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What would or did the Romans use as ink? Were Oak Galls ever used?? The tree behind my house has a few, and I was grinding them up to use for my Colonial stuff.....

Thanks!
I don't think they used oak galls, but I have little proof either way. What I know is documented is lampblack (soot) in a gum solution. I've used it with reasonably good effects.
Yep, oak galls were used - there are some lead tags and ostraka with clear evidence of oak gall ink. I'm not sure, however, if they were used on papyrus due to the comparatively aggressive chemical behaviour.
Sources differ. For the first century, some sources say oak galls, gum arabic, and water. Most sources say lampblack (from olive oil lamps, chimneys [pine wood yielded more soot than most woods], and other sources), gum arabic, honey, wine, vinegar, and/or water. Some say either or both of the above, plus some oil and/or shrub or tree resin (particularly pine). (Caution: oil makes the ink smear / smudge a more easily.)

EDIT to add links:

Ink (Wikipedia article)

How to Make Ink (KNAW NL) Great links on the navigation bar (in the left margin).

Iron Gall Ink (Lois Fruen)

Article by Alexander Allen, in Smith's Dictionary Greek and Roman Antiquities (1875), in LacusCurtius (paste this entire link into your web browser [problem with the link's asterisk here]): http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/R ... entum.html

Roman ink (MyLearning.Org, Yorkshire, UK)

Fourty Centuries of Ink (David N. Carvalho)

Ancient and Modern Ink Recipes (David N. Carvalho)

For anyone interested, other ink recipes: [url:3fmy86jl]http://www.mspong.org/cyclopedia/inks.html[/url]
Good answer, Amit, and a Laud!