and (2) any red dye from a scale-insect in which the active dye chemical is mainly carminic acid, and this scope covers any scale-insect that produces carminic acid in significant quantity, and it includes Mexican, Armenian and Polish cochineals and also other lesser-known species that live in Argentina, Siberia, Turkey, etc -- some of the lesser-known ones are named at REF, a book that uses the word "cochineal" with this scope; and (3) any red dye from a scale-insect in which the chemical cornerstone of the dye is anthraquinone red, and this includes the Kermes and the Lac/lacca scale-insects whose anthraquinoine red chemical is, respectively, kermesic acid and laccaic acid (and needless to say carminic acid is an anthraquinone red as well), and, to be clear, the scope of this is that any scale-insect that produces an anthraquinone red dye in significant quantity is a cochineal insect and the dye it produces is a cochineal dye. Now here's a question that I'd like you to answer for me and for yourself. If I chose option (2) above for the scope of "cochineal", then what's the name I'd use to designate the class defined in option (3) ? And if I chose scope (1) for "cochineal" then what are the names I'd use when I want to talk about the classes defined in (2) and (3) ? I already said some books use "carmine" for option (3), and I get the feeling that Cardon uses "carmine" for option (2), but this is (potentially) confusing because carmine is much more widely used meaning the option (1) cochineal dye mordanted and processed with modern methods, and carmine also means a color. Seanwal111111 (talk) 09:48, 24 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think I would stay away from using "carmine" for option 3, given that the word was coined to describe option 1 and the principal dye molecule of the cochineal is carminic acid, so there is also an argument for generalizing the use of "carmine" to option 2. I don't know what to call option 3 other than "natural red insect dyes" or "anthraquinone dyes". What is your feeling about the disambiguation of the insect names? Is the current wording adequate given that "cochineal" was first applied to Dactylopius coccus and "cochineal" (without any modifying adjective) is still the common name of that species? Porphyrophora hamelii is a distant relative -- the ground pearls (family Margarodidae) only share a superfamily (Coccoidea) with the cochineals (family Dactylopiidae). Ketone16 (talk) 04:30, 27 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The Wikipedia article Armenian cochineal speaks of "Armenian carmine". That is unnecessary, confusing, and uncustomary (idiosyncratic). To appreciate that it's uncustomary, I did a search at for the phrase "Armenian carmine" (including the quotation marks). The only books using this phrase are Cardon's book and a book that is citing Cardon: See the search result. By contrast, the search for the phrase "Armenian cochineal" (including the quotation marks) returns a couple of hundred books, many of which are using this phrase to mean a dye: See the search result. A search on the general Internet gives the same kind of result: the number of search results for "Armenian carmine" is small and the bulk of them are derivative of the Wikipedia article and/or Cardon. I've believe you've been writing with a false notion that Cardon's vocabulary is not idiosyncratic and a related false notion that "cochineal" is not a dye. I tried earlier to explain why your usage of carmine is confusing. As an additional point, even if it weren't confusing, it'd still be unnecessary. As a way of conveying it's unnecessary, the article's usage of "Armenian carmine" is analogous to an article entitled Crimson Silk wherein some paragraphs are speaking of Carmine Silk, when the article's Carmine Silk is really synonymous with Crimson Silk for all purposes. Seanwal111111 (talk) 10:57, 28 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OK, but I don't really see how all that pertains to what I wrote. First, the article as it presently stands does not use the phrase "Armenian carmine" except in a footnoted quote from Vedeler's book. Second, I never argued that the phrase "Armenian cochineal" has never been used to refer to this insect or the dye -- which, as I previously stated, is why I gave the article the title that it has. I'm not sure what your problem with Cardon is, but her book has almost 40 pages on insects called cochineal, including 6 pages on the Armenian cochineal, which I guess I could compare to the Pigment Compendium you cited, which has about a page on these insects and a few sentences on P. hamelii. Cardon's book covers the nomenclature, anatomy and life cycle, habitat and distribution, harvesting, dye composition, dyeing methods and colors obtained, historical importance, and recent developments regarding each of these insects: four species of Porphyrophora and more than four species of Dactylopius. Her book is idiosyncratic to the extent that it attempts to disentangle the ambiguous historical terminology. You asked me for my opinion on nomenclature and I gave it; it was my own opinion and I wasn't parroting Cardon. You seem insistent on the use of the ambiguous word "cochineal" without qualifiers. (A qualifier does not have to be the word "carmine".) But you haven't read about the history of the nomenclature of the scale insects and their dyes, and you haven't read Cardon or the other references cited in the Wikipedia article Armenian cochineal that discuss the confusing nomenclature, yet you express strong convictions based on Google searches and dictionary definitions -- the tools of Wikipedia novices rather than of serious editors.
I've told you that the use of the word "carmine" in the article is not too important to me, or at least it's less important than how "cochineal" is used to refer to the various insect species in question. I've raised the issue of the nomenclature of the insect species a couple of times recently, but you haven't addressed it. The original paragraph that you've now spent almost a couple of thousand words arguing about was added to the article (by me) solely to disambiguate the insect species. This was the paragraph that you dismissed as "confusing and not informative" before making an edit that totally destroyed the attempt to disambiguate. I will cede to you that the original wording may have been confusing, and I've tried to improve it since then, but frankly the original text was only "not informative" to you because you did not understand the point in question and you were not familiar with the literature on the topic. I am not convinced that either circumstance has changed since then. In my last comment on this page I asked whether you had any problems with the wording of the second paragraph of the lede, but you did not answer. Do you want to contribute to the article, or do you just want to argue? I do not want to argue endlessly here; I am hoping that we can converge on a constructive, informative, and clear version of the text. What is your problem with the second paragraph of the lede as it is presently worded? Do you just want the word "carmine" to go away? Ketone16 (talk) 16:51, 28 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have edited the 2nd paragraph to restore my edit of 18 Nov 2015. Except I deleted the mention of polish cochineal. The polish cochineal is adequately covered in the immediately following paragraph. Thus the deletion is removing duplication. I hope you don't still have a problem with this edit. Intentionally, the word "carmine" is still present in the 1st paragraph. Seanwal111111 (talk) 21:36, 28 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks! I tried making the second paragraph more concise—see if you agree. Ketone16 (talk) 14:00, 4 December 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have quibbles. Your new version is:
The Armenian cochineal scale insect, Porphyrophora hamelii, is in a different taxonomic family from the cochineal found in the Americas. Both insects produce red dyestuffs that are also commonly called cochineal, whose principal dye component is carminic acid.
(1) Your word "also" is out of place and should be deleted. We call them cochineal insects because they produce cochineal dye. Not the other way around. You're putting it the other way around. Thus I read it as muddled. Relatedly, I wish to restore the version where the order of the two sentences is reversed from your order.
(2) Carminic acid is the ONLY active dye chemical in Armenian and Mexican cochineal. You're needlessly imprecise in saying carminic acid is the PRINCIPAL dye component of Armenian and Mexican cochineal.
(3) For a smallish minority of authors the meaning of cochineal covers any coccid insect whose active dye chemical is any anthraquinone red. I don't take a stand on that terminology issue and my wording differs from yours in that I intentionally do not say the dye component of "cochineal" is always carminic acid.
The following is my version. What's wrong with it:
The term "cochineal" means a red dyestuff derived from various scale insect species. The Armenian cochineal insect, Porphyrophora hamelii, is in a different taxonomic family from the insect most commonly called "cochineal", which is the cultivated American cochineal insect. But the two have the same active dye chemical (carminic acid).
As a separate matter, the lede paragraph is saying Armenian cochineal used to be called kirmiz in Persian. I don't think that's important enough to merit being in the lede. It is said again later in the article. I'd like to cut it out of the lede. Seanwal111111 (talk) 21:53, 4 December 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
(1a) No, I do not have it the wrong way around. I have not found any record of "cochineal" or its variants being used to describe a dye before the Dactylopius insects and their dye were given that name. The insects, and their dye, and the cactus plants on which the insects lived, were all at one time called grana cochinilla, from which the word "cochineal" was derived. "Cochineal" (or rather, the word's antecedent) was a synonym for both the name of the Dactylopius coccus insect and its dye. The Porphyrophora insects were not called "cochineal" (or variants of that name) until much later. And they didn't get the name because they produced "cochineal" (the dye): people of that era didn't know anything about the chemical composition of dyes, so they had no way of telling whether they were dealing with the same dye other than appealing to color. The 19th-century European "discoverers" of Porphyrophora hamelii just knew that the P. hamelii insects were little bugs that produced red dye, just like the famous little Dactylopius bugs. Thus the Porphyrophora insects and their dye got the name "cochineal" as well, just like the Dactylopius insects and their dye, along withe a geographic modifier like "Armenian" or "Polish". I imagine that's how the dye from the kermes insects eventually got called "cochineal" from a minority of (confused) writers -- any red dye from an insect became associated with the most famous red insect dye of the time: the dye from Dactylopius insects. Your definition of cochineal is overly broad -- most authors do not call the kermes dye "cochineal". They call it kermes! There's a whole article on it. Calling it cochineal is just repeating confusing nomenclature that was only used by a minority of historical writers and included in modern compendiums for the sake of completeness.
(1b) No, the sentences should not be switched. The point of the paragraph is not to talk about cochineal dye. The text in the first paragraph already says that Armenian cochineal is a source of cochineal dyestuff. Your first and last sentences are completely optional. My own second sentence is optional as well. The point of the paragraph is to keep people from thinking that the Armenian cochineal insect is just a variety of the cochineal (i.e., Dactylopius coccus), which could happen because both insects have common names with the word "cochineal" in them. Thus, the disambiguation between insect species was my lead sentence when I created the paragraph. It's still my lead sentence now, and I do not support redundant talk about dyes in the lead sentence. You still don't seem to understand that Dactylopius coccus is the original insect called "cochineal" -- that's why the Wikipedia article name for that insect is just "cochineal" and not "American cochineal" or "Mexican cochineal". Dactylopius coccus is more than just the insect "most commonly called cochineal" -- it is the cochineal! Dactylopius coccus is usually called simply "cochineal" (with no adjective) to this day, whereas the "Armenian cochineal" never is, and as far as I can tell never has been. It's only authors who wish to differentiate between the confusing historical uses of the word "cochineal" who add the adjective "American" or "Mexican". But they do it to add clarity, whereas you have misinterpreted the situation and are attempting to subtract clarity. Adding clarity was the whole point of Jashenko's and Cardon's suggestion to revise the common nomenclature of the Porphyrophora insects. I took out their nomenclature because you found it idiosyncratic, but it's a step too far for you to suggest wording that actually confuses the history of the nomenclature rather than clarifying it.
(2) I did not write that carminic acid is the principal component of Armenian cochineal and (regular) cochineal, I wrote that it is the principal component of "cochineal" (the dyestuff), which may be derived from both P. hamelii and D. coccus. The dyestuff also may be derived from Porphyrophora polonica, which also contains kermesic acid and contributes to the difference in color between cochineal dye from P. hamelii and cochineal dye from P. polonica. I originally had Porphyrophora polonica in the paragraph for that very reason, but you took it out of the article lede, and now you're complaining about the result. I think we both agreed anyway that carminic acid doesn't have to be mentioned in the article lede, so maybe we should just take out the last clause in my sentence. Or just take out the whole sentence.
(3) Carminic acid got its name because it is the main component of carmine, which was the name of a pigment derived from Dactylopius insects. The minority of authors are a minority for a reason. Kermes gets its color from kermesic acid. I do not support your definition of "cochineal", as many authors do not agree with it (or at least do not use it). I will refer you to your own sources that you've listed previously in this discussion.
(4) Kirmiz is what the Armenian cochineal dye was called when it was arguably at its most famous. One of the most famous cities in Armenian history was at one time nicknamed "the town of kirmiz". I don't support taking the reference to kirmiz out of the article lede. "Cochineal" was only applied to this insect and its dye in the past two hundred years -- it was used (and quite well-regarded) for at least two thousand years. In medieval Armenia it was known as vordan karmir, and in Persia it was known as kirmiz. Both names are presently included in the article lede.
(5) There is nothing wrong with the paragraph that I wrote, and it's grammatically well-constructed, unlike your three-sentence version. If the text I wrote is still causing irreconcilable differences, then I suggest we remove the second half of my second sentence, or remove my second sentence entirely. Ketone16 (talk) 03:03, 5 December 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Also, I'm not sure what your quibble is with the word "also" in my phrase "Both insects produce red dyestuffs that are also commonly called cochineal." The use of "also", as far as I know, does not imply causality. I can say "Jim Jones has a father who is also named Jim" or "Jim Jones has a son who is also named Jim". It's just a standard grammatical construct in English. Ketone16 (talk) 04:17, 5 December 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The definition of a cochineal insect is that it produces cochineal dye (whatever the definition of cochineal dye may be). Let us agree to adopt whatever scope you like for the scope of "cochineal dye". The definition of a cochineal insect is that it produces this dye. That's what I'm saying, and nothing said by you above contradicts it. Apparently you think this definition is not right. Please tell us your definition of cochineal insect, in one sentence. Please see the definition of "cochineal" in English dictionaries -- they all define cochineal firstly and primarily as a dye: Concise Oxford English Dictionary, American Heritage Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Webster's New World Dictionary, Random House Dictionary, Chambers 21st Century Dictionary, Cambridge English Dictionary. That's all of the main English dictionaries for you. The Wikipedia article entitled "cochineal" says in its opening sentence "The cochineal is a scale insect". But that definition is in conflict with all the English dictionaries linked above. Apparently you're going with Wikipedia's defintion. I'm not. I'm going with the definition in all those English dictionaries. Seanwal111111 (talk) 18:34, 5 December 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, that is the broad dyer's use of the term for the dye (not the insect), but the word is only used that way because several insects other than the Dactylopidaae have been somewhat sloppily grouped with the "cochineals" -- hundreds of years after the Dactylopidaae were called so. You should not be looking at popular dictionaries to resolve a scientific entomological question! But if you like dictionary definitions, here is the Oxford Dictionaries' definition of the "cochineal insect": "The scale insect that is used for cochineal, native to Mexico and formerly widely cultivated on cacti. (Dactylopius coccus, family Dactylopiidae, suborder Homoptera)".[5] This is why the "Armenian cochineal" article lede needs the disambiguation sentence about the insect species! This dictionary does not define "cochineal insect" as anything other than Dactylopius coccus. It does define the substance "cochineal" (i.e., the dye or the dried bodies used to produce the dye) more generally in definition 1, but that's because as we both agree, the substance produced from these carminic-acid-bearing insects (not the insects themselves) is commonly called cochineal. All I'm trying to do is put one sentence into the article lede that clarifies that Porphyrophora hamelii is not some variant of the cochineal insects Dactylopidaae. I am not trying to make a comment on the dyestuff, which we can agree is commonly called cochineal (or carmine or whatever) and is chemically pretty similar across the Dactylopius and Porphyrophora insects.
If you have a problem with the Wikipedia article on cochineal and why they chose that name, I suggest you take your dispute there. I think you will quickly find that you are mistaken (or maybe not quickly, given your history). This is not the appropriate article for that dispute.
You are harming this article with your behavior. Your edits are confusing the distinction between Dactylopius and Porphyrophora, not clarifying the distinction. You are not using sources that are appropriate to the task at hand. You are using popular sources to resolve a specialized entomological nomenclature problem -- basically falling into the same confusion that the experts in this field are trying to dissipate. You won't read Cardon or Jashenko. You aren't looking at the entomological literature. You refuse to read even the sources cited in this article. I can assure you that I've read the sources in this article, because I added almost all of them in the first place. Your review of the sources is haphazard, without understanding what weight to give different sources in what contexts, and you have not examined the sources critically as an editor should. I think you have some issues with the English language both in terms of reading comprehension and in writing crisp, grammatical English. Some of your suggestions and research described here on the talk page have been helpful, but your edits to the article itself are not helping.
Your behavior here is not appropriate. Ever since we started this discussion I've been trying to shape your suggestions and find compromises rather than resorting to wholesale reverts. You performed a wholesale revert and just ignored everything I wrote about the objectives of the article lede and specific choices of wording. I am reverting your revert so you can have the chance to go back and address my comments. If you perform another wholesale revert, then I will notify the Wikipedia administrators. Ketone16 (talk) 16:44, 5 December 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You say: "All I'm trying to do is put one sentence into the article lede that clarifies that Porphyrophora hamelii is not some variant of the cochineal insects Dactylopidaae." Okay. What I'm trying to do is put one sentence into the article lede that clarifies what cochineal is. Seanwal111111 (talk) 18:34, 5 December 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is not an article on the cochineal dyestuff. This is an article on Porphyrophora hamelii and its dye, which is called "Armenian cochineal", among other names. As for the dyestuff "cochineal", P. hamelii and D. coccus both produce a dyestuff that is sometimes called "cochineal", which (if you want) can be characterized by its high carminic acid content. That information was already in my edit. Your "definition" of cochineal, which includes a variety of scale insects as sources, is a minority definition and an imprecise definition, and unnecessarily confuses the Kermes insects with other scale insects. You also unnecessarily confuse the Porphyrophora and Dactylopius insects.
You did not address my many other comments on the prioritization of facts in the lede or the accuracy of wording. I am reverting to the edit I had yesterday given that you totally ignored my long refutation of your edit and implemented a wholesale revert. If you want to discuss what I wrote constructively, then you are welcome to. My lead sentence for the paragraph is: "The Armenian cochineal scale insect, Porphyrophora hamelii, is in a different taxonomic family from the cochineal found in the Americas." That is a true statement, and it makes it clear that P. hamelii is not just some varient of Dactylopius insect. I am leaning toward just limiting the second paragraph of the lede to that single sentence in order to avoid this irrelevant controversy. The second sentence presently is: "Both insects produce red dyestuffs that are also commonly called cochineal." That is also an unquestionably true statement, by any of your definitions. We can add back in the carminic acid part if you'd like. Or we can just delete the whole sentence. You are trying to choose a definition of "cochineal" that is not agreed upon in the literature and confuses the distinction between insects and their dyes. You are also trying to lead with the sentence that conflates the insects rather than differentiates between them. That is not acceptable. It is particularly unacceptable given that you asked for a definition and I gave you one, and you just ignored it because you didn't like it. Then you reverted my edit, totally ignoring the substance of this dispute. Ketone16 (talk) 20:17, 5 December 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Also, I'm not actually certain that the dyestuff of Porphyrophora hamelii was ever called "cochineal" (without an adjective) during the time of its use. By the time the insects and their dye (called vordan karmir) in the native language were rediscovered in the west and given the name "cochineal", their dye basically wasn't in use anymore, whereas actual cochineal (from Dactylopius coccus) was in use and still is. It would probably make more sense to call the dyestuff "Armenian cochineal" (with an adjective), even though it is extremely similar to (but perhaps not exactly identical to) the Dactylopius dyestuff. Again, I think the lede of this article is the wrong place to introduce a controversial discussion of the name of the dyestuff. Ketone16 (talk) 20:51, 5 December 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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