Contemporary studies of mysticism pay careful attention to the way words signify—and for good reason. Early Christians debated theories of language and invented new ones to try to speak the impossible. But what if we shift the focus from linguistic signification to chromatic differentiation? What do we notice when we’re looking not for moments when words fail but moments when colors pop? Polychromy and the jeweled style of late ancient aesthetics are now well-known features of late ancient art, and yet these studies are often vague about actual colors. This paper attempts to slow the swirl of late ancient colors to show how early Christians found God in the color blue.

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