The High Priest and his Glorious Camouflage

Ancient Attire is a Digital Lecture Series on Dress, Adornment and Vestimentary Codes in the Ancient Mediterranean World.

This lecture is presented by Dr. Søren Lorenzen

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About the lecture

Colorful and bright clothes can fascinate and mesmerize, but they can also signify a person’s status or function as a warning sign for dangers. The high priest’s wardrobe described in Exodus is one of the most detailed descriptions of colorful clothing in the Hebrew Bible. On the one hand, the high priest is dressed in expensive hues that signify status, but on the other hand, he blends into the holy and dangerous tabernacle made of fabrics with similar hues. The high priest is thus gloriously dressed to stand out and camouflaged to blend in. In this lecture, we will look at the colorful high priest, his sensuous and dangerous surroundings, and the power connected to his colorful vestments.

Søren Lorenzen. Photo
Dr. Søren Lorenzen

About  Dr. Lorenzen

Søren Lorenzen is a research associate at the University of Bonn. His research concentrates on questions of identity, language, and embodiment in the Hebrew Bible. Dr. Lorenzen’s Ph.D. dissertation focused on names and selfhood in biblical texts and will be published as a monograph in August 2022 (Mohr Siebeck). Recently, he has explored new territories by engaging colors and color symbolism in the Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel.

Digital event - how to participate

The seminar will be held digitally. If you wish to attend a lecture, you need to register in advance.

Register here!

A zoom link will be sent to you before the event. You can download Zoom or use your browser:

Suggestions for further Reading

  • Batchelor, D. (2000), Chromophobia, London: Reaktion Books.

  • Brenner, Athalya (1982), Colour Terms in the Old Testament, Sheffield: JSOT.

  • Hartley, J. E. (2010), The Semantics of Ancient Hebrew Colour Lexemes, Louvain: Peeters.

  • Imes, C. J. (2019), ‘Between Two Worlds: The Functional and Symbolic Significance of The High Priestly Regalia,’ in A. Finitsis (ed.), Dress and Clothing in the Hebrew Bible: “For All Her Household Are Clothed in Crimson”, 29–62, London: T&T Clark.

  • Koenig, S. (2012), ‘Color, Symbolism of. II. Hebrew Bible/Old Testament’, EBR, 491–2, Berlin: de Gruyter.

About Ancient Attire

A Digital Lecture Series on Dress, Adornment and Vestimentary Codes in the Ancient Mediterranean World

The aim of this series is to investigate vestimentary codes in ancient cultures, and to explore how these concepts relate to gender, hierarchy and power.

Seven excellent international researchers, experts on the material cultures and texts of the ancient Mediterranean, will present a 30-minute lecture, followed by amble time for questions and discussion.

We are interested in mapping dress and adornment as broadly as possible and therefore we encourage our speakers to consider vestimentary codes from a multi-sensorial perspective and to give thought to both touch, smell, taste, hearing and vision.

Ancient Attire Programme - Fall 2022


The lecture series is organized by Professor Anne Katrine de Hemmer Gudme and hosted by The Faculty of Theology at the University of Oslo and the Faculty’s research group Biblical Texts, Cultures and Receptions.

Published June 27, 2022 12:36 PM - Last modified Oct. 24, 2022 3:50 PM