Sable vestments is Robert Bury’s and W.R.M. Lamb‘s translation of the Greek kuanon stolen in Critias 120b which describes the ceremonies of the Atlantean rulers when they meet. At first sight it appeared to me that this might be a reference to a need for fur robes implying a cold northern climate, compatible with the habitat of the sable. Anton Mifsud advised me that the Greek text more correctly translates as ‘dark-blue garments’ confirming both Jowett and Thomas Taylor, who translate kuanon as ‘azure’. Other translations on offer are ‘dark blue‘ (Lee), ‘steel blue‘ (Wells) and ‘purple‘ (David Horan). It is more commonly referred to nowadays as ‘Tyrian purple’.
If this reference to azure robes was actually recounted to Solon, and not just a Platonic embellishment, it places Atlantis in the 2nd millennium BC, which was when the earliest reference to the production of ‘Tyrian dye’ by the Phoenicians is recorded. The use of purple and indigo clothing was a fashion statement by the political and religious elite that lasted for at least three millennia, which can be seen on the coronation portrait of Britain’s King George VI.