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CROCO´TA dim. CROCOTULA (sc. vestis; κροκωτόν, sc. ἱμάτιον, or κροκωτός, sc. χιτών), a light and showy garment, so named from its saffron colour. The derivation from crocus is undoubted (Verg. A. 9.614: “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, a crocota of some gauzy texture (κροκωτὸν διαφανῆ) 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; Thesm. 138, 253, 945; Eccl. 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 46). In the Latin writers it is characteristic of the priests of Cybele (Verg. l.c.; Apul. Met. viii. 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 (Plaut. Epid. 2.2, 49 ; the whole passage is curious, though, according to some critics, interpolated). (Cf. Becker-Göll, Charikles, iii. pp. 223, 252.)

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