An introduction to the history of mime and pantomime

roman mime

To form parts of the scenes there were prisms of framework, turning upon pivots, upon each face of which was strained a distinct picture, one for tragedy, consisting of large buildings, with columns, statues, and other corresponding ornaments; a second face, with houses, windows, and balconies, for comedy; a third applied to farce, with cottages, grottoes, and rural scenes.

The arts and inventions were communicated to the natives, and the blessings of civilization in process of time inspired the inhabitants with admiration.

Ham they looked upon as a divinity, and under the name of Ammon they worshipped him as the Sun, and Chus likewise as Apollo, a name which was also bestowed by the Ancients upon Noah. From this we obtain our words histrion and histrionic.

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Nimrod, the "mighty hunter" who possessed the regions of Babylonia and Chaldeeand one of the sons of Cush, was the builder of that seminary of idolatory the City and Tower of Bel, and erected in honour of the god Bel, and another name for the sun.

Probably from this the Dervish dances all over the East may be traced to this source. Female parts were acted by women, but it was not a general custom; and the Clown of the piece was always a Brahma, or if not, at any rate a pupil of Brahma.

Amongst the Ancients their Mythology went no further than the epoch of the Deluge, and in honour of which, and also of the Ark, they erected many temples called Aren, Theba, Argus from whence was probably derived the Argo of the Argonauts, and the sacred ship of OsirisCibotus, Toleus, and Baris.

Horace alludes to this, "nec quarta loqui persona laboret," Let not a fourth person strive to speak : but it was not observed in comedy.

Strangely enough, the regions said to have been traversed by Dionysus, Osiris, or Bacchus were, at different times, passed through by the posterity of Ham, and in many of them they took up their residence.

Egypt was ever the land of graven images, and under the veil of Allegory and Mythology the priests concealed religion from the eyes of the vulgar.

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Introduction: Mime and Pantomime