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 p300  Coa Vestis

Article by James Yates, M.A., F.R.S.,
on p300 of

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

COA VESTIS, the Coan cloth, is mentioned by various Latin authors, but most frequently used distinctly by poets of the Augustan age (Tibull. II.4, II.6; Propert. I.2, II.1, IV.2, IV.5; Hor. Carm. IV.13.13, Sat. I.2.101; Ovid, Ars Am. II.298). From their expressions we learn that it had a great degree of transparency, that it was remarkably fine, that it was chiefly worn by women of loose reputation, and that it was sometimes dyed purple and enriched with stripes of gold. It has been supposed to have been made of silk, because in Cos silk was spun and woven at a very early period, so as to obtain a high celebrity for the manufactures of that island (Arist. Hist. Anim. V.19). In the woodcut under Coma, a female is represented wearing a robe of this kind.

For a more detailed treatment of this question, see the article Sericum and the further links there.

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Page updated: 9 Dec 06