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p369 Crocota

Article by Leonhard Schmitz, Ph.D., F.R.S.E., Rector of the High School of Edinburgh
on pp369‑370 of

William Smith, D.C.L., LL.D.:
A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, John Murray, London, 1875.

CROCO′TA (sc. vestis; κροκωτὸν sc. ἱμάτιον p370or κροκωτὸς sc. χιτών), was a kind of gala dress, chiefly worn by women on solemn occasions, and in Greece especially, at the festival of the Dionysia (Aristoph. Ran. 46, with the Schol. Lysistr. 44; Pollux, IV.18.117). It was also worn by the priest of Cybele (Apul. Met. 8 and 11; Virg. Aen. IX.614), and sometimes by men of effeminate character (Aristoph. Thesmoph. 253; Suidas, s.v.; Plaut. and Naevius, ap. Nonium, XIV.8 and XVI.4; Cic. Harusp. Resp. 21). It is evident from the passage of Virgil, that its name was derived from crocus, one of the favourite colours of the Greek ladies, as we still see in the pictures discovered at Herculaneum and Pompeii. The circumstance that dresses of this colour were in Latin commonly called vestes crocatae or croceae, has induced some writers on antiquities to suppose that crocota was derived from κροκή (woof or weft), or κροκίς (a flake of wool or cotton on the surface of the cloth), so that it would be a soft and woolly kind of dress (Salmas. ad Capitolin. Pertinac. 8 t. 1 p547, and ad Tertull. De Pall. p329). But the passages above referred to are sufficient to refute this opinion, and the name crocota was, like many others, adopted by the Romans from the Greeks (Compare Becker's Charikles, vol. II p351, &c.).


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