previous next

χρυσαυγὴς κρόκος. Tozer, Geogr. of Greece p. 162: “"when Sophocles... speaks of the “crocus with its golden sheen,"” we would fain regard this as the same with the splendid flower that displays its golden blossoms close to the snow on Parnassus and the mountains of Arcadia. But, in reality, there can be little doubt that it was the cultivated crocus, from which the saffron was obtained, and which was introduced into Greece from the East, where it was prized as a dye for robes and slippers,— the “κροκόβαπτον ποδὸς εὔμαριν” of the Persae [660]—the sign of royalty and majesty.” Cp.

῾οφ φαιρ μαιδενς᾿ ἀμφὶ δὲ χαῖται
ὤμοις ἀΐσσοντο κροκηΐῳ ἄνθει ὁμοῖαι

. Along with roses, violets, "hyacinth," "narcissus," and "agallis" (iris?), the "crocus" is gathered by Cora (ib. 6 ff.). Schol. “κἀν τῇ Νιοβῃ Σοφοκλῆς τὸν κρόκον ἄντικρυς τῇ Δήμητρι ἀνατίθεται”. At the Thesmophoria (the festival of Demeter “θεσμοφόρος”), when wreaths of flowers were not worn (schol.), the women appeared in “κροκωτοί”, saffroncoloured robes (Ar. Thesm. 138). The crocus was planted on graves (Juv. Sat. 7. 208).

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide References (2 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (2):
    • Aristophanes, Thesmophoriazusae, 138
    • Homeric Hymns, Hymn 4 to Hermes, 177
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: