Immagini della pagina


reverentia, vel factorum et (etiam) turpium cum lascivia imitatio; a Graecis ita definitus: μιμός έστι μίμησις βίου τα τε συγκεχωρημένα και ασυγχώρητα περιέχων. In the same manner Euanthius states that the mimi were named so ab diuturna imitatione vilium rerum et levium personarum, and Isid. Or. XVIII 49: mimi sunt dicti graeca appellatione quod rerum humanarum sint imitationes. Plutarch, Quaest. sympos. VII 8,4, distinguishes two kinds of μίμοι, ών τους μεν υποθέσεις, τους δε naiyvıa xadovoiv, both unfit for exhibition during dinner, the first d'ed τα μήκη των δραμάτων και το δυσχορήγητον, and the παίγνια on account of their obscene character, although he adds that they did form a favourite amusement at dinner, even in the presence of women and boys. In the latter sense we find it e. g. in Polyb. XXXI 4: úni tür μίμων ο βασιλεύς εισεφέρετο ..ως είς ών των μίμων. και της συμφωνίας

. προκαλουμένης αναπηδήσας αρχείτο και υπεκρίνετο μετα των γελωτοποιών. Literary history deals only with the first kind of mimus which bears a scenic character; as to the second kind, i. e. the uiuoi as farcical representations in private circles, which belongs to the department of a the history of morals, see esp. 0. Jahn's Prolegg. to his edition of Persius, p. LXXXIV–XCII. On the mimus of the Romans in general see Ziegler, de mimis Roman. Göttingen 1788, and espec. C. I. Grysar's essay on the Roman Mimus, Vienna 1854 = Sitzungsber. der Wiener Akad., philosophisch-hist. Cl. XII. p. 237 — 283, with the addenda p. 283 — 337, where, however, the different periods are not sufficiently separated. On later mimi see also E. Munck, de fab. Atell. p. 124 sqq. Krahner, Ztschr. für Alt. Wiss. 1852 p. 390 sqq. L. Friedländer, History of Roman manners. II?. p. 298 sqq.

2. The mimus was “a very old creation of the people, and the productions of Laberius and Syrus differ no less from its original form than the literary form given to the Atellanae by Pomponius and Novius differs from their primitive form." J. Vahlen, Ztschr. für östr. Gymn. 1859. p. 291. In fact the mimus suited the Italian character (. 3 sq.) and the culture of the Romans. As long as its character was not fixed in writing, not being strictly separated from the mountebank representations in every - day life, it was left unnoticed. The traces of its existence in the time before Sulla have, however, been collected by M. Hertz, in the jahrb. edited by Fleckeisen XCIII. p. 581–583. The oldest trace occurs in Festus p. 326 M., where the writer, after mentioning the erection of a stage and the introdution of performances on it, thus proceeds: solebant (his prodire mimi) in orchestra (?), dum in scena actus fa-)bulae componeren(tur, cum gestibus ob-)scaenis. Then follows a mention of ludi (Apollinares) Sulpicio C. Fulvio cos. (rather P. Sulp. Cn. Fulvio = 243 A. V. C., 211 B. C.) at which appeared a libertinus mimus magno natu qui ad tibicinem saltaret, and of the deviating opinion of Sinnius Capito, who placed the event Claudio et Fulvio cos. (542 =212). See F. Osann, Festus and the first performance of mimi at Rome, Jahn's Jahrb. LXXIII. p. 660—663. In the seventh century are mentioned excesses of the mimi by nominatim compellare in scena (Cornif. ad Her. I 14, 24. II 13, 19) and in the year 639 Cassiodorus states that the

[ocr errors]

censors artem ludicram ex urbe removerunt. To the same period belongs the mimus vetus oppido ridiculus called Tutor, in Cic. de or. II 64, 259 (663 A. V. c.) Val. Max. II, 10, 8 notices the nudatio mimarum on the stage at the Floralia as a priscus mos iocorum. In like manner, the dexquiuos Ewqię (Plut. Sull. 36) in the time of Sulla justifies conclusions as to an old organization of this class. It is possible that before the general acceptance of the name of mimus the same institution existed under the name of planipes, comp. Grysar p. 245 sq.

3. Diomed. III p. 487 P. = 490, 3 sqq. K.: quarta species (fabularum latinarum) est planipedis, qui graece dicitur miuos. Ideo autem latine planipes dictus quod actores pedibus planis, i. e. nudis, proscenium introirent, non ut tragici actores cum cothurnis neque ut comici cum soccis ... cuius planipedis Atta .. ita meminit: daturin estis aurum? exsultat planipes. Festus p. 277 in.: mimi planipedes. Auson. ep. 11: de mimo planipedem. Juv. VIII 191: planipedes audit (populus) Fabios (comp. Suet. Ner. 4. Tac. Hist. III 62). Donat. de com.: planipedia autem dicta ob humilitatem argumenti eius ac vilitatem actorum, qui .. utuntur in scena .. plano pede. Gell. I 11, 10: si ut planipedi saltanti .. numeros et modos .. tibicen incineret. Macrob. Sat. II 12: planipedis et fabulonis (sannionis ?) impudica .. verba iacientis. The identity of planipes and mimus may, therefore, be considered certain.

4. Cic. ad Fam. IX 16, 7: secundum Oenomaum Attii non, ut olim solebat, Atellanam, sed, ut nunc fit, mimum introduxisti. Comp. embolium (Cic. p. Sest. 54, 116) and emboliaria (Plin. N. H. VII 47, 158) in Sulla's time, and for the Imperial period Orelli 2513, also emboliarius (Garucci, graffiti d. Pompei p. 14). It may, perhaps, be concluded from Donatus' definition of siparium that later on mimi were sometimes used as after-plays: siparium, mimicum velum quod populo obsistit dum fabularum actus commutantur. Comp. Sen. tranq. 1, 8: Publilius .. inter multa alia cothurno, non tantum sipario, fortiora et hoc ait. Juv. VIII 185 sq.: vocem .. locasti sipario, clamosum ageres ut Phasma Catulli. See also Sueton. Dom. 10: occidit et Helvidium filium, quasi scenico exodio (probably a mimus) sub persona Paridis et Oenones divortium suum cum uxore taxasset.

8. At the end of the republic the mimus was introduced into literature by D. Laberius, Publilius Syrus and perhaps Valerius. `At the same time the number of its subjects was enlarged, and its form was assimilated to that of the other kinds of drama. Under the Emperors, when the Mimus prevailed in company with the silent pantomimus, books were written by Philistion, Catullus and Lentulus, besides whom we hear also of Hostilius, Marullus, Atticus, Vergilius Romanus, Aemilius Severianus and Aesopus. Our information about the character of the mimi of this period enables us to draw conclusions as to the original character of the whole

[ocr errors]

species, in making allowance for the over-refined character of a later time, and keeping in mind that after the absorption of all other kinds of drama in the mimus, a more varied action was developed in it and it arrived at greater independence.

1. Athen. VI. p. 261 C.: Nexóhaos (of Damasc.).. súldav enoir .. ούτω χαίρειν μίμοις και γελωτοποιούς, φιλόγελων γενόμενον, ως και πολλα γης μέτρα αυτοϊς χαρίζεσθαι της δημοσίας. εμφανίζουσι δ' αυτού το περί ταύτα ελαρόν αι υπ' αυτού γραφείσαι σατυρικαι κωμωδίαι τη Tariw furn, a passage explained of mimi by Grysar p. 287. Cf. Plut. Sull. 3 and 36. It is certain that in Caesar's time Laberius and Publilius Syrus wrote mimi, the latter of whom united in his person the characters of a writer and actor of mimi. In the Augustan time L. Crassicius, genere Tarentinus, .. initio circa scenam versatus est, dum mimographos adiuvat (Suet. gramm. 18.) It is doubtful if the senarii attributed by Seneca (Ep. 8, 9) to his Lucilius are from a mimus. For Atticus see Martial II 7, 3: componis belle mimos. Of Vergilius Romanus Pliny says Ep. VI 21, 4: scripsit mimiambos tenuiter, argute, venuste atque in hoc genere eloquentissime. Tertull. apolog. 15: dispicite Lentulorum et Hostiliorum venustates, utrum mimos an deos vestros in iocis et strophis rideatis. For Aesopus see Amm. Marc. XXX 4, 21; Aemilius Severianus (of Tarraco) mimographus, Orelli 2622. Subjects were adopted to pantomimes in the Imperial period by Arbronius Silo (Sen. suas. II 19, p.17, 9 Bu.: pantomimis fabulas scripsit), Lucan (fabulae salticae XIV, Vacca), Statius (Juv. VII 87).

2. Cic. de or. II 59, 242: mimorum est ethicorum si nimia est imitatio (caricatures), sicut obscenitas. Cf. ib. 239. orat. 26, 88: ridiculo sic usurum oratorem ut.. nec subobsceno (utatur), ne mimicum (sit). Ovid Trist. II 497 (obscena iocantes) and 515 (imitantes turpia). Quintil. VI 1, 47.

The principal purpose was to provoke laughter: Hor. I 10, 6 sq. Apulei. Flor. I: si mimus est riseris, si comoedia faveris. Cassiod. Var. IV fin.: mimus, qui nunc tantummodo derisui habetur. Lyd. mag. I 40: μιμική η νυν δήθεν μόνη σωζομένη, τεχνικών μεν έχουσα ουδέν λόγω, μόνον το πλήθος επάγουσα γέλωτι. This was also done by means of making faces (Quintil. VI 3, 9), imitating the sounds of animals etc. Plan and general scheme. Cic. Phil. II 27, 65: persona de mimo, modo egens repente dives. p. Cael. 27, 65: mimi est iam exitus, non fabulae: in quo cum clausula non invenitur fugit aliquis ex manibus, deinde scabilla concrepant, aulaeum tollitur. Later on, greater accuracy was used: Quintil. IV 2, 53: est quidam etiam ductus rei credibilis, qualis in comoediis etiam et in mimis. Plut. de solert. anim. 19 (of the time of Vespasianus): μίμω πλοκήν έχοντι δραματικής και πολυπροσωπον. Specimens of a dialogue in Cic. de or. II 67, 274, e. g.: quid est tibi Ista mulier? „Uxor“. Similis, me dius fidius. Laberius prologue in Macrob. Sat. II 7, 2 sq. Cf. Isid. Orig. XVIII 49: habebant (mimi) suum actorem qui antequam mimum ageret fabulam pronuntiaret. On the cantica, see below n. 7.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

3. Being a scurrilous representation of low life, the minus is to a certain extent like the togata and both have many titles in common, e.g. Aquae caldae, Augur, Compitalia, Fullo, Virgo, the latter two occurring also among the Atellanae, with which the mimus shares also the titles Gemini, Hetaera, Nuptiae, Piscator. The principal difference may be found in the prevalence of the mimic element in the mimus, and the existence of the oscae personae in the Atellanae. With the palliata the mimus shares the titles Colax, Hetaera, and Phasma, and besides we find the following originally Greek titles of mimi: Alexandrea, Belonistria, Cophinus, Ephebus, Necyomantia, and Scylax. The plots were in general of an obscene character, esp. seductions, scenes of adultery, cheating of husbands or fathers or persons easily imposed upon. See Ovid. Trist. II 497 sqq. Cic. p. Rab. Post. 12, 35: illim omnes praestigiae, .. omnes fallaciae, omnia denique ab iis mimorum argumenta nata sunt. Juv. VII 44. VIII 197. Capitol. M. Anton. 29, 2. Lamprid. Heliog. 25, 4 (mimica adulteria). Donatus on Aen. V 64: mimi solis inhonestis et adulteris placent. Lactant. inst. VI 20: (mimi) docent adulteria dum fingunt. Minuc. Fel. Oct. 37, 12: mimus vel exponit adulteria vel monstrat. Grysar p. 253. With the same tendency mythological subjects were selected and treated, especially frequently under the Emperors (by Laberius : Lacus Avernus, Necyomantia.). Arnob. ad gent. IV 35: etiam mimis et scurrilibus ludicris sanctissimorum personae interponuntur deorum, et ut spectatoribus vacuis risus possit atque hilaritas excitari iocularibus feriuntur cavillationibus numina. Ib. VII 33: symplegmatibus plurimis intermixtos se esse derisionis in materiam norunt (dii). Tertull. apolog. 25: dispicite .. utrum mimos an deos vestros .. rideatis, moechum Anubim et masculam Lunam, Dianam flagellatam et Iovis mortui testamentum recitatum et tres Hercules famelicos irrisos. Similar subjects are Kinyras and Myrrha (Joseph. Ant. XIX 1, 13), Paris and Oenone (Suet. Dom. 10), Priapus (Augustin civ. dei VI 7). So in the pantomimes of Leda (Juv. VI 63. Arnob. adv. g. VII 33) and others (Apulej. apol. 74 extr. Arnob. I 1.) In this way, the mimi were both a symptom and an important vehicle of the most horrible immorality.

[ocr errors]

4. This scurrility and corruption are seemingly contrasted (Sen. Ep. 8, 8 sq.) by the wise and moral sentences with which especially Syrus’ mimi abounded, perhaps owing to the influence of Greek comedy (comp. Plaut. Rud. IV 7, 23 sqq.) But this combination of scurrility and wisdom is quite in keeping with the popular character (see W.Hertzberg on Juvenal XV, 16. p. 336 sq.), and in the Imperial period the second feature may have been less conspicuous. On the other hand, personal allusions which had been made in the mimi even before (Cornificius above 7, 2. Laberius v. 2). were then sometimes indulged in by the mimi against the very highest persons. Capit. M. Ant. 8, 1: adepti imperium ita civiliter se ambo egerunt ut.. eos Marullus, sui temporis mimographus, cavillando impune perstringeret. Ib. 29, 1 sq. (ter -- Tullus). Maximin. 9, 3 sqq. Lamprid. Comm. 3, 4 (appellatus est a mimis quasi obstupratus). Comp. Vopisc. Aurel. 42, 5.


5. The mimi were performed by one principal actor. Publilius cum mimos componeret ingentique assensu in Italiae oppidis agere coepisset (Macrob. S. II 7,7). Laureolum ... Lentulus egit (Juv. VIII 187). Doctus archimimus.. cotidie in Capitolio mimum agebat (Augustin. civ. d. VI 10). Besides these there were also actores secundarum inferior to the first (Hor. Ep. I 18, 13), who imitated him throughout (Suet. 1. l.) and received blows from him (Juv. V 171. VIII 192. Martial. II 72, 3 sq. V 61, 11 sq. Arnob. adv. g. VII 33). Among these we find in a prominent place the customary part of the stupidus (Orelli 2645 in Verona: Aurelius Eutyches, stupidus greg(is) urb(anae), comp. ib. 2608. Juv. VIII 197); he appeared capite raso (Heinrich on Juv. V 171 p. 219 sq. Non. Marc. p. 6, 25; calvitur = frustratur, tractum a calvis mimis, quod sint omnibus frustratui, Arnob. 1. 1.: delectantur dii stupidorum capitibus rasis, salpittarum sonitu ac plausu, factis et dictis turpibus, fascinorum ingentium rubore). Festus s. v. salva res, erroneously bringing in the palliata: secundarum partium fuit, qui fere omnibus mimis parasitus inducitur. With the same inaccuracy Hieronym. ep. ad Eustoch. 22: virgines quae rubore frontis parasitos vincunt mimorum. One of the peculiarities of the mimi and a principal source of dissoluteness was the representation of the female parts by women, some of which mimae attained to a certain kind of celebrity, e. g. Arbuscula, Dionysia, Cytheris, Origo, Quintilia, Bassille (C. I. Gr. III. p. 1013): Claudia Hermione, archimima, Orelli 4760; Arete archimima, Gruter p. 330, 4. — In the Imperial period we find no longer the number of performers restricted to certain limits: cf. Petron. Sat. 80: grex agit in scena mimum, pater ille vocatur, filius hic, nomen divitis (comp. Sen. Ep. 114, 6: in mimo divites fugitivi) ille tenet. Plut. de sol. an. 19: μίμω πλοκήν έχοντι .. πολυπρόσωπον. The Laureolus e. g. required a great number of performers (Jos. Antiq. XIX 1, 13). The performance of a trained dog is mentioned by Plutarch 1. 1.

6. The costume of the mimi was a many-coloured harlequin's jacket, centunculus (Apulej. apol. 13) without calcei (excalceati, Sen. Ep. 8, 8), whence the name planipedes above 7, 3. In keeping with their character the mimae were gaily dressed leaving the person almost nude: peculiar to them seems to have been the recinium or ricinium. Festus p. 274–276: recinium .. esse dixerunt virilis) toga(e simile vestimentum quo) mulieres utebantur, praetextum clavo purpureo, unde reciniati mimi planipedes. Comp. Varro L.L. V 132: antiquissimis amictui ricinium. Non.Marc. p. 542: ricinum palliolum femineum breve. Serv. Aen. I 282: togas etiam feminas habuisse cycladum et recini (Var. ricini) usus ostendit. Masks were excluded by the mimic element. With respect to the estimation in which the mimi were held, see e. g. Vopisc. Carin. 16, 7: mimis, meretricibus, pantomimis, cantoribus atque lenonibus Palatium implevit. Comp. Trebell. Gallien. 21, 6. Trig. tyr. 9, 1 etc.

7. The diction of the mimi was in accordance with the subjects and the taste of the audience, i. e. plebeian: as to Laberius, see Gellius XVI 7. In the fragments we find iambic senarii and trochaic tetrameters. Comp. Laberius v. 55: versorum, non numerum ,


« IndietroContinua »