The term scarlet was also used in the Middle Ages for a type of cloth that was often bright red. Scarlet dyes were first mentioned in 8th century BC, under the name Armenian Red , and they were described in Persian and Assyrian writings. The color was exported from Persia to Rome. During the Roman Empire , it was second in prestige only to the purple worn by the Emperors. Roman officers wore scarlet cloaks, and persons of high rank were referring to as the coccinati, the people of red.