), a light and showy garment, so
named from its saffron colour. The derivation from crocus
is undoubted (Verg. A.
: “picta croco et fulgenti murice vestis” ), and
the notion of Salmasius and others that it was from κρόκη,
the woof or weft, or κροκὺς,
the nap on cloth, is justly exploded. It is variously
described as an under-garment (χιτών
) or an
upper one (ἱμάτιον
): and Pottier (in D.
& S.) has seen in this an indication that its real place was between
the two. This is confirmed by the description of a statue of Bacchus as
wearing a long-sleeved purple χιτών,
crocota of some gauzy texture (κροκωτὸν
) over it, and finally a mantle or ἱμάτιον
of embroidered purple and gold (Callix. ap. Ath. 5.198
c). The crocota was probably
sleeveless, showing the sleeves of the tunic underneath. It was worn mostly
by women, especially those of light character (Aristoph. Lys. 44
138, 253, 945;
879; Pollux, 4.18, 117); and its use by men was a
mark of effeminacy (Cratin. fr. 37, Meineke; Araros, fr. 4, M.), and hence
appropriate to Bacchus (Aristoph. Frogs
). In the Latin writers it is characteristic of the priests of
Cybele (Verg. l.c.;
p. 172), but was adopted by the Roman ladies (Plaut., and Naevius ap. Non.
pp. 538, 549), and even by foppish men ([Cic.] de Har. Resp.
21.44). Yellow was a favourite colour both with Greek and Roman ladies; as
we still see in the pictures discovered at Herculaneum and Pompeii. Hence in
a skit at the endless names for feminine apparel we find calthula,
“of a marigold colour,” joined with crocotula
2.2, 49 ; the whole
passage is curious, though, according to some critics, interpolated). (Cf.
iii. pp. 223, 252.)