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"A worthless feminine thing"? Lucian and the "Optic Intoxication" of pantomime dancing.


Is this degeneration into effeminacy a cognate reaction with pacifism to the virilities and realities of the war? Are pink powder and parlor pinks in any way related? ... Do women like the type of "man" who pats pink powder on his face in a public washroom and arranges his coiffure in a public elevator? ... What has become of the old "cave man" line? (Editor's column, The Chicago Tribune, 18 July 1926)

We have not yet done enough throwing away all our strength. We go on stifling whatever is left of morality. By the smoothness and polish of our bodies we men have surpassed a woman's refinements. We men have taken over the cosmetics of whores, which would not indeed be worn by decent women ... Daily we invent ways whereby an indignity may be done to manliness, to ridicule it, because it can not be cast off. (Seneca, QNat. 7.31.2-3; trans. T. H. Corcoran)

While the cultural gulf separating these two extracts is unbridgeable, their common ground is arresting: both authors deplore the loss of masculinity on a large, national scale. The Chicago Tribune's editorial related to the greatest stigma in the career of Hollywood legend Rudolph Valentino, namely, the question of his virility. The unmasculine image he had popularized through his excessive concern for fashion and through his early exploits as a "tango-pirate" and "lounge-lizard" that producers fed into his movies not only resulted in his identification with woman-as-spectacle but, more importantly, pinpointed him as the prime suspect for the debauchery of American manhood. (1) As for Seneca, he joined his voice to that long line of moralists and philosophers who, from Cato onwards, saw the preservation of virility as the linchpin on which the prosperity and moral uprightness, or the collapse and moral decadence, of the Roman nation rested. In both frames, dancing is the catalyst for the suppression of viril ity and the onset of an accursed era of effeminacy.

Jumping about and twisting neck and eyes "in accordance with the changing measures" was for Cicero a lethal activity creeping into the souls of citizens and threatening to overturn entire states (2) In the writings of both the Elder and the Younger Seneca "obscene passion for singing and dancing" and the swinging of one's steps high in a "delicate soft gait" (Seneca, QNat. 7.31.2) were fatally intertwined with the unmanly and unmanning vice of mollitia (womanlike softness). (3) Male cabaret dancers for their part' with identities less than masculine, swept early twentieth century America in a dancing mania that, besides constituting a "reversion to the grossest practices of savage man," (4) culminated in a perceived crisis of masculinity. The effect was contagious: "From the slum to the stage, from the stage to the restaurant . . . from restaurant to home, the dive dances have clutched and taken hold upon the young who know no better and the old who should." (5)

Dancers unable to sustain a nontransgressive and nonsuspect masculinity; spectators fascinated, 'wounded," and endangered by the performer's body language that kindles and inflames "the lusts of the mynde" with the fire of carnal passion (Northbrooke 156 and 168); dances acting as a "sweet poyson" that cannot fail to "corrupt, overcome, and utterlye mollifie" the hearts of men (Northbrooke 162 and 165): such were the arrows in the arsenal of antidance campaigners, formidable weapons of remarkable consistency over the epochs--from the pagan writings of the Second Sophistic and the tirades of the church fathers (6) to the pamphlets of Renaissance English puritans (7) and American columnists of the early twentieth century. Even theatrical dance performed on stage has very seldom managed to break free of the charge of excessive physicality and decadent sensuality. To take just one very prominent example: Diaghilev's impressively successful "Ballets Russes," whose legacy transformed the course of modem ballet, cut very deep into contemporary consciousness through their provocative launching of an openly eroticized male image. Released from the inherited conventions of ballet gendering, the feminized body of Diaghilev's male ballerinos both enthralled with its serpentine agility and tantalizingly exotic aura and profoundly shocked with the physical directness of its language (see, e.g., Garafola 1999). In Nijinsky's ill-fated first performance of L'apres-midi d'un Faune, a sizeable section of his Paris audience saw not a supremely talented choreographer and dancer but "a lecherous faun, whose movements are filthy and bestial in their eroticism, and whose gestures are as crude as they are indecent. " (8) Flouting the visual economy of patriarchal social structures, where the male is constructed as unable to "bear the burden of sexual objectification" (Mulvey 12), the male dancer is consistently maligned for his lack of virility and shameless posing for an audience's erotic gaze (see, e.g., Burt).

A relatively understudied moment in this cross-cultural continuum of eroticized and publicly displayed male bodies "on the swing" forms the subject of this paper: Greco-Roman pantomime dancing, a ballet-style form of stage entertainment that became the greatest aesthetic attraction of late antique civic life, both in Rome itself, the very seat of the empire, and in the Eastern provinces. The predominantly male and masked pantomime dancer (9) engaged in solo imitation of mythological episodes to the accompaniment of music and a singing chorus. His skill resided in:

(a) his mimetic flexibility or, as Cassiodorus (Var. 4.51.9) puts it, "diversified imitation" (varia imitatione), enabling him to rival the mythical shape-changer Proteus (cf. Lucian, Salt. 19; Aristaenetus, Ep. 1.26) and to represent convincingly "in his single person. . . a crowd" (Manilius, Astron. 5.482-83); (10)

(b) his admirably clear body language. Possessing "as many tongues as limbs" (tot linguae quot membra viro), the pantomime was master of "a wonderful art" (mirabilis ars), which intrinsically negated language as a mode of expression (PL 4: 287B): "with silent lip" (ore silente, PL 4: 287B), yet "speaking through the entrancing movement of the hand" (Anth. Pal. 9.505, 17), the pantomime communicated "through nod, leg, knee, hand, and spin" (Sidonius Apollinaris, Carm. 23.269-70; cf. Nonnus, Dion. 7.21). The inexhaustible variety of Greek and Roman myths that formed his performative repertoire could only come to life through the "articulate silence" ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]: Anth. Pal. 9.505, 18) of his "speaking fingers" (linguosi digiti: Cassiodorus, Var. 4.51.8), "palms with a mouth" (Nonnus, Dion. 7.21), and "hands that say it all" [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Anth. Pal. 16.290, 7); and,

(c) his dubious sexual identity, consisting of a "sinewless" body (11) that transcended gender conventions by "choosing a pliable sex for both his flanks" (PL 4: 287B). "Exhibiting the female (feminam) in the male (in mare)" (Cassiodorus, Var. 4.51.9) and combining female charm with male strength, (12) the pantomime blurred all notions of sexual differentiation. Lucian singles out as the "most commendable" feature of the pantomimist's art his incredible (paradoxon) combination of "might" and "suppleness" of limbs with gracefulness and virility (Salt. 73), an uneasy partnership not dissimilar to Diaghilev's provocative release of the male dancer from the conventional rules of masculinity: exuding female charm, desire, and eroticism, Nijinsky's formidably dynamic body was "half-cat, half-snake, fiendishly agile, feminine and yet wholly terrifying" (Benois 315). From Lucian to Libanius and Choricius of Gaza, from the epigrams of the Greek Anthology to Sidonius Apollinaris, our ancient sources testify to a panto mimic repertoire brimming with female roles (13) and offering the dancer ample scope for the expression of amorous passion, as he engaged now in realistic imitation of "the desirable (pothoumenen) daughter of Briseus and Phaedra in love (erosan)," (14) now in the suggestive and even "lustful" reenactment of Zeus's erotic escapades. (15) "Darling and sweetheart of the city" (urbis deliciae: Martial, Epigr. 11.13), the epitome of eros and desire, (16) the pantomime actor constructed an eroticized male image that placed him firmly on the side of femininity or, as John Chrysostom (In Matth. horn. 37.6 [PG 57: 426]) puts it, by feminizing his nature ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) he struggled to transform himself "into the likeness of a tender virgin" ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]).

"Gender trouble," however, is not the only point of contact between pantomime and other forms of male stage-dancing. A constant focus of this article will be the often uneasy "marriage" of pantomime performances with dominant parameters of social, political, and intellectual life; for even when highly successful, aesthetic dancing often yields the impression of a genre flourishing on the margins of cultural norms and much more comfortably accommodated in the gaps and interstices rather than the vital center of the social fabric. In the case of the "Ballets Russes," for example, Diaghilev's prewar ventures in Paris and London were generously patronized by members of the aristocracy, who either invited his dancing stars to parties and specially arranged feasts or prevailed on friends to take season boxes (Garafola 1989: 186). Financially, however, the bulk of Diaghilev's initial support came from "impresarios who operated outside the subsidized mainstream" (Garafola 1989: 181). Not qualifying for financial assi stance from the state, the shrewd Russian manager built his massive entertainment enterprise with the backing of "independent mavericks of the musical world": Gabriel Astruc, the son of a rabbi, and Sir Thomas Beecham, the grandson of a manufacturer of patent medicine (Garafola 1989: 181). Moreover, it is doubtful whether Diaghilev's multiple innovations would have been tolerated by dominant aesthetic, moral, and cultural values, unless powerful strategies of "displacement" were in operation: the oriental sets and costumes (often inspired by ancient Greece) that Leon Bakst designed helped to relegate the shows to a kind of exotic "otherness," with the result that lasciviousness and open male sensuality could be dismissed "'anthropologically' as foreign behavior." (17)

Greco-Roman pantomime dancing was similarly problematic in the ways it interacted with its contemporary context. Despite its immense appeal to masses, anstocrats, and emperors alike (??2), pantomime entertainment became the focus of intense controversy in the post-Hellenistic world. For some, the pantomimic body was a marvelous emblem of endless, spellbinding mutability. For others, its Protean nature was the incarnation of confusion and a clear affront to rationality. By forcing the male human body to escape its own boundaries and collapse into its full range of opposites, the pantomimic genre was held responsible for initiating a disease that could contaminate the body politic and subvert the very cognitive order of a culture based on hierarchy and categorical discrimination. Most disturbingly, pantomime performances gave rise to violent riots through the centuries in both East and West and hence became fixed as anomalous and dangerous terrain, where political dissent could be fomented and dominant ideologie s challenged ((ss)3). In this light, the aim of this article then is twofold. First, I shall unpack some of the multiple layers of pantomime's ambivalence, with a view to casting some new light on the genre's vital place in the symbolic economy of the post-Hellenistic world. And second, I shall show that the violent debates on pantomime dancing, especially the widely documented anxiety over the arousal of sexual passions, are an overlooked link in the history of Western anti-theatricality.

1. Lucian's De Saltatione: What Kind of Source?

Lucian's little dialogue On the Dance, on which I will heavily rely in this article, provides invaluable insights into rival discourses on pantomime dancing in the imperial period. Pitting the viewpoint of a pantomime addict (Lycinus) against the stubborn hostility of a Cynic philosopher (Crato), Lucian's treatise sings the praises of a genre that is said to have reached "the highest point of perfection" [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and to have produced "the most immaculate fruit" [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in the encomiast's own time:

But for the moment the principal object of my treatise (kephalaion tou logou) is this, to praise (epainesai) pantomime dancing in its present form and to demonstrate how many pleasurable and useful things it holds in its embrace. (Salt. 34)" (18)

In the same breath and fully in line with the tradition of encomiastic speechwriting, the eulogy is transferred from the art of dancing to those who actually practice it (see, esp., Salt. 74-8 1), (19) so that the pantomime dancer may be elevated from the level of an amateur, effeminate, and brainless sensualist to the pedestal of a professional, masculine, and erudite performer of a science. Given the virulence of Crato's accusation [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] a change of heart seems hardly possible. (20) Yet by the time the dialogue draws to a close, a spectacular conversion has in fact occurred, showcased all the more conspicuously by being turned into the grand finale of the piece:

CRATO: There, Lycinus, see, I have been persuaded by you and, what's more, I have both ears and eyes wide open [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] And remember, my friend, whenever you go to the theater, keep a seat for me as well by your side, so that you are not the only one returning from that place wiser [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Salt. 85)

The stem, uncompromising critic declares himself unreservedly won over. The outcast dancer, denied categorically all share in manliness, moral uprightness, and culture ([section]3), is welcomed into the fold of the pepaideumenoi; the lowly pantomime dance, dismissed as a trifle and derided as a hopeless aspirant to the prestige of "agonistic" (enagonia) arts (Salt. 2), is now flagged as a spectacle that can impart sophia in its own right. The catalyst for this impressive change is Lycinus's dexterity with words.

Were we able to locate Lucian's own, personal voice in this enterprising verbal contest as well as to establish the degree of his sincerity, De Saltatione would become not only a veritable anatomy of the art of pantomime dancing but also a unique testimony to the ease with which a form of "low" culture could be legitimized by the "high" culture of the lettered elites. But nowhere in Lucian's work can his voice be positioned with any accuracy on the game board between his various fictional contestants or even mere interlocutors. (21) However tantalizing it may seem to peer into Lycinus's defense as if it were affording a glimpse of Lucian's own psyche, it is important to remember that the open-minded, upper-class Lycinus is merely one of Lucian's many masks. The dialogue itself gestures to this notion when Lycinus, intent on comparing pantomime dancing to the art of rhetoric, highlights as their most important common link the creation of "plausible," "appropriate" characters, to whom dancers and orators try t o adjust themselves as closely as possible:

The chief occupation and the aim of dancing, as I have said, is impersonation [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] which is cultivated in the same way by the rhetoricians, particularly those who recite these pieces that they call "declamations" [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] for in their case also there is nothing that we commend more highly than their accommodating themselves to the roles that they assume [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] so that what they say is not inappropriate to the princes or tyrant slayers or poor people or farmers whom they introduce, but in each of these what is individual [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and distinctive [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] is presented. (Lucian, Salt. 65; trans. A. M. Harmon, modified)

Just as the student of rhetoric or the accomplished declaimer could be called upon to compose and perform the kind of speech that a given mythical, historical, or imaginary character could be expected to utter in a certain set of circumstances, (22) Lucian equips his fictitious pantomime fan not with his own personal views but with the kind of defense that would have sounded plausible or appropriate (23) in the mouth of a moderately educated member of the lettered elite. (24)

Beyond the issue of "masks" or "faces" in the De Saltatione, one also needs to grapple with the tone and spirit in which it was written, for the dialogue's tone can be seriously misunderstood if its particular generic affiliation, its thorough conditioning by the norms of the epideictic rhetorical tradition of which it forms a part, are ignored. Moreover, it must be stressed that the composition and the reception of a narrative extolling an activity as maligned and controversial as pantomime dancing were ultimately shaped by the predisposition of the praise's addressee. Composed for the ears of the pantomime fan, an epainos of dancing required the tropes befitting an endoxon encomion, the eloge of honorable things (see, e.g., Menander Rhetor 1.346). In the eyes of the disdainful intellectual, on the other hand, all gestures towards praise amounted to a madman's praising of his own disease (Salt. 6), to an atopon or paradoxon encomion, whose sole reason of existence was to laud trivial objects, bestow glamour on slight themes, and argue prima facie indefensible cases (see Pease, Burgess 157-66, Pernot 532-46). It is possible that Lucian himself signals in this direction when at the very beginning of the treatise he introduces Crato's disparaging view of Lycinus as a maverick member of the lettered classes who pays "earnest attention" to what is "worthless and effeminate" (Salt. 1). Just as within the dialogue's literary context Lucian's fictive character is berated for his unwarranted affiliation to the small and petty, Lucian himself may face the opprobrium of some intellectual quarters for expending his rhetorical power on claptrap, on "trifling, insignificant discourses" (as, e.g., in Isocrates, Hel. 13: [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) that benefit none but the declaiming sophist. (25) For his part, Crato, the encomiast's "internalized" addressee, expects Lycinus to deliver a speech in defense of his useless habit, a convincing apologia instead of an eloge ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], Salt. 3). Whatever the precise category under which this treatise is to be classified, ultimately its patent encomiastic character warns us against taking Lycinus's rhetorical position at face value.

Representational accuracy and factual truth were not such important currencies in the encomiast's trade, for his primary goal was to make his subject seem enviable (zeloton), all the while attracting admiration for the rhetorical merits of the epainos itself. (26) In such a battle of impressions, it is small wonder that hyperbole became the orator's most faithful companion. What is the use, asks Lycinus in Lucian's In Defense of the Portraits, of praising a dog by simply claiming it is larger than a fox or cat or even as large as a wolf? Praise accomplishes its proper aim only when a dog "is said to resemble a lion in size and in strength" (Pro Imag. 19). A successful eulogy then does not hinge on comparisons of like to like or, even less, to something inferior, but is contingent on skillful approximations of the object of praise to what can be deemed superior (pros to hyperechon: Pro Imag. 19). (27) Creative adaptation and the close fitting and amalgamation of material under the supreme directorship of logo s constituted the golden rule, (28) while the art of passing off defects as assets, (29) the resourceful glossing over of embarrassing and harmful aspects, (30) or sometimes even the invention of fictitious qualities (see, e.g., Isocrates, Bus. 4) were equally important skills, sanctified by a long rhetorical tradition of encomiastic speeches (Pernot 522-29). From Lucian's point of view, the aim of such an epideictic exercise is undoubtedly to win acclaim for a job well done, for a silver-tongued, ingenious composition. After all, to expend grand language on slight themes [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and to devote serious study [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] to unimportant topics can also be regarded as a "sign of exceptional rhetorical power" [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Demetrius, Eloc. 120; cf. Philostratus, VS 487 on Dio of Prusa's encomion of a parakeet). The nature of praise that Lucian hoped to receive in return for the praise he bestows is perhaps encoded in the compliment that h e grants his characters Lycinus and Polystratus in his In Defense of the Portraits. Here Polystratus reports the highly acclaimed Pantheia's applause for the eulogies the two encomiasts had lavished upon her in Lucian's Portraits: "She commends your invention/fiction and the idea of the images" [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Pro Imag. 10). (31) But Pantheia's approbation is tinged with disapproval, for although the encomiasts have honed a fine speech, she is unable to recognize, and therefore validate, the correspondence of their verbal portraits to reality [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Pro Imag. 10). It is precisely the possibility of such discordance between rhetorical fiction and objective truth that propels the thorniest questions regarding Lucian' s On the Dance. For example, does Lucian's epainos of pantomime dancing invite us to engage in some kind of "metaliterary" game where Lycinus, like his namesake and Polystratus in Lucian's Imagines, constructs images (eikones) of the pantomime's vi rtues by synthesizing select ingredients culled from rhetoric, philosophy, and the mimetic arts? (32) The rhetorical strategies whereby the pantomime found himself endowed with such tools that could potentially enable him to lay claim to a place in high culture may not be wildly dissimilar to the encomiastic strategies whereby Lucian's Pantheia finds herself adorned with everything a lady of outstanding beauty, intelligence, and culture should ideally possess. Most importantly, given that recognition of the "self" in mimetic discourse not only is foregrounded by Lucian as that distinctive quality of the nonflattering, fair-minded encomion (33) but is also central to the performative consciousness displayed in his work, (34) the treatise On the Dance does raise the question of whether the average pantomime would have been able to recognize himself in the "images" attributed to him. How far can we trust the Lucianic snapshots of pantomimes and pantomime dancing to represent reality? What kind of evidence does L ucian's dialogue offer?

Despite the multiple layers of satirical exaggeration, self-undermining humor, and distortion, the outlines of pantomimic art, as well as the portrait of the "excellent dancer" that Lycinus is at pains to construct, can easily be corroborated by a multitude of other sources (cf. Jones 72-75), especially (but not solely) insofar as performative issues are concerned. Even when we allow for those occasions where Lycinus's dissecting gaze bends back upon itself in a self-satirizing manner, there still remains a hard core of statements in his defense that are clearly identifiable in other elite discourses and therefore can be taken to reflect real, or at least plausible, intellectual stances. Above all else, Lucian's treatise is not a mere "jeu d'esprit," like his Encomion of a Fly or Encomion of the Parasite's Art; something tremendously important was at stake for both Lucian and the pantomime, and this has seldom been highlighted in relevant discussions.

A professional orator of Lucian's rank and calibre, whose peripatetic career was built on performative displays throughout the civilized world, was filly cognizant of the fact that he was not the sole contender for a mass audience's attention. An infinite variety of both high- and low-culture entertainments (see, e.g., Dio Chrysostom, Or. 8.9; 27.5; Athenaeus 19a-20b) were engaged in a constant struggle to enlarge their share of popular acclaim, and a sophist knew that his intellectual preeminence alone was unable to procure him an uncontroversial lead. Not only did he have to urge "the superior claims of his wares over those of rival salesmen who competed with him for the same audiences and the same physical space," (35) but he also could find his performance marred by the voice of those clamoring for the cheap and mindless delights of the eye as opposed to educational discourse: "When will the guy shut up? When will the juggler come in?" (Dio Chrysostom, Or. 32.7). Most importantly, however, sophists realiz ed that mass audiences were wooed by the flamboyant and sensational, gaping at and being deceived by costumes, props, and histrionic antics. As "Lucian" promises the aspiring orator in his Teacher of Rhetoric,

The masses will marvel at your external appearance and your voice, your way of walking, your pacing about, your song, your footwear, and your use of "whatsoever" (atta) and, seeing your sweating and gasping, they will be unable to disbelieve that you are an exceptionally able (pandeinon) contender in the agones of words. (Rhet. Praec. 20)

It was precisely with respect to florid ostentation that pantomime dancers, even if mere beggars on the threshold of aristocratic culture, were nevertheless formidable presences in the world of performative displays. The pepaideumenos may well have looked down on them as inferior, crude, and ignorant pretenders to educational capital, but at the same time he was painfully aware that even the flashiest of declaimers would instantly be outshone by the collocation of electrifying items that accompanied a pantomime dancer's show. Lucian's Crato deplores the flutes, lascivious songs, strummings and trillings, and stamping of feet as "verily ridiculous things and least befitting a free man" (Salt. 2), while the Cynic philosopher Demetrius, a second voice of contempt inscribed in the same dialogue, reasons that audiences are enthralled ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) by the spectacle's paraphernalia [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] "the silk robes and beautiful masks, the flutes and trillings, and the ple asing voices of the singers, all of which adorn the pantomime's art that in itself amounts to nothing" (Salt. 63).

Aided by an array of multifarious accessories as well as by the high emotionality of his performance, the crowd-pulling pantomime magnet rose meteorically to the heart of many a network of power and became for the declaiming orator a dangerous and potent rival. Even from the viewpoint of the sophist sitting on the highest throne of literary culture, the voiceless pantomime was a voice to be reckoned with. Lucian took the plunge, dealing with him head on by devoting an entire piece to the marvels of his art. Whether he thus aspired to ingratiate himself to the imperial court of Lucius Verus, a notorious pantomime addict, (36) or simply to record a personal opinion on the merits and demerits of the genre (a much less likely scenario), (37) Lucian's intention is for ever irrecoverable. Yet what matters even more than our lost insight into authorial motivation is the fact that Lucian's finished product was not passively informed by pantomime-related material, but actively reformed, reshaped, categorized, and defi ned this material. To write about pantomime was his way of appropriating and controlling it, a move towards subsuming it into his own realm and placing it under his own jurisdiction. Indeed, Lucian reveals he was a latecomer to a long-established tradition of "dance studies" ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), albeit a latecomer with a difference: whereas his predecessors were immersed in detailed, meticulous descriptions of all forms of dancing--no doubt in order to display the vastness of their knowledge ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], Salt. 33)--he made a triple choice that was at once innovative, self-conscious, and strategic: first to concentrate on the pantomime of his own time ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], Salt. 34); second to extend his gaze from the orchesis to its practitioner, the orchestes (Salt. 35); and third to take an evaluative, instead of a descriptive, stance (Salt. 34, 35). Despite their differences, however, there is one important point Lucian and his predecessors seem to have converged on: even while claiming to vindicate a special place for orchesis, both past and present, they ultimately incorporated it into the orbit of their own paideia or rendered it an ancillary of their own rhetoric. In other words, the real victor emerging out of Lucian's treatise was not the rehabilitated pantomime but the rehabilitating orator, the declaimer who, while validating the pantomime experience, in reality controlled its fate, for it was his own art that played a crucial role in negotiating the dancer's position with respect to "high" culture. Hand in hand with evidence from a multiplicity of other sources, Lucian's piece testifies to the social "value" of pantomime performances as cultural sites of contest and controversy in the post-Hellenistic world, and offers the most treasured insight into the genre's struggle to assert itself as a key player in the battles about the ownership of education and culture in the imperial East. Let us now turn to the pantomimes themselves.

2. Pantomimes and Their Body "Politic"

The popularity of the pantomime in Rome as well as in the East in both public theaters and private venues was overwhelming. "Enchanted" and "bewitched," held captive "till the rise of the evening star," (38) "in stunned admiration" (Columella, Rust. 1, Praef. 15), spectators derived the greatest pleasure from surrendering to the enthralling gestures of the pantomimic stars. (39) Thinking of pantomimes more highly than "the sun and moon and darkness itself" (Libanius, Or. 19.28) and "confessedly unable to survive" if deprived of their charms (Libanius, Or. 16.42), late antique fans applauded many a "petrified Niobe or lamenting Hecuba" on their stages with a fervor that became a yardstick against which to measure the power of political support. (40) Nor was pantomania the exclusive vice of mindless, impressionable, volatile masses, as some sources sneeringly imply; (41) base-born and aristocrats alike were wholly infatuated with star dancers. (42)

In admiration and envy (Plutarch, Mor. 473b), senators (43) and knights supported pantomime troupes on their estate, reenacted their voluptuousness on private stages (Seneca, QNat. 7.32.3), visited their houses, and swarmed round them in theaters and public places (as can be inferred from Tacitus, Ann. 1.77). As a result, they were often criticized for behaving as if they were the "pantomimes' slaves" (mancipia pantomimorum: Seneca, Ep. 47.17). Even when allowances are made for the distorting lens of Juvenal's Satire 7.86-92, the pantomimes' fixed presence in the close company, the villas, courts, and even the beds of Roman dignitaries and Potentates (44) lent some credibility to the satirist's contention that the road to imperial favor passed directly through the pantomimic body:

It is Paris who bestows liberally military commands on many, Paris who puts, for six months' service, the golden ring round poets' fingers. Whatever the nobles do not give, a pantomime will ... It is Pelopea who appoints the Prefects, and Philomela the tribunes. (45)

True, in a world where stage-performers as a collective category were held as infamous and on a par with prostitutes and pimps, (46) the high prominence of "written" pantomimes in imperial courts can be attributed partly to many a writer's wish to embellish and complete his portrait of an emperor's licentia and depravity. (47) Historiography aside, however, pantomimic glory can best be recaptured from the substantial corpus of inscriptions that record, in a factual and formal manner, the privileges accorded to the most popular performers by an impressive list of provinces and cities. It is on the basis of such nonliterary but official documents that the "market value" of successful pantomimes appears staggering: invariably granted honorary citizenship and/or bouleutic status, the erection of honorific statues, and sometimes the conferral of proxenia or even ateleia (freedom from civic obligations), they emerged as individuals commanding extraordinary public esteem, wealth, and power and as holders of municipa l offices, priesthoods, and prestigious honorary posts. (48) More significantly, the skillful pantomime's body emerged as a body politic par excellence on several counts.

As the star attractions of the innumerable agonistic festivals (of international, provincial, or local status), (49) processions, communal celebrations, and public dinners, all of which punctuated urban life under Roman rule even to the remotest fringes of the Greco-Roman world, pantomimes were regularly hired to "please" the crowds (50) with their unrivalled ability to offer psychagogia and aesthetic delight (apate). (51) Within the value-system of a fiercely competitive world where local notables struggled for enhanced status and cities vied for increased standing against their neighbors, the provision of a glittering festival replete with all the trimmings of carnivalesque and fashionable displays--all the "hired performances" that "entertain the city," as a famous inscription from the Lycian city of Oenoanda puts it (52)--was one of the quickest routes for the attainment of recognition, power, and prestige, (53) all of which were precisely what a philotimos aristocrat and an aggressively ambitious city we re bound to desire. In Italy itself, there is hardly a more revealing document than the funerary inscription (CIL 10: 1074d) of A. Clodius Flaccus, a magistrate of the highest standing. Clodius chose to highlight on his very tombstone as a matter of especial pride the fact that the Apollonian games he financed in his first duoviral year included "every entertainment and all the pantomimes and Pylades" (ludos \ omnibus acroamatis pantomimisque omnibus et Pylade, 6-8). Securing those pantomimes who had reached the apex of the performing hierarchy as prime entertainers in one's shows must have been a matter of the greatest urgency for the Roman aediles charged with the organization of official games. With rapid promotion along the traditional cursus honorum very often linked to the sponsorship of lavish spectacles, (54) the skillful pantomime whose charm helped make an event outstandingly memorable became directly tied up with individual struggles for political advancement.

Pantomimes were far too long peripheral to the agonistic kernel of festivals and public shows, especially in the Roman East, where none of our evidence for pantomime competitions is earlier than the emperor Commodus (161-92). (55) Still, when we consider that the overall prestige accrued to the city hosting the event and the local benefactor who financed it was proportionately analogous with, inter alia, its duration and magnificence, the number of spectators, and the broadness of their geographic provenance, (56) a renowned dancer's ability to attract vast crowds from the corners of a province and beyond would cease to be a trifling matter. With imperial festivals being prime avenues for elite self-fashioning and civic self-definition (see, e.g., Dio Chrysostom, Or. 31.162), the passionately adored and crowd-charming pantomimic body should best be seen as an important factor in a never ending political quest for influence and power. Moreover, since all agonistic festivals--both the "sacred crown games," gran ted directly through imperial munificence, as well as the lower-status, local "prize games" (57)--constituted the essential framework of the emperor's cult in the Roman cities and provinces (Price 102), the pantomime dancer of international renown was part of an event that led directly to the emperor's glorification. Thus, for example, a Greek inscription from the Lydian city of Thyateira honors the pantomime Paris (III), since during his stay in the city his dancing helped to "adorn" the epinician feasts in honor of the emperors Marcus Aurelius and Verus To the extent that cities were engaged in an unending effort to outstrip each other in the founding of new festivals or the upgrading of existing ones as sacred (see Van Nijf), the pantomimes who graced such events by their performance were inevitably caught up in the maelstrom of civic contests for increased political, economic, and cultural prestige. In the capital itself, collective fascination with particular star dancers could be perceived as directly t angled up with fluctuations in imperial policies. Dio Cassius, for example, believed that the crowds were even willing to forget the strictness of Augustus's regulations on moral reform because he allowed greater lavishness in public games and recalled from exile the people's favorite dancer Pylades (Dio Cassius 54.17.4). Gaius, on the other hand, faced popular unrest because his wife's infatuation with the pantomime Mnester kept the dancer consistently off-stage (Dio Cassius 60.28.3). Mastering a tremendous ability to deflect people's minds from thorny political issues (Dio Cassius 54.17.5; Macrobius, Sat. 2.19), pantomimes, along with other stage-performers, were important political capital that an emperor neglected only at his peril. (59)

Political contests aside, pantomime did secure considerable support from intellectual quarters. The exiled Ovid harped twice on the fact that his poems had "often been danced in the theater," charming the emperor's eyes in the process; (60) Statius and Lucan composed fabulae salticae (librettos for pantomimes); (61) an intellectual superstar like the sophist Hadrian of Tyre, holder of the chair of rhetoric in Athens as well as in Rome, gave a grand ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) funeral oration for Lucius Verus's freedman, the celebrated pantomime Paris (III), exalting him with no less ardor than if he had been honoring a deceased sophist ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]: Libanius, Or. 64.41). (62) Libanius wrote an extended "defense" of the beauty and educational value of the pantomimic spectacle ([sections]4), while one of Aristaenetus's epistolary characters proclaimed that even the man of the utmost seriousness and import ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) should not regard benefiting fro m the pleasures provided by a star pantomime's dancing as demeaning. (63)

What emerges from a cursory glance at primary sources is that pantomime spectacle constituted not a separate, self-contained aesthetic realm, but an event thoroughly enmeshed in the ideological framework and the debates over power in the Greco-Roman world. Despite its surface political detachment, pantomime dancing was a prominent example of 'embodied" politics: while verbalizing stories devoid of contemporary political content, the pantomime's own body became an important instrument for the signalling, construction, and enactment of social and political meaning.

3. Pantomimes and Their Body "Dangerous"

The voices of the pantomime's admirers, however, were no more resonant than the cries of anguish or utter repudiation of its critics, the latter appearing all the more menacingly in the shape of the early church fathers, themselves relegated to the margins of the social map. It is these voices of anxiety and scorn that this section will highlight, especially as they were filtered through the De Saltatione, a dialogue that, while attempting to rebuff the major charges against dancing, inscribes--and thus offers invaluable insight into--the indispensable ingredients of antipantomime mentality.

For Crato, a fictitious character in the De Saltatione with the mind-set of a Cynic philosopher, the entire experience of pantomime viewing is an activity fraught with danger. Pantomimic spectacles infest the onlooker like a nosos or disease (Salt. 6) (64), a viewpoint strongly reminiscent of the constant fulmination of Western antitheatrical treatises against the "pollution" emanating from the stage: the playhouses of Elizabethan England were perceived as breeding grounds for leprosy and plague epidemics, while theatergoers and actors were also vividly described as tainted by "filthie infections" that, slipping down into the heart through "the privie entries" of the ear and the eye, take control of the mind precisely in the place "where reason and vertue should rule the roste."(65) In Crato's view, the enchantment of the stage is equally virulent and similarly pervasive: assailing the spectator's mind and eradicating his sense of separate identity, the pantomime can sap that complete command over the self t hat befits a man of education and status (Salt. 2-3), and can drag the viewer, unsuspecting as he is, down the path to insanity and madness (Salt. 3; cf. 5). Even a man "who has grown up with letters and holds moderate converse with philosophy" (2) can degenerate into a social parasite (cf. 79), into an idle aesthete who turns his back on physical and intellectual labor to take his seat in the theatron and abandon himself to the allurements of pleasure:

So I, for my part, when I learnt that you are wasting your time on such spectacles, not only felt ashamed on your account but was also vexed at your sitting there oblivious of Plato and Chrysippus and Aristotle and getting treated like those who have their ear tickled with a feather. (Salt. 2)

Given that in Crato's eyes pantomania is constructed as a rival both to the nobler entertainments of tragedy and comedy as well as to the delights of philosophy (Salt. 2; cf. 27), the male who declares himself a pantomime addict displays a lack of discernment and sophistication serious enough to imperil his membership in the cultural elite. Lycinus, Crato warns, must mount up a formidable defense in front of the pepaideumenoi if he wishes "not to be completely struck off and expelled from the group of serious people" (Salt. 3). In fact, Lycinus's unrefined tastes make him no better than the much maligned Ephesian audience of Apollonius of Tyana, fools "overpowered by the pantomimes" [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ... to the neglect of serious study (Philostratus, VA 4.2). "Held fast" [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Salt. 3) and controlled by the spectacle, rather than mastering his own will, with "sense ... tickled and desire pricked," as the Renaissance antitheatricalist Stephen Gosson would put it (1582: 192), Lycinus seems to be "utterly enslaved" [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Salt. 3) (66) to sensations that soften up the mind with their charms to the point of complete seduction.

The primary agent of such enslavement of course was the pantomime himself. Going hand in hand with Crato's alarm at the "worthless and feminine thing" ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) that is pantomime dancing (Salt. 1) (67) is his abhorrence of the dancer as a "pernicious," "lethal" man ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], 5) an attitude entirely commensurate not only with the widespread ancient perception of the stage-performer as the epitome of lewdness (impudicitia) but also with the deep-seated, crosscultural vilification of the stage as the breeding ground of lechery and wickedness, vices whose sinful spillage risked contaminating even those "that came honest to a play." (68) So, for example, in Aelius Aristeides' view, as recorded by Libanius (Or. 64.37), pantomimes live lewd lives, thereby plunging others into a similar corruption. This is essentially the same kind of reasoning underpinning Stephen Gosson's explicit statement: "The expressing of vice by imitation, brings us by the shadow, to the substance of the same" (1582: 193). For Crato as well as Western opponents of the stage, danger arises from the deep transformative potential of the spectacle, its almost magical ability to alter and restructure the performer's and the viewer's physical and mental makeup.

What we see then is that instead of looking on from a vantage point of power and secure control, the pantomime viewer runs the risk of being "broken" by, and through, his own "gaze." In Crato's philosophical perception, it is not the object but the bearer of the look who occupied the vulnerable position. The pantomime dancer is squarely placed in the position of feminine " to-be-looked-at-ness," to use Laura Mulvey's famous coinage (Mulvey 11), and therefore arouses the scopophiliac look of the desiring male viewer. Yet that male viewer, bearing his soul "melted" and "dissolved," ends up assimilated to the very "femininity" that he beholds, (69) for the male incamation of female roles as a staple of the pantomime's art ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], Salt. 28) is inextricably interwoven with the ignominy of gender adulteration.

Twisting his body in unnatural contortions ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Salt. 5) instead of standing and walking in erect posture like a man, (70) the pantomime was a "feminized fellow" [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Salt. 2)(71) who chose to trope himself as deeply deviant from the dominant cultural parameters defining masculinity. His performance in "soft clothes" (Salt. 2) in particular reinforced his association with the female realm,(72) as it subverted the male ideal of rugged simplicity and encroached upon feminine territory.(73) But if the pantomime was, in Apuleius's words, "most like a woman" (effeminatissimus, Apol. 78), his transgressive role extended to his ability to feminize others. The spectacle he presented not only placed him beyond the pale of masculinity but also threatened to unman his male viewer by dislocating him to the farthest possible extreme of socially acceptable male roles: "Beware lest you become some Lydian woman or a bacchant, you who were hitherto a man" [LANGU AGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Salt. 3), a concerned Crato warns his friend. For Crato, conversion into a pantomime addict would entail a remarkable cultural leap in terms of gender, status, sanity of mind, and purity of intellect. Recoiling from the prospect of enduring such a spectacle with the same horror that made Pentheus cringe at the thought of wearing female garb,(74) the cynic philosopher declares:

May I never reach ripeness of years if I ever endure anything of the kind, as long as my legs are hairy and my beard unplucked! For now, to be sure, I already pity you; to our sorrow, like a bacchant, you have gone completely out of your mind [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Salt. 5; trans. A. M. Harmon, modified)

Finally, Crato seems perturbed by the seductive nature of the pantomimic show, as the androgynous presence of the cross-dressed pantomime transformed aesthetic pleasure into a profoundly threatening libidinous experience. "Held captive" [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] as if "by theatrical Sirens" [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Salt. 3), the pantomime fan was enticed by the impersonation of "the lewdest amorous women" of myth--Phaedras and Parthenopas and Rhodopas (Salt. 2)--to the accompaniment of licentious songs [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] strumming and trilling, and tapping of feet (Salt. 2). To be sure, Crato is never as explicit as other writers, who talk of spectacles fanning "the sparks of lust" (Tertullian, De Spect. 25), of actors capable of "dragging the entire theater into lewd temptation" (75) and spectators becoming erotically excited [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] by the youthful charm of adolescent dancers (Libanius, Or. 64.59). Moreover, it is impossible to quantify the dose of antipagan venom that prompted Christians like Novatianus and Prudentius, for example, to label "the whole state aroused by an individual who is neither man nor woman" (Novatianus, Spect. 6.6) or to imply that the sexual act itself was enacted on the stage. (76) Christian acrimony aside, however, pantomimic spectacles spliced with fantasies of erotic seduction feature in the work of many a pagan author. In Juvenal's perception, "when soft Bathyllus dances Leda, with sinuous gestures, / Tuccia cannot control her bladder," (77) while the most erotically charged insight into the "sensational pyrotechnics" (see Henderson 103) of love fired by dancing stars is offered by Apuleius. In the "Judgment of Paris" pantomime performed in front of the asinine Lucius' s eyes, every detail of scenery and costume exuded voluptuousness and charm--from the exotically apparelled Paris and the near-naked Mercury with his blond curls to the lifelike alluring Cupids and the "surpassingly beautiful" Venus herself, who del ighted the audience with her "smoothly undulating body" and "delicate movements" (Met. 10.29-34). Even Lycinus, Lucian's pantomime addict, refers to his own spectating experience as erotically imbued [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Salt. 85), stipulating that the aspiring pantomime will need to know "above all the love stories of mythical characters, including those of Zeus himself" (Salt. 59). Thriving in its own flagrant disregard for gender norms and ethic codes, the pantomimic body leaves in its wake that "long streak of lust" (78) through which the viewer s own gender is assailed and falsified: as Crato puts it, the spectators are not men but "a parcel of frantic hussies" [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Salt. 5).

Womanishness was only one of the degraded and degrading qualities the pantomaniac absorbed through his intoxication with the dance, however, for pantomime viewing led to a more sweeping disempowerment of the spectator effected on a multiplicity of levels. Besides being feminine in gender, the pleasure one derived from the spectacle (cf. Salt. 1) belonged to the realm of the mentally unhinged and the barbarian (Salt. 3, 5) and was culturally aligned with servility or, at the very least, was unworthy of the status of the freeborn male [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Salt. 2) whose recreational activities were to be starkly divorced from the sensual and bodily element that pantomime dancing represented. By intermittently appropriating the voice of a skeptic, Lucian's text aligns itself with other sources in (a) locating the pantomime dancer beyond the pale of culturally dominant definitions of masculinity; (b) identifying the pantomime viewer with forms of inassimilable, unmasculine otherness in terms of ge nder, culture, and rationality; and (c) locking together stage and auditorium as willing accomplices in an erotically charged discourse.

A note of warning is in order here. Moralists, haughty intellectuals, and philosophers like Lucian's Crato should by no means be taken as trendsetters for the tastes of the masses. The particularly thorny issue of the dancer's gender indeterminacy, despite constituting a hotbed of moralistic cautioning, emerged as the most powerful magnetic pull: what transformed the pantomime's body into an enduring object of aesthetic and erotic fascination was precisely its much maligned ability to transcend culturally imposed gender norms. As a pantomime complains in a third-century B.C.E. epigram, the crowds did not go to the theater to watch the dancer reenact "the deeds of heroes"; they craved instead the effeminate and the exotic, both of which were spliced in the role of Gallus, the Asiatic goddess Cybele's eunuch priest (Anth. Pal. 11.195). In any case, the pantomimes' success in their imitative appropriation of feminine otherness was very much in line with broader patterns of stage entertainment, especially the unc ontested reign of the new, postclassical type of tragic actor, the virtuoso siriger/tragoidos, who often specialized in female roles brimming with emotional expressiveness. " In a theatrical tradition progressively oriented towards the imaginative restaging of highlights, memorable scenes, and individual soliloquies (newly set to music and sung rather than declaimed) from the plays of the classical repertoire (see Gentili, Easterling, Hall), it would appear that tragoidos and dancer titillated their audience with a similar show of fragmented masculinity.

When viewed from the narrower perspective of elite morality and culture, however, Crato's voice was neither idiosyncratic nor disproportionately exaggerated. Pantomime's very essence clashed violently against attitudes deeply ingrained in the social and cultural matrices of the imperial ruling classes. First of all, in a world where elite education was so obsessively and unilaterally geared to the construction of manliness and the purging of all signs of womanishness, pantomania worked as a destabilizing agent in challenging and disrupting existing gender ideologies (cf. [section]4). In a symbolic gender economy where masculinity was "radically undetermined by anatomical sex" (Gleason 1990: 391), the pantomime's constant oscillation between male and female roles served only to reinforce one of late antiquity's most obsessive anxieties: the danger of the male relapsing into a state of undifferentiated sexuality, thereby reversing and undoing all that had been painfully attained by the strictness of schooling and the vigilance of social grooming. Travelling effortlessly between Athamas and Ino, Atreus and Aerope (Salt. 67), the skilled pantomime falsified gender in a twofold way. On the one hand, the pantomime being a "womanish" creature instead of a real man, his imitation of male heroes on the stage was a counterfeit that put him on a par with other fraudulent, and therefore dangerous, pretenders of masculinity. A thelydrias-dancing Heracles on stage was no different from Lucilius's barbati moechocinaedi (Lucilius 30.89, Charpin), sham men whose show of ruggedness could fool even the expert in the audience, the physiognomist who made it his business to diagnose a [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (soft, that is, unmanly) man. (80) Conversely, being anatomically a man, he was a counterfeit, deceiving the spectator's eyes by feigning the sex that, in Columella's words, nature denied to men. (81)

Second, if we focus more selectively on the world of the Roman conquerors, where 'that part of virtue is held in highest honor which concerns itself with warlike and military achievements" (Plutarch, Coriol. 1.4), we see no reputable place for those who, instead of exposing the wounds gained in the battlefield, exposed their pliable body, alluringly troped as an object of 'fascination and desire" (Edwards 1997: 81). Virtus itself, the quintessential quality of the Roman, was inextricably interwoven with manliness, (82) an attribute the pantomime notoriously forfeited. Everything belonging to the realm of the "strong," the "vigorous," the "manly," and the "honest" was a virtual antonym for all that the stage signified, (83) while the lustre that actors were able to bestow on polite company constituted the kind of elegance (munditiae) appropriate only for women and incompatible with the militia and the toil (labor) that were the special prerogatives of men (see Sallust, lug. 85.39). Plying one's hands in the t heaters and circuses was in Columella's view irreconcilable with agricultural activity (Rust. 1, Proef. 15), while for Antipater of Sidon the pantomime's "softening charm" could be the catalyst for a collective Roman abstention from wars and swords. (84) In the eyes of moralists, engagement in pantomime activity and a honorable political career stood as far apart as the "joys of idleness" (ignaviae voluptatem) did from the "rewards of merit" (praemia virtutis) (see Sallust, lug. 85.20).

There was, then, a strong sense in which pantomime could not fit neatly into idealized constructions of the Roman social fabric unless it broke the seams. Pantomime's incompatibility with elite conceptualizations of Roman mores and tradition was as blatant as the gulf that separated male ballet dancing of the Romantic era from established social structures. A French critic's tirade against the ballerinos of mid-nineteenth-century Paris (well before the explicit and provocative eroticization of the male dancing body through Diaghilev's innovations) was animated by the same fervor underpinning Crato's and other ancient skeptics' attack on pantomime dancing:

But a man, a frightful man, as ugly as you and I, a wretched fellow who leaps about without knowing why, a creature specially made to carry a musket and a sword and to wear a uniform. That this fellow should dance as a woman does-impossible! That this bewbiskered individual who is a pillar of the community, an elector, a municipal councillor, a man whose bu siness it is to make and above all unmake laws, should come before us in a tunic of sky-blue satin, his head covered with a hat with a waving plume amorously caressing his cheek, a frightful danseuse of the male sex, come to pirouette in the best place this was surely impossible and intolerable... (85)

In the Roman world as much as in nineteenth-century Paris, the social "text" created by the dancing body was an anticomformist "text." In both cases, being "a pillar of the community," a soldier, an elector, or a man in public office and being a male "danseuse" who leapt and bounded were seen as diametrically opposed, and mutually exclusive, ways of belonging to the body politic.

4. Dancing on the Brink: Pantomimes and Their Precarious Body

If taken individually, each of sections 2 and 3 above tells a plausible, internally consistent story: pantomime was viewed as an enthralling and spellbinding spectacle, but just as often as immoderate, lascivious, and pernicious dancing. Yet neither view is valid if considered in "splendid isolation." Only when both pieces of the puzzle are united does our idea of ancient pantomime dancing regain something of its original character as a deeply ambivalent spectacle, a fascinating compound of opposites that defied neat classifications.

Insofar as they received the sponsorship of governors and rulers and were included in the agonistic agenda of civic festivals, pantomime performances existed in tandem with dominant ideologies and were part and parcel of civic ceremonial and inextricably tangled up with imperial cult and social identity formation. At the same time, however, the pantomimic genre could not converse on equal footing with discourses of authority and power, nor claim a share in male elite self-definition. Brimming with elements that flew in the face of social and cultural conventions, pantomime performances were indelibly marked by the precariousness of their containment within accepted and established ideological bounds. As for the pantomime himself, like tragic and comic actors on the Roman stage or like gladiators, he lived his life on a social brink: simultaneously adored and despised, at once exceedingly lauded and spitefully reviled, he was in the bubbling center of cultural ferments as well as on the margins. (86) Quite sim ply, ambivalence touched all aspects of the pantomime experience. The poet of standing, for example, who earned good money for selling his work to the star dancers was perceived at best as "deserting" and "polluting" his great talent (Seneca, Suas. 2.19), at worst as a pimp who hired out his "virgin" girl to clients and brothel-keepers. (87) The Elder Seneca (Controv. 3, Praef. 10) puts in Cassius Severus's mouth an argument that accords exemplary status to the pantomimes Pylades and Bathyllus, but in the same breath his very acquaintance with such paradigms is referred to as a morbus (disease). Public declaimers boasted that their speeches could be danced (Messalla's line of argument in Tacitus, Dial. 26.3), and a high dignitary could write songs for pantomime dancers (Libanius, Or. 33.3 on Tisamenos, governor of Syria), but these very activities were used to discredit them (cf. below in this section). In the contemptuous intellectual's perspective, even the adoring crowd's pleasure could be deemed ambivalen t. Aelius Aristeides insists:

Let us also consider this, that not even the masses wholeheartedly love and welcome these spectacles [i.e., mimes, pantomimes, wonder-workers], to which one could say they are above everything else enslaved. For is there any such man who does not claim to be better than every pantomime dancer [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Or who would accord a mime the right to speak offstage? But while during the performance they are titillated, once having left the theater they immediately pour scorn on it [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] or rather, even during the show, their pleasure is of such a kind as if they were in jest. For sure, nothing ridiculous, I think, is more worthwhile than serious matters, and so the ridiculous is far from ever acquiring priority over the serious. (Or. 34.57) (88)

I wish to explore in this section the broader intellectual strategies that generated and underpinned this kind of ambivalence. What perceived generic terms ensured that the pantomime remained poised on the brink rather than being knocked over in either direction, for either good or bad? What presumed qualities enabled the pantomime to flirt with elite cultural discourses, all the while they caused the genre to slip out of many a pepaideumenos's list of socially commendable, instructional, and beneficial entertainments?

Given that intellectual and bodily excellence was the most important gateway to upward social mobility and the attainment of elite status in the imperial world, Lycinus's attempt to claim for pantomime dancing a slice in both educational values and athletic qualities was a well calculated move. Physical and mental activities are said to be closely combined ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) in the dancer's art (Salt. 69), which prides itself in both "sharpening the soul" ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) as well as "exercising the body" ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Salt. 72) (89) and understands itself as perfectly compatible with philosophical discourse:

For the performances contain the display of intellect ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) as well as the expression of bodily exercise ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) and their strongest point is the wisdom inherent in the action ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) and the fact that there is nothing irrational in them. So Lesbonax of Mytilene, a good and honest man, used to call the pantomimes wise in their hands ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), (90) and kept on going to see them, so that he might return from the theater a better man. And Timocrates, his teacher, when he once saw--he stood there by chance--just a single performance of a dancer going through his repertoire, said: "What a spectacle my respect for philosophy has deprived me of ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII])!" (Salt. 69)

Regarding education, the encomiast Lycinus had no other option than endow his subject with a generous share of educational capital, much like Polystratus in the Imagines who, knowing that paideia stands by necessity at the forefront of all good things ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) was anxious to "construct" ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) for Pantheia the image of a rich and varied education (Imag. 16). In a world where the possession of paideia accounted for the difference between "leading and being led, wielding power or being powerless, being in a position to help others or being in need of help, being counted as blessed or eulogizing others" (Libanius, Or. 35.8), Lycinus needed either to portray his hero as "deeply educated" ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], Salt. 81) or to resign to the model of a disempowered dancer. Lycinus was not alone in this endeavor, for many elite texts kept pace with the increased prestige accorded to the artist as a possessor of sophia and master of alethei a (91) by exalting the dancer's intellect from a variety of angles. A teacher of ancient deeds (Libanius, Or. 64.112), the pantomime could be seen as the repository of cultural tradition and mythical memory, a recontextualized Homeric Calchas:

And surely, in the manner of the Homeric Calchas, the pantomime must know ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) "the things that are and those that will be and those that were before" ("[LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]") so that nothing escapes him, but their memory is readily accessible to him ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]). (Lucian, Salt. 36)

Lycinus's emphasis on the pantomime's skill in memorization (92) not only put him on a par with the pupil of grammarians and rhetors, for whom the development of a strong memory was the foundation of all knowledge acquisition (see Kaster and Cribiore), but also sanctioned the dancing actor as the heir of the archaic Muses. Preservers of the epic past, the Muses protected a hero from the danger of becoming amnastos (with no reason to be remembered), without the privilege of being easily "accessible" (93) in the community's collective consciousness. Striving to ward off oblivion and remember all the legends from the beginning of the universe to the time of the Egyptian Cleopatra (Salt. 37), the pantomime, like the archaic Muses, guaranteed the everlasting "presence" of the characters he incarnated. (94) By preserving and reinscribing legendary figures in the "here and now" of his performative discourse, the pantomime materialized the most characteristic cultural obsession of the Second Sophistic: the collective desire "to repossess--even reactualize--in a new age the heritage of a long-vanished past" (Zeitlin 207).

Credited with knowledge, memory, and wisdom, (95) the pantomime adorned ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) the entire stage "with multifarious lessons" ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], IG 14: 2124, 4). Pitted against a range of cultural accomplishments, arts, literary genres, and intellectual pursuits, pantomime dancing was deemed of equal or even higher value. Master of an art "intelligible" and "influential" without vocal mediation, (96) the "speaking" silent dancer was also able to sketch, delineate, or write down with his voiceless hands. (97) For Cassiodorus, the pantomime rendered comprehensible without the aid of writing and solely with gestures (gesticulationibus) "what could hardly be perceived through either speech or writing" (quod vix narrante lingua aut scripturae textu possit agnosci, Var. 1.20). In other words, the dancer created an educational textum of an entirely different weave, one that ultimately surpassed the written textum itself. While the traditional record merely declared, the dancer's hand itself became a living piece of script; arranged "in order" just like letters (quasi quibusdam litteris), his manual signs could be read by those intent on looking, all the while instructing them; what a written text could only enunciate in abstract terms, the pantomime's hand performed and physically accomplished. (98)

In Athenaeus the standard against which the pantomime's skills are measured is the declaiming sophist, the pepaideumenos on the move, who like the dancer offers epideixeis (displays) of his art (cf. [section]1). (99) Even in this most novel of terrains, the pantomime can cleverly be construed as superior and in possession of an art he has not mastered by training. "Memphis," a dancer so nicknamed because of his performing versatility, is also pointed out as a philosophos orchestes, a dancer whose nonverbal expositions are more lucid than all the eloquence of the professional instructors:

[Memphis] exhibits ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) the nature of the Pythagorean philosophy, making manifest to us ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) all its doctrines in silent mimicry; [and this he does] more clearly ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) than they who purport to teach verbal eloquence. (Athenaeus 20d)

Philosophy, however, was not the sole unfamiliar territory the literary pantomime is presented as invading. Insofar as he created visual compositions with his body, the literary construct of the skillful dancer was not unlike a painter or a sculptor, and his art could be explicitly compared to the arts of painting and sculpting (e.g., Lucian, Salt. 35; Aristaenetus, Ep. 1.26.7-8; Anth. Pal. 7.563, 1-3). In fact, the dancer's art was so effective that it transcended the limits imposed by his single medium of representation--the silence of his moving body--and appealed to senses one would not normally associate with performance of this kind. For Lycinus, the pantomime viewer engaged his faculty of hearing "to listen to the dancer who is mute" [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Salt. 62), just as the viewer of a vivid picture could have his ears filled with the echo of a painted shepherd's pipe (Philostratus, Imag. 1.12.5), hear the painted cows low and the river sing (Philostratus the Younger, Imag. 10.17), or be struck by the castanets, flute, and singing of represented bacchants (Philostratus, Imag. 1.2.5). (100)

The pantomime, moreover, appeared to deserve a place in the company of poets and the educated elite. Appropriating the functions of a literary critic (101) and attracting the vocabulary associated with poetic composition, (102) the dancer--"an actor of tragic rhythmic movement" ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) as designated in inscriptions (103)--was placed in competition even with the tragic dramatist. The plots he brought to life--inspired by the mythical material shared in common by orchesis and tragoidia--were more varied ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) and more learned ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) than the tragic plots and with "innumerable vicissitudes" (Lucian, Salt. 31). Literary voices, positioned within the fold of elite culture, even compared the pantomime to the orator on the basis of their common preoccupation with "bringing speeches to light" (Aristaenetus, Ep. 1.26; cf. Lucian, Salt. 35) (104) as well as with the art of hypokrisis, the aim of which was to construct a co nvincing and appropriate "likeness" between performer and impersonated character (cf. [section]1). Also, the language a pepaideumenos used in his attempt to verbalize the silent experience of the dance was the vocabulary en vogue in literary and critical discourse and dovetailed with the ways in which responses to visual experiences were theorized in the post-Hellenistic world. Lycinus, for example, laid a claim on clarity (sapheneia) as a quality of the pantomime's art (Salt. 36), but clarity was also an essential attribute of rhetorical logos and an indispensable literary quality (often coupled with enargeia) in narrative descriptions, the so-called ekphraseis: (105) "The virtues of ekphrasis are these: clarity, above all, and visibility [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], so as to almost see what is declaimed" (Theon, Prog. 11, [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], in Spengel, Rher. 2:119, 27-29). Both enargeia and sapheneia were well exemplified in the pantomime's ability to demonstrate ([LANGUAGE NOT R EPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], Salt. 62) a narrative so vividly and clearly that the need for verbal mediation became obsolete ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], Salt. 62): the addressee listens without being spoken to (Salt. 63) and has no trouble understanding ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) movements executed with such clarity ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], Salt. 64). It therefore comes as no surprise that Aristaenetus's fictional character in Ep. 1.26 talks of the pantomime dancer himself as [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (the manifest picture of all nature), applying to the dance one of the most enduring staples of literary criticism in all genres: the notion of visualization or pictorialism (enargeia), that is, the ability of logos to evoke characters, places, events, and situations with such arresting vividness that listeners are turned into spectators. (106) Dancer and painter, sculptor, historian, and poet, all are associates in the business of bringing persons or events before the e yes of their addressees ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]):

In brief, we must consider that the writer of history should be like Phidias or Praxiteles or Alcamenes or one of the other sculptors ... The task of the historian is similar: to give a fine arrangement to events and illuminate them as vividly as possible tM5vcq.uv [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]). And when a man who has heard him thinks thereafter that he is actually seeing what is being described ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) and then praises him--then it is that the work of our Phidias of histozy is perfect and has received its proper praise. (Lucian, Hist. conscr. 51; trans. K. Kilburn)

Like an artist, historian, orator, or poet, the pantomime created compelling, irresistible, persuasive vision: images of absent things took shape and presence in the "here and now" of his performance, and what appeared irretrievably locked up in a distant, inaccessible past unfolded as presently happening before the viewer's very eyes. As Manilius (Astron. 5.485-86) puts it, the child of Cepheus destined for pantomimic excellence "will compel you to see / Troy here and now and Priam cut down before your very eyes" (cogetque videre / praesentem Trojam Priamumque ante ora cadentem). Manilius's language belongs to the semantic field of phantasia, the inner visualization of things that are absent, a mental faculty so powerful that images are conjured up "as if they were present." (107) The pantomime viewer who, in Manilius's configuration, witnessed Priam's death and felt Troy present was on a par with the listener of literary logos, transported straight into the middle of the action, (108) even carving for himse lf a part in the events narrated (e.g., in Philostratus, Her. 23.2). Incarnating a fabula from the mythical past, the pantomime approximated the writer's skill of transforming narrative into vivid actuality by introducing past events ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) as if happening at present ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]). (109)

Most importantly, with the spotlight turned on the embodiment and exhibition of a multitude of passions and the dancer's ability to reduce audiences to tears, (110) the verbalized experience of pantomime dancing was perfectly at home with a literary and rhetorical aesthetics self-confessedly on the lookout ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) for an "emotional as well as excited" ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) mode of expression (Longinus, Subl. 15.2). Perceived as sharing in the passion of the characters he incarnated while dancing, and with limbs appropriating all manner of (mis)fortune, (111) the pantomime was constructed in our sources as perfectly in line with the all-encompassing aesthetics and poetics of "empathy" that permeated the era of the Second Sophistic and later. In the literary criticism of the imperial period, a poet achieved sublimity when pouring his own soul into his creation, "feeling himself into" his character's inner life and tribulations, (112) while the listener of poetry was construed as "much distressed," albeit occasionally, by the sufferings of those who populate fictional discourse. (113) In treatises that scrutinized the art of historiography from a theoretical perspective, the historian's vivid pictorialism was perceived as locking the a ddressee into a powerful emotional discourse, (114) while in treatises that focused on how to view art (e.g., Philostratus's Imagines), the viewer could be so involved in an arresting painting as to assail the barrier between the real and the imaginary and could thus graft himself, as an acting agent, onto the painted narrative:

Let us catch the blood, my boy, holding under it a fold of our garments ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]); for it is flowing out, and the soul is already about to take its leave, and in a moment you will bear its gibbering cry. (Philostratus, Imag. 1.4.4; trans. A. Fairbanks; see Elsner 1995: 23-24)

If lifelike likeness (homoiotes) is construed as the goal of all imitation, whether by means of logos, color, stone, or even embroidery, (115) many an ancient description of a talented dancer proves a close fit for this very "criterion for artistic excellence," that is, "the perfect emulation of nature" (Elsner 1993: 31-32). As the prolific nineteenth-century theater critic William Hazlitt would say, such a dancer does not "act" the character but "is it, lives it, breathes it." (116) Libanius, for example, reasons that "if they are going to be successful, pantomimes have to imitate, and good imitation means to come as close to reality as possible ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) (Or. 64.62; cf. Lucian, Salt. 65), while epigrams in the Anthologia Palatina praise the dancer for being so utterly absorbed into the characters he portrays that his own identity leaves off and becomes virtually invisible. Dancer and character merge to enable the spectators to delight in a fully-fledged artistic transformation: the pantomime's "Niobe" is truly made of stone, his "Daphne" made of wood, and the entire audience fancy that they are seeing "Iobacchus himself." (117) Within the cluster of late antique aesthetic rules locked into "an ever-increasing crescendo of illusionistic verisimilitude" (EIsner 1995: 16), the mollis pantomime fashioned his body in the same way a painter or a sculptor conditions raw material to borrow its real-life model's attributes until the boundary between original and imitation becomes deceptively elided. (118) Like the wax in the picture of Ino and Athamas, which beguiles the senses ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) by giving the impression of being tossed about by the wind and becoming moist in imitation of the sea, that is, by appropriating the sea's characteristic qualities (see Callistratus, Descr. 14.3, 4), the dancing Silenus in Nonnus's Dionysiaca transforms himself into a river ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII])

His body was flowing water with natural ripples all over, his forehead changed to a winding current with the horns for waves, the turbulent swell came to a crest on his head, his belly sank into the sand, a deep place for fishes. As Silenus lay spread, his hair changed into natural rushes, and over the river his pipes made a shrill tune of themselves as the breezes touched them. (Dion. 19.288-95; trans. W. H. D. Rouse) (119)

In the eyes of the sixth-century orator Choricius of Gaza, a pantomime tries "to persuade the theater not that he is engaged in imitation but that he is by nature the object of his imitation" ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) Or. 21.1, p. 248 Foerster). To the pepaideumenos composer of ekphraseis, whose work provides a formidable anatomy of ways of looking at art objects in the late antique world, an image can metamorphose into reality (120) and techne can lead mimesis into the heart of being: "art carried imitation over into actual reality" ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Callistratus, Desr. 2.2)

In the climate of intellectual refinement associated with the period of the Second Sophistic, therefore, intellectual strategies for incorporating pantomime into "high" culture were indeed in operation, and there was no shortage of elite writers who were adept at using them. Rather than condemning him to a fate of total alienation from the world of edifying pursuits, the dancer's art possessed sufficient trappings of sophistication to enable someone skilled with words to pass it off as educational ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]: Lucian, Salt. 6), even, with a strong dose of encomiastic exaggeration, as the quintessence of all learning:

This art [is] not an undemanding one or easy to handle but reach[es] to the very summit of all education ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), not only in the sphere of music but also in those of rhythm and meter, and especially in the area of your favorite, philosophy, physics as well as ethics. (Lucian, Salt. 35)

However, even though literary characters fashioned by pepaideumenoi like Lucian or Aristaenetus went to great lengths to construct the pantomime as "one of them," an uncontroversial "insider," and a full member of the intellectual elite, the cultural parameters circumscribing the world of the Second Sophistic prevented such a close fit from ever becoming effortless or perfect. Among the lettered upper classes, intellectual snobbism was the order of the day, and to the aspiring rhetor atop the pyramid of culture all uneducated creatures looked like "slaves and scum" ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), ants, Pygmies, and utter groundlings (Lucian, Herm. 81; cf. 5). Moreover, the "cultured pantomime" model proposed by Lucian's Lycinus was inherently unorthodox. Within the context of an educational tradition where paideia, almost exclusively acquired through one's intimacy with the texts of classical Athens, could be legitimately disseminated only through the parchment in the library or the logos in the mouth of the declaiming sophist, the very concept of a "textualized" body as a transmitter of knowledge was deeply problematic.

Paideia "embodied" was bound to be sneered at, especially in cultural frames where age-old discriminations between the refinement of the educated and the boorishness of the uncultured were fuelled with renewed passion. The idiolects of the pepaideumenos and of the ordinary man were as unlikely to meet in their ways of appreciating art as in their ways of enjoying a banquet (121) Aelius Aristeides rebuffs the possibility of intellectual parity between the pleasures offered by low-class entertainers and those dispensed by reputable minstrels of high education:


And this other thing as well, it is not fitting, I think, for the orator and the philosopher and all those involved in liberal education to please the masses in the same way that these servile fellows do, the pantomimes and mimes and jugglers. (Or. 3455) (122)

Even in apologetic and sympathetic texts like Libanius's treatise, the pantomime's educational power is explicitly circumscribed as a different, more all-inclusive form of education, in fact, an "education for the masses":

So up to the point where the race of tragic poets was in bloom, they continued to come into the theaters as universal teachers of the people. But when on the one hand tragic poets dwindled and on the other hand only the very rich could participate in the instruction offered in the schools of art and poetry, while the majority of the people were deprived of education, some god took pity on the illiteracy of the many and, to redress the balance, introduced pantomime as a kind of instruction for the masses in the deeds of old [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Consequently, a goldsmith now will not do badly in a conversation [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (123) with a product of the schools about the house of Priam or of Laius. (Libanius, Or. 64.112)

Nevertheless, in the eyes of those inimically disposed, pantomime experience was categorically denied any claim on didactic discourse. Rather than propagating education and culture, pantomime came to be seen by pagans and Christians alike as an alternative, subversive locus of authority that threatened to disrupt instructional activities or, even worse, antagonize the voice of God. Like the Elizabethan stage that was systematically constructed in antithespian documents as the harbinger of destruction for the pulpit, the pantomime dancer's stage was perceived not only as useless frippery (124) but as an actively undermining force. The alarming cry of an anonymous sixteenth-century letter (dated 25 January 1587) to the Queen's Secretary, Sir Francis Walsingham-- "Woe is me! the play howses are pestered, when churches are naked; at the one it is not possible to gett a place, at the other voyde seates are plentie" (125)--echoes Seneca's frustration over the boorishness and the immorality of his contemporaries who indulged themselves in cruder pleasures, while the halls of professors and philosophers were left deserted:

Who respects a philosopher or any liberal study except when the games are called off for a time or there is some rainy day which he is willing to waste? And so the many schools of philosophy are dying without a successor. The Academy, both the Old and the New, has no professor left ... But how much worry is suffered lest the name of some pantomime actor be lost for ever (at quanta cura laboratur, ne cuius pantomimi nomen intercidat)! The House of Pylades and of Bathyllus continues through a long line of successors. For their arts there are many students and many teachers. (Seneca, QNat. 7.32.1-3; trans. T. H. Corcoran) (126)

Likewise, John Northbrooke's indignation at the claims of the ignorant "that playes are as good as sermons, and that they learne as much or more at a playe, than they do at God's worde preached," (127) finds its perfect match in the constant fulminations of John Chrysostom against those who, while unable to recite a psalm or a portion of the Scriptures or even to remember the names of the holy books, prove marvelously retentive when it comes to matters of the stage and impressively eager when a pantomime or other entertainer invites the city to a thea. (128) Moreover, if the pagan intellectual considered the pantomime merely an inferior purveyor of knowledge, the Christian thought of him as the "black double" of an educator. As a teacher of lessons that corrupt or lead to death (129) and as an instructor of cinaedi (Tatian, Ad Gr. 22), the orchestes turned his trade into "a study of adultery, a gymnasium of prostitution" ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]: John Chrysostom, PG 60: 301) and "a common and pu blic school of licentiousness" ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]: Basil, PG 29: 80) for those who attended it. (130)

As for the pantomime-orator parallel--persuasive though it was when penned by Lucian or Aristaenetus and put in the mouth of their characters-it was radically undercut by other voices that deemed such an alliance disgraceful. Obsessively attached to the glorious rhetorical models of Rome's Republican past, Messalla in Tacitus's Dialogue on Orators forges a link between histrionic tropes and the decadent oratory of the empire. Reporting as a common saying (frequens . . . exclamatio) the view that "orators speak voluptuously and actors dance eloquently" (Ut oratores nostri tenere dicere, histriones diserte saltare dicantur), Messalla is appalled at many a speaker's boast that "their speeches can be sung and danced to (cantari saltarique), as though that were something creditable, distinguished, and clever" (Tacitus, Dial. 26.3). For him the fashion of producing "the rhythms of stage dancing" (histrionales modos) in one's speech not only "does not befit an orator" but is "scarcely worthy of a man" (ne virilis quidem, 26.2). Quintilian recommends that the type of gestures appropriate to stage-mimicry is to be "rigorously avoided in pleading" (longissime in actione fugiendum, Inst. 11.3.88):

For the orator should be as unlike a dancer as possible (abesse enim plurimum a saltatore debet orator), and his gesture should be adapted rather to his thought than to his actual words, a practice which was indeed once upon a time even adopted by the more dignified performers on the stage.. . I would not allow him to use his hands to imitate attitudes or to illustrate anything he may chance to say. And this rule applies not merely to the bands, but to all gesture and to the voice as well. (Inst. 11.3.89-90; trans. H. E. Butler)

Moreover, all the flirting with elite concepts and vocabulary in the few texts that verbalized pantomimic silence did not develop into an intimate encounter. Two examples will illustrate this point. First, the notion of apate (deception) was not only a standard term in the vocabulary of pantomime performances, but also a recurrent concept in elite writings on literature and art. A work of art deceives (apata) the viewer into believing it is real, and the pleasure arising from such deception (apate) is part of the pepaideumenos's exclusive and intimate communion with art. But if apate meant "illusion" or "aesthetic deception" (131) in the idiolect of the pepaideumenci, in the pantomimic vocabulary apate had the much broader meaning of "enjoyment." (132) As for the antitheatrical language of the Christians, the stage resulted in apate, which signified "fraudulent deception" and therefore was systematically opposed to aletheia (truth). (133) Columella bears excellent testimony to this semantic strain: the pantom ime's action of deceiving (decipere) the eyes of the spectators connotes aesthetic beguilement just as strongly as it encodes the deprecatory resonance of decipere as "cheating" and "swindling" (Columella, Rust. 1, Praef. 15; see above, note 81).

Likewise, although the pepaideumenos writing on pantomime appropriated the elite critical vocabulary of enargeia, the pantomime experience was not a straightforward case of "sight through hearing" (the mental process that narrative discourses on the powerful and most affective style were constantly preoccupied with) . (134) Despite the sung libretto, the core of the experience was first and foremost visual. Creating a rapidly changing "tableau vivant," the pantomime's body invited its addressee to move not from word to image but from vision to hearing; so Lucian' s converted critic, the philosopher Demetrius, exclaims: "I hear, man, what you are doing; I don't merely see . . ." (Salt. 63). This fundamental difference in direction and cognitive processing (cf. Montiglio 267) seems, at first glance, well encapsulated in E. Leach's argument that an enarges narrative poses greater demands on the addressee than a naturalistic painting does:

Enargeia differs from pictorial verisimilitude in the complexity of the receptive act it demands from the spectator. In responding to pictorial verisimilitude, he needs only to perform the two simple and interrelated mental functions of identifying the subject and acknowledging its likeness to life, but in responding to enargeia his cognitive faculties approximate the painter's act of giving form to the unseen. (Leach 7)

But Leach suppresses here the role of mental mimesis, the spectator's "intellectual imitation" that Philostratus's fictitious hero Apollonius highlights in a passage that J. Onians calls "astonishing for its insight into the essential role of the brain in the process of perception." (135) Even the act of staring at a mimema itself is not uncomplicated, Philostratus states, for well before being able to appreciate a likeness in painting one must have formed a mental picture of what this likeness represents:

... I should say that those who look at works of painting and drawing require a mimetic faculty [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]; for no one could appreciate or admire a picture of a horse or of a bull, unless he had formed an idea of the creature represented. Nor again could one admire a picture of Ajax, by the painter Timomachus, which represents him in a state of madness, unless one had conceived in one's mind first an idea or notion of Ajax, and had entertained the probability that after killing the flocks in Troy he would sit down exhausted and even meditate suicide. (Philostratus, VA 2.22; trans. F. C. Conybeare)

In an analogous way, the pantomime viewer, in order to derive sophisticated pleasure and pronounce valuable judgements, must have a preexisting mental picture of the legendary heroes the dancer's body incarnates. Indeed, the richness of one's mental "baggage" is all the more important in a performative genre where the relation between signifier and signified is not reassuringly constant but disconcertingly in flux. This is precisely why Libanius insists that pantomime viewing sharpens one's wits much more efficiently than conventional theatrical representation does:

To bring Athena to mind when Athena is being shown, Poseidon when Poseidon is (represented), and Hephaestus when Hephaestus is (incarnated), is no big deal, but to visualize Poseidon by way of Athena and Athena by way of Hephaestus, Hephaestus by way of Ares, Ganymedes through Zeus, and Paris through Achilles, what riddles do these things not surpass in their ability to sharpen the soul ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII])? (Libanius, Or. 64.113)

The pepaideumenoi, whose learning did not merely provide them with a comparative dimension but also enabled them to navigate rapidly through their visiones, could approve or criticize what they saw in an informed fashion (as, e.g., in Lucian, Salt. 76). For them, pantomime viewing was a reminder of what they already knew ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]: Libanius, Or. 64.114) and a mental exercise no less taxing than listening to vivid (enarges) discourse. But for the simple-minded masses, whose lack of background knowledge was compounded by the shifting correspondence between sign and referent in the performance, intellectual pleasure was inevitably restricted to the recognition of the houtos ekeinos ("this is he") relationship (136) that linked the dancer to the hypokeimenon prosopon, the subject of his imitation (Salt. 65). It is in this particular respect that Leach's evaluation of the relative complexity of verbal and artistic enargeia becomes perfectly appropriate. For, even while sipping instructi onal discourse ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]: Libanius, Or. 64.114; cf. 113: [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), the lay pantomime viewer embarked on an intellectual journey significantly less complex than the one undertaken by the audience of declaiming sophists. Aristaenetus's comparison of pantomime and orator on the basis of enargeia has strengths as well as limitations.

Moving from education to athieticism, we see Lucian asserting that pantomime is not without a share in well-recognized forms of competitive gesticulation [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Salt. 78). Like Ovid who, though tongue-in-cheek, took it upon himself to demonstrate the strict, point-by-point equivalence of the soldier's arduous life in the fray to the "active" life of the lover in his mistress's embrace (militat omnis amans, Am. 1.9.1), Lycinus constructed the pantomime's supposedly effeminate art as a form of athletic exercise. Although it was first and foremost a kind of mental gymnastics, a gymnastics of the viewer's soul ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] [sc. [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], Salt. 6), pantomime also entailed the dancer's physical training (LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Salt. 72) (137) and partook of the noble and virile achievements of Hermes, Pollux, and Heracles (Salt. 78), each invincible athletes and divine patrons or founders of athletic games. Pantomime no t only was on a par with athletic training but, most importantly, improved on it, constituting an option significantly preferable to the conventional well-trodden path athletics offered. Like the poetry of Propertius and Tibullus, which promoted the elegiac ideal of militia amoris (the soldiery of love) as a rival and more fulfilling alternative to the life of civic militia with its misery and pointless carnage, (138) Lycinus extolled pantomime as a spectacle "much more pleasant to watch" than an athletic contest's ugly bundle of blood, dust, and peril--a superior kind of thea that "displayed" the dancers in a manner "many times safer as well as more beautiful and more enjoyable" (Salt. 71).

To a large extent Lycinus was not extravagant in his claims, for prowess in military forms of dancing, such as the pyrriche, was a conspicuous mark of virility and a commendable preparation for war as early as classical Greece. W. J. Slater, building on the work of J. P. Morel on the activities of the Roman iuvenes, has made a strong case for the common gymnasium based training of both aspiring pantomimes and the offspring of Roman elites. (139) In other words, a pantomime dancer was not a total maverick, a complete intruder in the traditional Roman ways of molding and grooming the military "body politic." However, even though it was nourished and sustained in the socially sanctioned areas of citizen formation of the Roman world, pantomime dancing acquired no more than a veneer of social acceptability. To be fully and unconditionally acceptable, pantomime training had to produce a man of arms, but any young man whose eyes were avidly fixed on a lucrative career on the stage had to leave the common training g round at a certain point; instead of using his newly fashioned warrior's body against the country's enemy, he went on to adulterate his martial skills with a larger than tolerable dose of calisthenics. In other words, soldier and pantomime may well have come out of the same stable, but no fighter could perform in pantomime contests unless he broke ranks, crossed over unequivocally to the realm of grace and elegance, (140) and received the extra, specialized, and exclusive training that only the professional dancing masters provided. Besides, professional athletes would hardly, if at all, be won over by Lycinus's claims. As Aelius Aristeides puts it, the victors in the Panhellenic games had nothing in common with effeminate bodily poses:

Come, let us consider the athletes at the crown contests, such as Dorieus of Rhodes and Glaucus of Carystus and Milo and Polydamas, and all those in whose honor bronze statues are erected: which of the two holds true? Did those in charge of the contest for Olympian Zeus crown them because they were unmanned and drunk and twisting about like dancing girls ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), or because they exhibited admirable endurance and bravely of both soul and body ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), qualities that generate the greatest and most abiding pleasures both for those who possess them and for those who share in the knowledge of such things? (Or. 34.23).

Pitted against the professional athlete, who was trained to assert his painstakingly attained virility through displays of physical fitness in all kinds of contests, the pantomime who attained bodily strength (to karteron) via a feminine route, that is, by incorporating the softness and grace that proverbially belonged to Aphrodite (Salt. 73), was transgressive, nonassimilable material, his deviance challenging and undercutting the established link between full-blown masculinity and traditionally defined athletic prowess. In a similar way, Rudolph Valentino found it very difficult to counteract the stigma of effeminacy by actively taking part "in the cult of physical fitness, with scores of publicity stills showing him working out in seminudity or boxing, fencing, or lifting weights" (Hansen 265). Lucian's Lycinus elevated pantomime dancing to the pedestal of "the best and most proportionate kind of gymnastic exercise" ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], Salt. 71), but ancient athletics would have found it difficult to accommodate the pantomime's aberrant mixture of bodily discourses--a soma not only endowed with "no small amount of strength" but also excessively 'soft and pliable and light . . . and easily adaptable" (Salt. 71). In stark contrast to the victors in athletic festivals who secured the crown or the money-prize through andreia, the pantomime was crowned by a glory commensurate with his disgrace, (141) i.e., his encroaching on feminine territory. As Cyprian remarks,

Men are emasculated, the honor and vigor of the male sex melts (mollitur) because of the dishonor of a sinewless body, and whoever goes into greater lengths in order to break down virility into womanishness (quisque uirum infeminam magis fregerit) gives the greatest pleasure on this point. (Ad Donat. 8)

To conclude this section: in terms of education as well as of athletics, we must look very carefully at the many interfaces of pantomime performances with aspects of elite culture, that is to say, look at those societal pivots that enabled the ancient ballet-dancer to set foot in polite company but at the same time prevented him from acquiring an uncontested place in the ranks of the elite. Ultimately, however, the real power that controlled the gateway to the regions of the mind, that either validated pantomime dancing as a cultural performance in its own right or exorcised it beyond the pale of social and intellectual decorum, was the pepaideumenos and his art of logos. By speaking in defense of the dance, Lycinus did not merely declare himself to be a pantomime fan; his speech was also the enactment of his own difference and superiority from what he sanctioned, the assertion of a clear-cut distinction between his own cultural space and the space belonging to his favorite pastime. In other words, Lucian and his Lycinus acted as guardians of cultural capital; being insiders themselves they shifted, and regulated, at will the criteria of inclusion in and exclusion from "high" culture. But in their very support of pantomime, necessitated by Crato's virulent attack, they relegated it to a subordinate, derivative position.

5. Ancient Pantomime Critics and Elizabethan "Sexual Suspects"

Greco-Roman pantomime dancing, like many dancing phenomena in American and European history, enjoyed an unsteady "marriage" with dominant cultural parameters. A full scale comparative treatment is beyond the scope of this paper, hence I shall focus on one aspect only, namely, gender concerns. As will become clear, ancient pantomime controversies were not that dissimilar to worries seething at the very heart of the Western theatrical tradition.

The parity between the ancient perception of the pantomime dancer as a feminized male and the persistent modem prejudice against star male dancers like Nijinsky or Valentino for their "lack of virility," "unprepossessing effeminacy," and shameless posing as the objects of the audience's erotic gaze (Studlar 24) (142) is manifest. But a much greater cause for concern for Renaissance antitheatricalists was theater's erotic dimension, its ability to "stirre up ... the hearts of men" and inflame "concupiscence ... with the fire of lust and sensualitie" (Northbrooke 155 and 160). As Philip Stubbes complains in his Anatomie of Abuses,

What clipping, what culling, what kissing and bussing, what smouching & slubbering one of another, what flithie groping and uncleane handling is not practised every wher in these dauncings? yea, the very deed and action it selfe, which I will not name for offending chast eares, shall be purtrayed and shewed foorth in their bawdye gestures. (Stubbes 155)

In both late antiquity and Renaissance Europe, the "catalysts in the chemistry of the public gaze" (Henderson 113) were the effeminate performers who kindled in their viewers "the fire of inordinate lust." (143) Tract after tract in the massive corpus of Renaissance antithespianism describes "the response of spectators to plays as intensely erotic" (Maus 1979: 606; cf. Maus 1987). The clearest insight into the swirl of erotic stimuli sparked off by ambivalently gendered performers, however, was offered by the Renaissance stage itself, as it self-consciously examined its own performative tradition of cross-dressed boy-actors playing female parts.

The androgynous beauty of the Elizabethan boy-actor, whose every external sign was "semblative a woman's part" (Shakespeare, Twelfth Night 1.4, 33), elicited erotic passion (144) in members of the audience, both male and female, in much the same way that the ambiguously gendered Viola/Cesaric in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night evoked in his/her coplayers diverse erotic phantasies (145) before ultimately becoming "Orsino's mistress and his fancy's queen" (TN 5.1, 365). Insofar as he displayed a woman's s "raiment ... feature, lookes, and facions" (Rainoldes 34) and learned "to counterfeit her actions, her wanton kisse, her impudent face, her wicked speeches and entisements" (Rainoldes 17), the transvestite player was "a great provocation of men to lust and leacherie," for his charming appearance incited the spectator's mind to conjure up the sexually alluring image of the female: "[A] womans garment beeing put on a man doeth vehemently touch and moue him with the remembrance and imagination of a woman; and the im agination of a thing desirable doth stirr up the desire ... " (Rainoldes 97). (146) At the same time, however, because his feminine-usurped attire and attractions concealed a male body that was "potentially repeable," (147) the seductive boy-actor became the object of the audience's homoerotic lust and all the "while hee faineth love, imprinteth wounds of love" (Rainoldes 18). 148

Eroticized signifier of a woman and palpable seductiveness of male flesh, the transvestite actor, who was himself a "sexual suspect," (149) became "the agent of a universal effeminacy" (Orgel 28) in the auditorium: "enfeebled in all his joynts" and "effeminated with ... the dishonesty of an unsinued body" (Prynne 168), he turned his viewers and admirers into women or, as Libanius would put it, "full of womanishness" ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]: Libanius, Or. 64.74). For while lusting excessively after a woman may have the power to soften "valor's steel" and ultimately unman, (150) being "desperately enamour'd with Players Boys ... clad in woman's apparell" transformed the male spectator into a "sodomite or worse." (151) Moreover, if the transfer of clothes entailed the transfer of identities from one person to another (Stallybrass 312), once equipped with female attributes even the "valiant man . ... . who is admirable in his armes and formidable to his enemies could but "degenerate into a woman" (P rynne 197). Wearing what a woman wears and imitating what a woman does set the performer firmly on the path of "softness" that led but to femininity itself, the experience of female passions, and the playing of the woman's part.

Obviously, the transfer of cultural models across time and place is notoriously hazardous business, and the period of the Second Sophistic falls far short of the early modem European period in the sheer volume of written and published antitheatrical tracts. But it is indisputable that many of the gender anxieties haunting Renaissance antistage polemic can clearly be traced in late antique culture, especially in its prolific corpus of physiognomic, astrological, and moralizing treatises, those powerful anvils where socic-political assumptions were forged and gender norms meticulously articulated. Although the stage was seldom a prominent frame of reference in such Greco-Roman writings, the crossing of sexual boundaries in the post-Hellenistic world entailed nothing short of gender metamorphosis. In the case of tampering with masculine identity--a position of supremacy not bestowed by birthright but only conquered by strenuous effort--the risk was suffering the fate of the mythical Caenis "in reverse," that is, of "being turned into women," as Aelius Aristeides believed of effeminate orators not living up to their anatomical classification (Or. 34.61). And while actors seem cross-culturally placed "in a 'feminine' relation to self-display" (Straub 1995: 264) by allowing their bodies to become "the objects of uninhibited public gaze" (Edwards 1997: 85), it was the Greco-Roman pantomime par excellence who was considered as dangerously and ambivalently attractive by virtue of his constant oscillation between male and female parts.

The pantomime, master of a single body trained to display the full range of masculine and feminine experience of "characters and passions" (ethe kai pathe), was gender-matter that was perpetually "in flux" (cf. Lucian, Salt. 67), constructing and deconstructing the categories male and female in performance, or, as Cyprian puts it, modifying "his sex by means of his art" (se.xus arte mutetur, Ep. 2.2). And even as his virtuoso repertoire took him through gendered space at dizzying speed, he offered to a rapt audience an unrivalled diversity of erotic titillation. (152) Although he replicated through cross-dressing as well as body language the entire range of feminine attractions, he was each and every viewer's rival as a man, loving like a man, giving sexual offense like a man. (153) So, for example, in the "Oxford fragment" of Juvenal's Sixth Satire, the following lines appear to describe a resident orchestodidaskalos teaching women "to waggle their hips and buttocks":

You cannot...

always trust him. Although he sets off his eyes with soot,

and dresses in yellow and wears a hair-net, he's still an adulterer.

The more effeminate his voice, and the more he goes in for resting

his hand on his rounded hip, the more you should have him watched.

In bed he will prove most virile; there the ballet is forgotten.

"Thais" puts off her mask to reveal the accomplished Triphallus. (154)

The assumption that lustful desire has the power to emasculate was as pervasive in Renaissance Europe as in late antique society. Given the prevailing medical belief that sexual indulgence could sap a man's strength and reduce him to the role of a woman, the seduced viewers of a pantomimic spectacle were easily perceived as transformed into gunaia or effeminates (Lucian, Salt. 5) and as bereft of both rational thinking and mechanisms of self-control. Late antiquity and early modem Europe also shared a culture where "each man was forever trembling 'on the brink of becoming womanish'" (Brown 11). The European fixation with ironcast codes of male deportment, transgressible only at the peril of forfeiting one's masculinity, had a clear counterpart in the conceptual world of the Second Sophistic, where the inappropriate movement of a finger or the flicker of an eyelid was serious enough to cast a doubt on one's standing in the ranks of men.

In this article, I have tried to unravel the mesh of Greco-Roman pantomime, an intricate web of extraordinary success and virulent hostility, and have stressed the need for the building of a "cultural poetics" of pantomime performances in the post-Hellenistic world. (155) A radical reassessment of the importance of pantomime spectacles as a shared code of communication across socio-economic boundaries will greatly enhance our understanding of how complex an engagement with the visual, intellectual, and political culture of the imperial world pantomime represented, and how the entire experience of pantomime viewing, a kind of common coinage in the cultural economy of the empire, fit into the complex set of broader discourses on education, gender, performance and civic memory, imitation, spectatorship, and acting. Finally, it is through interdisciplinary perspectives that invaluable light can be shed on both the pantomime genre's interaction with contemporary discourses of authority and the place of the ambival ently gendered performer in the history of the Western stage. (156)

(1.) On the problematic gendering of Valentino's career moves, see A. Walker; Hansen, chaps. 11 and 12; Studlar 2345. On the cultural "baggage" associated with the image of the male "tango pirate," see Erenberg 81-85. American magazine readers, contaminated by the "optic intoxication" of the dance, were reminded that "too much womanism" would gradually turn them into "a nation of mollycoddles": Studlar 23 and 27.

(2.) Cicero, Leg. 2.39; see Corbeill 136.

(3.) On mollitia and dancing, see below, note 73.

(4.) Editorial in the New York Sun 1913; quoted in Erenberg 81.

(5.) Roy McCardell, "The City of Dreadful Dance!" New York World (30 March 1913) 1; quoted in Erenberg 81.

(6.) See primarily Andresen 217-62.

(7.) See, e.g., Northbrooke; Anonymous, A Treatise of Daunces, in which is shewed that daunces bee inticementes to whoredome, and that the abuse of playes ought not to be among Christians (London 1581; reprinted in Freeman); C. Fetherston, A Dialogue agaynst Light, Lewde, and Lascivious Dauncing (London 1582).

(8.) Le Figaro (20 May 1912); quoted in Buckle 242.

(9.) Female pantomime dancers are honored in Anth. Pa!. 9.567; 16.283, 284, 286 (which reads like a forceful statement of female claims on a predominantly male genre), 287, 288. A character in Aristaenetus (Ep. 1.26) praises the female pantomime Panarete. For a pantomimic extravaganza with both male and female dancers, see Apuleius, Met. 10.29-34.

(10.) The dancer's ability to incarnate a variety of (often contrasting) roles within the context of the same fabula evolved into a literary topos; see, e.g., Anth. Pal. 9.542; 16.289; Lucian, Salt. 63, 66, 67; Libanius, Or. 64.113.

(11.) "Sinewlessness," i.e., a body weakened, powerless, and effeminate, was an ubiquitous marker of the pantomime in polemical (esp. Christian) sources; see, e.g., Cyprian. Ad Donor. 8; Lactantius, Div. Inst. 6.20 (FL 6: 710): enervata corpora; Cyprian, Ep. 2.2. Interestingly. Greek medicine did not agree with such a view: for example, Galen (Hyg. 2.90 [6: 155 Kuhn]) thinks that [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and argued that "soft" movements would never be capable of producing that kind of body.

(12.) Anth. Pal. 16.287: [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] albeit for a female dancer; the collocation of opposites still applies.

(13.) See primarily RE 18.3, cots. 847-49 (heavily based on Lucian and Libanius) and Kokolakis 51-55. Female roles like "the birth-pangs of Leto" (Lucian, Salt. 38) seem to have required a realistic reenactment of the female body's gender-specific experiences and motions.

(14.) Chortcius of Gaza, Or. 21.1 (p. 248 Foerster).

(15.) See, e.g., Augustine, Ep. 91.5; Sidonius Apollinaris, Carm. 23.281-88; for Jacob of Serugh, the fifth-century Syriac homilist from Antioch, the danced story of Zeus's adulteries "is famous among the spectacles" (Horn. 5, F 22vb, text in Le Museon 48 [1935] 112). The titillating effect of pantomime performances must have been greatly enhanced in cases where a female dancer was engaged, such as the nearly naked Venus in the "Judgment of Paris" pantomime described in Apuleius, Met. 10.29-34 or the lascivious orchestris celebrated in Anth. Pal 5.129.

(16.) See Martial, Epigr. 11.13, 6-7. On a medallion from Lyon. a pantomime bears the telling name of "Cupido": see Jory 1996: 10.

(17.) Dyer 101 on audience responses to the sexual explicitness of Rudolph Valentino's movie The Son of the Sheik; see Burt 86 for similar thoughts on the contemporary reception of the "Ballets Russes."

(18.) Unless otherwise indicated, translations in this article are my own.

(19.) So, e.g., Hermogenes, Frog. 7, [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Spengel. Rhet. 2:13, 14-23); see Pernot 241-44, with comments on De Saltatione.

(20.) See contra, Jones 71.

(21.) See, e.g., Branham, whitmarsh 247-94. Goldhill 60-107.

(22.) See Russell 11. In more precise terms, the particular exercise of "character presentation" is called ethopoiia or sometimes prosopopoiia; see, e.g., Hermogenes, Prog. 9, [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Spengel, Reht. 2:15, 7-8): [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Theon, Prog. 10, [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Spengel, Rhet. 2: 115, 14-16): [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. On declamation and hypokrisis (impersonation), see Russell 14.

(23.) The search for what is prepon, i.e., in agreement with the presented character's ethos, dianoia, age, social class, state of mind, etc., is flagged in most rhetorical and grammatical handbooks; see, e.g., Hermogenes, Prog. 9, [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Spengel, Rhet. 2:15, 28-31): [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]

(24.) See Salt. 2, where Lycinus is referred to as [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]

(25.) Criticism of epideictic oratory on unimportant topics goes back as far as Isocrates, Helen 4, 5. 6 ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]); cf. Philostratus, VA 4.30; Polybius 12.26b-c ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]); Lucian, Hipp. 8.


(27.) In their definition of encomion, rhetorical treatises stressed the systematic augmentation or amplification of the praised subject's qualities; see, e.g., Menander Rhetor 2.368, 4-5; Ioannes Sardianus, In Aphthonii Prog. 8 (Rabe, Rhet. 15: 141, 23): [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII].

(28.) Cf. Lucian, Imag. 5: [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]...

(29.) E.g., Nicolaus the Sophist. Prog. 8, [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Spengel, Rhet. 3: 481, 20-24): [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. Cf. Menander Rhetor 1.347, 23-30 on die necessity of praising a city's inhabitants as "philosophical and enduring," if its land is barren and infertile.

(30.) E.g., Theon, Prog. 8, [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Spengel. Rhet. 2:112, 8-10): [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Ionannes Sardianus, In Aphthonii Prog. 8 (Rabe, Rhet. 15: 141, 20-22): [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. Menander Rhetor 1.356, 19-20; 2.370, 30-371,3: [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII].

(31.) On the range of meanings associated with plasma in literary criticism, see Papadopoulou. On the epinoia of the images, cf. the encomiasts' conviction (Lucian, Imag. 23) that their [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII].

(32.) See, e.g., how the synthetic method is at work in the systosis of Pantheia's paideia [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] which Polystratus decides to draw as [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] so that it may be adorned [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] with [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Imag. 16). On the "metaliterary atmosphere" of the Pro Imaginibus, see Zeitlin, esp. 230.


(34.) In the De Saltatione itself, the viewers are said to reserve full praise ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) of the dancer for the moments when each of them can see and "recognize" in the performing artist, as in a mirror, an image" of his own self: ... [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Salt. 81).

(35.) Trapp xliii on Maximus of Tyre, for whom "rival salesmen" include actors and athletes; see Maximus of Tyre, Or. 1.

(36.) See Kokolakis 5 ("aimed at winning the favor of the Roman upper classes . . . and through them the favor of the emperor in the first place"); Anderson, esp. 276 n. 6; Jones 67 on De Saltatione together with Images and Pro Imaginibus as "artful and indirect flatteries" of Lucius Verus; Swain 315 ("Lucian's way of seeking good will from the imperial court").

(37.) But taken for granted especially by those who come to pantomime from an archaeological rather than literary perspective. See, e.g., Jory 2001: 19: "It also attracted the attention and support of at least some of the Greek cultural elite, such as Lucian"; but also Jones 72: "It has rightly been inferred that one of Lucian's principal motives for writing the treatise was to support the acceptance of the dance among the canonical arts of the Greeks."

(38.) The funerary inscription of the pantomime Vincentius claims that with his art he tenuit theatrum usque in ortus vesperos (8); text in Bayet. For the notion of "captive" pantomimic audiences, cf. CIL 6:10115: even god himself is "captured" (captus) by Gaius Theorus's art.

(39.) "Enchantment" is ubiquitously presented as the standard response to pantomime performances (see, e.g., Choricius of Gaza, Or. 21.1; Lucian, Salt. 85; Anth. Pal. 7.563, 4). Thelxiphron (enthralling) was almost a fixture in descriptions of pantomimic gestures (e.g., Anth. Pal. 9.505, 17).

(40.) This much, I think, can be inferred from Claudian's strange comparison of political to pantomimic plausus in his In Eutropium 2.402-05.

(41.) See, e.g., Plutarch, Mor. 748d on pantomime dancing which [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]; Aelius Aristeides, Or. 34.55; Philostratus, VS 589. For Dio Chrysostom, the motley crowds in the pantomimic stronghold of Alexandria follow light entertainents "with their souls all but hanging on their lips" (Or, 32.50).

(42.) Cf. the funerary inscription (IG 14: 1683) for a pantomime (or perhaps mime) who boasted of having "entertained senators, ladies, and kings" [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 5). According to Philostratus (VS 589), senators and equestrians, as well as men of education and culture who are versed in the study of Greek or Latin, constitute the regular audience of pantomimic displays.

(43.) Referring to pantomime's cognate genre, the equally popular mime, the exiled Ovid (Tr. 2.502) brings to the emperor's attention that "most of the Senate" come to the theater to watch adulteries on stage.

(44.) Maecenas was infatuated with Bathyllus (Tacitus, Ann. 1.54.2), Gaius Caligula and Messalina with Mnester; Gaius, we are told, used to kiss the pantomime in the theater (Suetonius, Cal. 55.1; cf. 36.1), while the empress's passionate affair with Mnester (Dio Cassius 60,22,4-5) was a matter of common knowledge even among Rome's enemies (Dio Cassius 60.28.34). Trajan was enamored with Pylades (II) (Dio Cassius 68.10.2), the empress Domitia inflamed by Paris (II) (Suetonius, Dam. 3.1) and put to death by Domitian on account of her adultery (Dio Cassius 67.3.1). Pliny tells of two equestrians caught by death while in the embrace of the beautiful pantomime Mysticus (1). Lucius Verus revelled in the company of pantomimes and mimes whom he had brought with him, as in a triumph, from Syria and Alexandria (SHA, Verus 8.7-11). A wealthy senator Valerius Asiaticus had a private company of pantomimes (scaenici Asiaticani) in Gaul: see Lavagne.

(45.) Juvenal, Sat. 7.88-90, 92: ille [Paris] et militiae multis largitur honorem, / semenstri digitos vatum circumligat auro; / quad non dant praceres. dabit histrio; . . . praefectos Pelapea facit, Philamela tribunas. The pantomime Paris mentioned here is Paris (II), murdered by Domitian (Dio Cassius 67.3.1). Pelopea and Philomela were among the popularpantomimic roles (see, e.g., Lucian, Salt. 43; Apuleius, Apal. 78; Sidonius Apollinaris, Carm. 23.278) that afforded the dancer ample scope for erotic dancing.

(46.) For the standing of actors in Roman society and the logic underlying their equation with prostitutes, see Edwards 1993 and 1997. Actors had always enjoyed a much higher reputation in the Eastern part of the empire (cf. the comparison drawn by Cornelius Nepos, Praef. 5), but see, e.g., Aelius Aristeides, Or. 34.55-56 (formulating a direct analogy between pantomimes/mimes and whores); idem apud Libanius, Or. 64.43 [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Philo Iudaeus, Leg. 203 (on the tragic actor Apelles prostituting his body).

(47.) In fact, some emperors were said to have done more than doting on favorite dancers and sponsoring festivals. Nero, most famously, had intended to dance a plot based on Vergil's story of Turnus (Suetonius, Nero 54), while Gaius, who had already danced before senators in the pantomime's characteristic cloak and tunic (Suetonius, Gaius 54.2; ef. Dio Cassius 59.5.5), had intended to dance at the Ludi Palatini, during which he was assassinated (Suetonius, Gaius 54.2; ef. Dio Cassius 59.5.6).

(48.) See, e.g., ILS (II.i) 5186 (offering a pantomime even the title of augur), 5193, 5194, 5195; Inscr. Magn. 165, 192 Kern. In an inscription from Thyateira (text in REG 4 [1891] 175), the Council honors the pantomime from its own coffers [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 3-4); see also Fouilles de Delphes, vol. 3: Epigraphie, 1: Inscriptions de l'entree du sanctuaire au tresor des Altheniens (Paris 1929), no. 551; Fouilles de Deiphes, vol. 3: Epigraphie, 2: Inscriptions du tresor des Atheni ens (Paris 1909-13), no. 105. For proxenia, see, e.g., Inscr. Cret. IV (Gortyn), no. 222, 5; for ateleia, see, e.g., Malalas, Chronographia 12.10 (ou suneteloun... asunteleis . . aleitourgeta), with Roueche 3. In general, see further Robert 1930, Guey, Sordi, Lavagne. If their victory was in the extra prestigious category of "iselastic contests" (as, e.g., the victory of the pantomime Tiberius Iulius Apolaustus: Robert 1930), their "package of honors" also included "the right to a cash pension and a triumphal proces sion (eiselasis), the financial burden in both cases . . falling on the home-cities of the hieronikai" (Spawforth 193); see Pliny, Ep. 118-19 on debates surrounding the issue of "iselastic" pension. In any case, several inscriptions tell us that even privileges attached to victories at local games were safeguarded by law (en toi nomoi, en tois nomois); see Robert, OMS 5: 347424,356-57. It would seem, however, that such upward mobility as Dio Cassius records (77.21.2) for the pantomime Theocritus, a freedman of the emperor Caracalla who was promoted "from a slave and a dancer. . . to commander of an army and prefect," was very rare.

(49.) For the kinds of festivals in the Roman empire and their importance in urban life, see Price; Roueche, esp. 1-11; Robert 1982:709-19; Spawforth; Mitchell; Van Nijf. In a regional context, see Worrle.

(50.) See, e.g., Inscr. Magn., no. 192 Kern (for a pantomime; cf. Slater 1996): Inscr. Stratonicea 691: [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCBILE IN ASCII]; CIL 12: 188 (epitaph for the young Septentrio who saltavit et placuit); Dio Cassius 60.28.5. On the notion of "being pleasing to," "satisfying, entertaining the people" as a marker of successful performance, see Robert 1930: 118.

(51.) See, e.g., Inscr. Priene, no. 113, 63ff.; quoted in note 132 below.

(52.) IGR 3: 487 = SEG 28: 1462 (the record of the foundation by C. Iulius Demosthenes of a penteteric agonistic festival) provided for the appearance (from the 19th to the 21st day of the festival) of "hired performances [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] among which are mime artists and spectacles and displays ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII])." To the same days also assigned were "the other spectacles that please the city" [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), first and foremost among which Worrle rightly understands the pantomimes (253). On the meaning of akroama in such contexts as "spectacle" (either private or paid for by public benefactors), see Robert, OMS 5: 54. An inscription from Caria that records the pious and honor-loving way in which a priest and his mother performed their service ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) supports their claim to honor with the mention of their "having hired a pantomime dancer for six days," a performer who pleased everybody ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) and whom they rewarded with money in the theater itself (see BCH 5 [1881] 187, 14-16). For other explicit references to pantomime dancers as part of the manifold "pleasures" (terpseis) and "delights" (athyrmata) of agonistic festivals, see, e.g., Malalas 12.6 (text as CFHB) or Philo Iudaeus, In Flacc. 85. See also Robert 1930: 116. For a glimpse of the variety of such "entertainments," see Athenaeus 19a-20b.

(53.) [SIG.sup.3] 850 refers to the "usual course of action for men in public life," individuals who, "in order to procure for themselves fame on the spot, spend their love of honor (philotimian) on shows and distributions and on founding competitions." So, for example, an official decree from Kalindoia (Macedonia) (SEG 35 [1985], no. 744) honored and set up as an example for public emulation (46-48) a local benefactor who provided "spectacle and entertainment and merriment for the soul" ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], 25) in the course of the many public dinners, feasts, and sacrifices that he financed at his own expense as an agonothetes. Being the first to provide one's city with the best akroamata on offer (ta proteuonta. . . akroamata) merited honorific commemoration (see Robert 1930: 116). On the tendency of agonothetai (contest-presidents) to overspend in order to provide "supplementary entertainments. . . alongside the main competitive events," see Roueche 8.

(54.) Cf, Cicero, Offic. 2.57-58; Mur. 39; see, however, the very cautious discussion of Gruen 183-222.

(55.) See Slater 1996 on Inscr. Magnesia 192, vital evidence enabling the association of imperial visits to the East with the first appearance of pantomime contests at Greek festivals.

(56.) See Menander Rhetor (Spengel, Rhet. 3: 265-66) on the elements that "add lustre and renown to a festive congregation."

(57.) For the distinction, see, e.g., Robert 1982, Spawforth, Mitchell 189, Roueche 2-5.

(58.) Text in REG 4 (1891) 175, 10-17: [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] / [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] / [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] / [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] / [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] / [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] / [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] / [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] / [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] A. similar understanding of mimes/ pantomimes as "adornments" of public festivities emerges from an edict of 413 C.E. in the Theodosian Code, which recalls female mimes to their proper function "so that no customary adornment (solitus ornatus may be absent from the pleasures of the people (valuptatibus populi) and the days of festivities" (in. Mommsen, ed., Theodosiani Libri xvi, vol. 1, pars prior [Berlin 1905], 15.7.13). According to Pliny (Pan. 54.1), even imperial panegyrics could be danced (cum laudes imperatorum...saltarentur), thus implicating the pantomimes even more directly in the molding of imperial policies.

(59.) See Fronto, Ad L. Verum 17 on the tremendous importance of an emperor's care for performers, since "the Roman people are held fast by two things above all, the corn dole and the shows."

(60.) For Ovid, see Tr. 2.519-20; cf. Tr. 5.7b.25-28, where, even as he testifies to the pantomimic dancing of his verses to wild applause, Ovid claims never to have written anything for the theater. Which particular parts of his verses were reworked for the stage is not known (Luck 307), but the Heroides with their heavily erotic material lend themselves for pantomimic adaptations (Luck 153; cf. Owen 271), and, of course, the mythological substratum of Ovid's Metamorphoses coincides very neatly with the range of material described in Lucian's De Saltatione.

(61.) Statius; Juvenal, Sat. 7.86-87; Lucan: salticae fabulae XIIII, according to the so-called "Vacca" life.

(62.) Interestingly, one of the ways in which Philostratus (VS 589) paid tribute to Hadrian's oratorical talent was to portray him as the clear winner over the orchestai in the struggle to capture the audience's attention.

(63.) See Aristaenetus, Ep. 1.26. The entire letter is put in the mouth of a fictitious pepaideumenos, Speusippus, an eloge of the female pantomime Panarete.

(64.) Crato's frustration at Lycinus's praising of his own nosos in Salt. 6 can be paralleled to John Chrysostom's despair at the hopeless condition of the theater addict (Contra ludos et theatra, PG 56: 266; cf. 267-68); on the danger of infection from stage-spectacles, see, e.g., Libanius, Or. 64.82 and Theophilus Antiocheus, Ad Autol. 3.15. For the addiction to "light" entertainments in general as synonymous with illness and disease, incompatible with education and reason, cf. Dio Chrysostom, Or. 32.7 ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), 32.60, 32.73 (loimos or plague).

(65.) Gosson 1579: 89; Munday 53-54; Rainoldes 1599: 118; and, among the church fathers, Clement of Alexandria, Paed. 3.76.3 and Augustine, De civ. D. 3.17.2. On the physical and metaphorical coupling of plagues and playhouses contaminating the flesh, the mind, and the morals of Elizabethan London, see, e.g., the third article of the Act of Common Council of 6 December 1574: "To play in plagetime is to encreasce the plage by infection: to play out of plagetime is to draw the plage by offendinges of God upon occasion of such playes" (in Chambers 4: 301). See further Mullaney 49-51 and Montrose 1996: 3.

(66.) "Enslavement" or "capture" of the viewer's soul was a staple in the arsenal of antipantomime critics. Their spectacle "takes possession of the soul" (Aristeides apud Libanius, Or. 64.61) and, as Libanius puts it, the life of pantomime-addicis-consists in (sc. [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Or. 41.7). "Prisoners of pleasure," the victims find themselves pulled along "like grazing animals" wherever the wolf may lead (John Chrysostom, In Matth. 68 [PG 58: 490]), "dragged off captive as boot" (Tatian, Or. ad Graec. 22), with both ears and eyes "detained" (Novatianus, Spect. 8.2). Even Lucian's Lycinus, as a defender of the dance, uses the language of "enslavement" and "capture" (Salt. 79 and 85). On the "disgraceful and ignominious" capture of an entire city by lowly entertainments in general, see Dio Chrysostom, Or. 32.89; cf. 32.90 on men's souls as "taken hostage and mined" by the same evil.

(67.) For Cicero, all acting was a "completely trivial and insubstantial art" (De Or. 1.129; cf. 1.18); see Gunderson 117-18. For the imperial East, see Dio Chrysostom, Or. 32.73 on all theatrical entertainments as "trifles and things of no importance"; cf. Studlar 24 on the fixed preconception of dancing as "female and frippery."

(68.) See Gosson 1582: 193; cf. Munday 34 and Cyprian, Ad Donat. 8.

(69.) See Libanius, Or. 64.70 on pantomimes causing the viewer's soul to "melt"; cf. John Chrysostom, PG 50: 682 and Novatianus, Spect. 6.6.

(70.) Aristotie, [Phgn.] 1.13: [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. The standard depiction of the pantomime is that of a man "twisted" in his body; see, e.g., Novatianus, Spect. 6.6 (homo fractus omnibus membris); 3.2 (obscenis motibus membra distorquens); Minucius Felix 17.2; Ambrose, Ep. 58.5; Tatian, Or. ad Groec. 22. At Pollux 6.127,[LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (bent) and [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (twisted) are synonyms, while in Christian authors like Clement or Jerome the pantomime's bodily discourse becomes a literal "breaking down" into femininity; cf. Clement of Alexandria, Paed. 2.113.2; Jerome, Ep. 79.9, where the addressee is warned to shun histrio fractus in feminam (PL 22: 730).

(71.) The link between effeminacy and the pantomime's art was so strong that the late grammarian to whom we owe a fragment of the satirist Lucilius (Sat. 1.19 Charpin: stulte saltatum te inter uenisse cinaedos) derived the word cinaedus from bodily motion and applied it to dancers or pantomimes: cinaedi dicti sunt apud ueteres saltatores uel pantomimi, [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Nonius Marcellus 5.25). Cf. Lucian, De Merc. cond. 27: [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] see too RE, s.v. kinaidos, cols. 259-61. Cinaedi et pantomimi are closely linked in Firmicius Maternus's astrological knowledge (Mathesis 8.23.3, 8.20.8); see also Tertullian, De Sped. 17, 23 and Apol. 15.3; Macrobius, Sat. 3.14.7-8; Clement of Alexandria, Paed. 2.113.2.

(72.) For further evidence on flimsy, diaphanous, and often silk-embroidered pantomimic robes, see Jory 1996: 5 n. 15. Similarly, flamboyant clothing and all the accoutrements of fashion were an important constituent of an early twentieth-century dancer's deviant masculinity; see Hansen 259 (on Valentino) and Wollen 27 (on Nijinsky).

(73.) On softness as a symptom and marker of effeminacy, see Edwards 1993: chap. 2; on male emasculation through luxurious adornment, see, e.g., Clement of Alexandria, Paed. 3.15.1. The pantomime in particular was consistently implicated in the discourse of mollitia; see, e.g., Plautus, Mil. 668; Cicero, Brut. 62.225; Seneca, Contr. 1, Praef. 8; Juvenal, Sat. 6.63; Lactantius, Div. Inst. 6.20 (PL 6: 710); Novatianus, Spect. 6.6; Cyprian, Ad Donat. 8.

(74.) Euripides, Bacch. 822: [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]

(75.) Choricius, Apol. 6.5: [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and Procopius of Gaza, Pan. in Imp. Anastasium 16 (on pantomimes): [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (PG 87.3: 2816); cf. Lactantius, Div. Inst. 6.20 (FL 6: 710).

(76.) Prudentius, Perist. 10.221. Cf. the scandal created by Nijinsky's final pose in L 'apresmidi d'unfaune, interpreted by some critics as the public performance of an indecent sexual act; see Buckle 240-45.

(77.) Juvenal, Sat. 6.63-64: chironomon Ledam molli saltante Bathyllo / Tuccia vesicae non imperat.

(78.) From a contemporary critic's description of Nijinsky's "exotic eroticism" in his performance of Shecherazade: C. Van Vechten, "Vaslav Nijinsky" in Dance Index 1.9-11 (September-November 1942); quoted in Buckle 360.

(79.) The roles of Andromeda (Philostratus, VA 5.9; Lucian, Hist. Conscr. 1) and Agave (Plutarch, Crass. 33.24), for example, must have been popular choices for stars and low-key actors alike. Some of these female performances are recorded precisely because of the actor's infectious overflow of emotion, his performing sphodra emphathos: see, esp., Plutarch, Lys. 15.2-3 on Phocion/Electra; Aulus Gellius, NA 6.4 on Polus/Electra; Plutarch, Pelop. 29. 4-6 and Aelian, VH 14.40 on an unnamed tragoidos as Hecuba and Andromache; see further Hall, Easterling and Miles, and Lada-Richards. Specialization in particular role-types was much easier in the postclassical period, when lead actors were masters of their own companies and could use as playscripts the many dramatic anthologies in circulation. And while Hellenistic literary culture focused its gaze on the sufferings of love (erotika pathemata), one may easily imagine a wide variety of collections centering on the emotions and vicissitudes of famous tragic heroine s. On dramatic anthologies and a culture "fundamentally 'anthological,'" see primarily Gentili 19-31; on the ascendancy of the actor from the fourth century B.C.E. onwards, see Easterling.

(80.) Cf. Clement of Alexandria, Paed. 3.15.2; see Gleason 1995: 76-81.

(81.) Columella, Rust. 1, Praef. 15: auonitique miramur gestus effeminatorum, quod a natura sexum viris denegatum muliebri motu mentiantur decipiantque oculos spectantium.

(82.) For the derivation of virtus from vir, see. e.g., Plutarch, Coriol. 1.4 and Cicero, Tusc. 2.43; cf. Keith 20.

(83.) Cf., e.g., Cicero, De Or. 3.220; Quintilian, Inst. 1.11.18 (on the incompatibility of bodily postures appropriate to the military ground and the stage); Cornelius Nepos, Praef. 5, where all kinds of artistic exhibitions on the stage are considered ab honestate remota.

(84.) Anth. Pal. 9.567 (laudatory epigram for a female pantomime), 7-8.

(85.) Jules Janin, Journal des Debats (2 March 1840); quoted in Guest 21. In Rome a pantomime dancer could boast none of the warlike, social, or political qualities that were thought to circumscribe the terrain of Roman virtus.

(86.) Perhaps one of the best illustrations of the ambivalence inscribed in social attitudes towards pantomime dancers is Pliny's story of the wealthy old widow Ummidia Quadratilla, who kept (and cherished) a troupe of pantomimes in her house but never allowed her grandson to see them perform, either in her court or in the theater (Pliny, Ep. 7.24.4-5).

(87.) Some kind of prostitution is implied in Juvenal's Sat. 7.87: intactam Paridi nisi vendit [sc. Statius] Agaven, where intactam means both "unperformed" but also "untouched" in a sexual sense (virgin). See Courtney ad loc. and Braund 60.

(88.) From a Christian perspective, cf. John Chrysostom, In Ioannem homil. 58.4 (PG 59: 320): [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]

(89.) A common apologetic tactic; see, e.g., B. De Montagut's seventeenth-century MS, Louange de la Danse, 8r: "It is the dance also which maintains not only the vigour of the mind but also fortifies the health of the body" (Ravelhofer 103).

(90.) It is very important to note, however, that calling the orchestes ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) is ridiculed in Lucian's Teacher of Rhetoric; [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] was one of the [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] that the aspiring rhetorician was advised to coin in order to astound the ignorant masses (Rhet. Praec. 17).

(91.) See, e.g., Philostratus, Imag. 1.1, creating a famous analogy between painting, aletheia, and poetic sophia; see Zeitlin 218 and Maffei.


(93.) For this notion, see Bakker 14 n. 16.

(94.) Very sensibly, however, Lycinus falls short of explicitly claiming for the pantomime a direct affiliation to the Muses' realm, since in his own time pantomimes were still excluded from the competitive agenda of the various agones mousikoi.

(95.) For the pantomime's sophia and sophrosyne, see, e.g., Anth. Pal. 16.283; Nonnus, Dion. 5.106; 19.202, 210, 218, 263; 30.112; Lucian, Salt. 69, 74. Intelligence: Lucian, Salt, 74. Knowledge: Lucian, Salt. 37 (extending from the genesis of the world to the time of Cleopatra). Memory: Lucian, Salt. 74.

(96.) Quintilian, Inst. 11.3.66: et saltatio frequenter sine voce intelligitur atque adficit. The paradoxical existence of languages "more eloquent than language itself" was a topic dear to intellectuals like Quintilian (see, e.g., Inst. 11.3.67), who elaborated on the well-established belief that bodily postures and hand gestures are perfectly able to talk.

(97.) See, e.g., Nonnus, Dion. 5.105; 19.200, 206, 216, 219, 226 ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]); cf. Xenophon, Symp. 7.5, and see the excellent remarks in Montiglio 273-74.

(98.) Cassiodorus, Var. 4.51.9: illa manus . . . per signa composita quasi quibusdam litteris edocet intuentis aspectum, in illaque leguntur apices rerum et non scribendo facit quod scriptura declaravit.

(99.) See, e.g., Cribiore 239 on the "most brilliant sophists" as 'the idols of the educated public: they commanded high fees, were disputed among the cities, and attracted vast, frenzied audiences. They were the athletes of the word, the adored heroes with whom their fans identified and whom they tried to imitate."

(100.) See further Manieri 1999: 111-21, esp. 116; cf. James and Webb 7 on Philostratus as evoking "appeals to senses other than sight, such as the fragrance of a garden, the sound of singing, or even the taste of fruit."

(101.) Cf. primarily Lucian, Salt. 74; [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] That the pantomime's figures were based on prior intellectual analysis and understanding of the role is implicit in Macrobius's anecdote (Sat. 2.7.12-14) on rival interpretations of the theme of "the great Agamemnon" during a performance of the Augustan pantomime Hylas; ef. Lucian, Salt. 36 where, once again, it seems that the clarity of the pantomime's figures rested on individual interpretation ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]).

(102.) In Nonnus, for example, the pantomime is said to "weave" his figures, just as a poet weaves his songs (Dion. 19.202: [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 19.263); on weaving as a metaphor of poetic composition and speechmaking, see Scheid and Svenbro, and Laird 24ff. In Mar. 748a, Plutarch modifies Simonides' famous comparison of poetry to painting to construct an analogy between poetry and dancing: "Dancing and poetry are fully associated and the one involves the other ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]."

(103.) Collected inscriptional evidence in Fouilles de Delphes, vol. 3: Epigraphie, 2: Inscriptions du tresor des Atheniens (Paris 1909-13) 113-14, to which add SEG 1:529: [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. In a funerary epigram of the second/third century C.E., a pantomime is said to have received the first crown [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (15; text in ZPE 18 [1975]).

(104.) Seneca links orators, gladiators, and histriones as entertainers of the public (Contr. 4, Praef. 1), while Cicero (De Or. 3.83) advocates the use of some training in saltatio for his orator.

(105.) See, e.g., Quintilian, Inst. 8.3.62 (clarity and vividness coupled with the orator's ability to display the facts to the eyes of the mind); Hermogenes. Prog. 10, [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Spengel, Rizet. 2:16, 32-34); cf. Lucian's own prescriptions of good history writing as based on [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in Hist. Conser. 43 and 44. At Lucian Imag. 12, the cognate ability of "making clear the unseen" ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] cf. De Salt. 36: [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) is a property not of silence but of logos ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) and belongs to the expertise of philosophers.

(106) E.g., Anonymous, [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Spengel, Rhet. 1: 439, 10-11): [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]; Plutarch, Mor. 347a: [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]; Quintilian, Inst. 6.2.32: insequitur [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ... quae non tam dicere videtur quam ostendere. See further Zanker 297-311, A. D. Walker, Bartsch 110-11, Lausberg 810-19.

(107.) See, e.g., Quintilian, Inst. 6.2.29; cf. Webb 112-27 and Manieri 1998.

(108.) E.g., Longinus, Subl. 26.1: [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] cf. ibid. 26.2. In the process of poetic composition, the notion of being imaginatively "present at the actual events" ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) goes back at least to Aristotle, Poet. 1455a. In acting psychology, one should bring to mind Plato, Ion 535b-c and, even further back, Homer, Od. 8.487-91 (with Ford 54-56).

(109.) See Longinus, Subl. 25.1; cf. Appian, Hist. 8.20.134 (on the Roman city's collective visualization and "presentification" of war) and Plutarch, Artax. 8.1.

(110.) See, e.g., Lucian, Salt. 67, with several examples; Choricius of Gaza, Or. 21.1 (p. 248 Foerster); Nonnus, Dion. 30.113-14 on the pantomime who, dancing the dismal death of Phaethon, [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII].

(111.) E.g., IG 14: 2124 (funerary inscription for a pantomime). 3: [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]; Manilius, Astron. 5.484: omnis fortunae vultum per membra reducet.

(112.) See, e.g., Longinus, Subl. 15.4 (on Euripides as the creator of Phaethon's perilous flight) and cf. Too 201: "The verbs ... emphasize the sympathy and identification of Euripides with his fictional character."

(113.) Plutarch, De aud. poet. (Mar. 16E): [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ... Cf. Plutarch, [De Homero] 2.6.

(114.) E.g., Plutarch, Artax. 8.1: [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]; Plutarch, Mor. 347a (on Thucydides); Polybius 2.56.7 (on the historian Phylarchus); cf. A. D. Walker and Manieri 1998.

(115.) See primarily Plutarch, Mar. 18a; Anonymous, [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Spengel, Rhet. 1: 438, 25-26). In art: Petronius, Sat. 83; Pliny, NH 35.65, 88; Diodorus Siculus 4.76.2. The Imagines of both the Elder and the Younger Philostratus, as well as the [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Descriptions) of Callistratus, are the best guides to an understanding of naturalistic imitation. In general, on the concept of "likeness" (homoiotes, homoioma, similitudo) in art, see Pollitt 201-04, 430-44.

(116.) Hazlitt's comment (12: 326) on the performance of the famous Italian opera singer Madame Giuditta Pasta.

(117.) See Anth Pal. 11.253, 255; 16.289, 290: [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (for Pylades); Ausonius, Ep. 37.

(118.) Cf. Elsner 1995: chap. 1 and 1996: 247-61.

(119.) On the pantomime's required adaptability. cf. Lucian, Salt. 67: [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII].

(120.) E.g., Callistratus, Descr. 2.2: [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Onians 1999: 265 talks of a "transubstantiation of materials" in Callistratus's descriptions.

(121.) In Lucian's De Domo, the idiotes--master of physical eyesight only and hindered by want of intelligent logos--can merely respond to art with gestures, while the man of culture is able to translate his stunned vision into eloquent, didactic speech; see Goldhill 160-67. Plato's phauloi and agoraioi banqueters cannot dispense with the full array of physical stimuli (singers for the ear and dancers for the eye) in order to stay amused at their feasts, while the pepaideumenoi entertain each other with the clarity of intellect alone (Prot. 347c-e).

(122.) In Aelius Aristeides, Or. 34.56, pantomimes are to orators and philosophers as whores are to decent men.

(123.) What this ou kakos might mean in practice can perhaps be guessed by the "veneer" of Homeric knowledge displayed by Trimalchio in Petronius's Satyru con.

(124.) See e.g., Pliny, Pan. 46.4; Dio Chrysostom, Or. 32.4-5 (those who indulge in popular theatrical entertainments lack seriousness and [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]are devoted to spectacles from which nothing educational or moral can be gained except [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]24, 62, etc.

(125.) Printed in Chambers 4: 304.

(126.) Cf. Libanius, Or. 35.17, stressing the incompatibility of pantomimes with the study of rhetoric, and Or. 3.12, complaining that his students talk about charioteers, mimes, and pantomime dancers while he declaims. Libanius's correspondence also offers excellent insights into parental anxieties over the destructive influence the theater may have on their youngsters progress; see, e.g., Ep. 373.

(127.) Extract from his treatise against dancing, dicing, and other "idle" pastimes; reprinted in Chambers 4:198.

(128.) See, e.g., John Chrysostom, PG: 57.22, 30; 59: 320.

(129.) Cyprian, Ep. 2.1.1: magister et doctor non erudiendorum sed perdendorum puerorum; 2.2.3: nec alios extra ecciesiam mortalia docere. sed ipse salutaria in ecciesia discere.

(130.) Cf. Cyprian, Ad Donat. 8 and Novatianus, Spect. 6.2.

(131.) See, e.g., Polybius 2.56. 12; Longinus 195.1-5 Spengel-Hammer; Philo, De spec. leg. 29.1. The notion of apate as illusion goes as far back as Gorgias's famous criticism of tragedy (Gorgias, Frag. B 23 D-K; Plutarch, Mar. 348c) or perhaps Simonides (Plutarch. De aud. poet. 15). On artistic deception, see, e.g., Philostratus, Imag. 1.23.2,28.2; Philostratus Junior, Imag. 390K.4; Callistratus, Deser. 8 [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Pliny, NH 35.65. See further Eisner 1995: 15-39.

(132.) Enormously important here is inscription no. 113 from Priene, honoring a local benefactor who provided a public dinner replete with entertainments (63ff.). Wishing to offer the spectators apate (pleasure), he hired a piper, men of the stage, and the pantomime Ploutogenes who was "able to beguile the souls with his art" [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]64-66); cf. SEG 35, no. 744, 25: [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]Dio Chrysostom, Or. 32.5 (on mimes, pantomimes, and light stage entertainments): [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] For apate in the Hellenistic period and beyond in the predominant sense of "entertainment," of pleasure for the ears, eyes, and spirit, see Robert 1960: 10.

(133.) E.g., John Chrysostom, De Lazaro Condo 6 (PG 48: 1035): at the end of a theatrical performance [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. Cf. idem, In Eutropium (PG 52: 392).

(134.) See, e.g., Longinus, Subl. 26.2: [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 15.1; Nicolaus the Sophist, Prog. 12, "[LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Spengel, Rhet. 3: 493, 18): [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Hermogenes, Prog. 10, [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Spengel, Rhet. 2: 16,33-34): [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]; Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Arch. 11.1.3.

(135.) See Onians 1980: 13 and 1999: 268.

(136.) Aristotle, Poet. 1448b.14-17: [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII].

(137.) Cf. Salt. 71. where dancing movements are said to be not only engaging for the viewers but also most healthy ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) for the pantomimes themselves.

(138.) For a most forceful expression, see Propertius 2.15.

(139.) See Slater 1993: 205-12 and 1994. In Slater's view, this kind of early social bonding explains the enduring close links between professional pantomimes and the offspring of the ruling classes, which in its turn sheds light on the cause and nature of the recurrent pantomime riots.

(140.) This is not to say that the execution of the athlete's movements was deprived of charis and venustas. Some useful material can be gleaned from Dickie.

(141.) Cyprian, Ad Donat. 8: in laudem crescit ex crimine et peritior quo turpior iudicatur.

(142.) On the generalized tendency of early twentieth-century critics to brand all male dancers (whether on the stage or in films) as effeminate, see McLean; on Nijinsky's controversial relationship with Diaghilev, see Buckle 58-59.

(143.) See Abraham Fleming, A Bright Burning Beacon, sigs. D3v-4; quoted in Ringler 71.

(144.) See, e.g., Dollimore 65 and Zimmerman.

(145.) See, esp., TN 2.2, 15-36; for discussions of multiple eroticism in this play, see, e.g., Callaghan 428-52, Greenblalt 49-52, and Traub, esp. chap. 5.

(146.) Cf. John Chrysostom on the listener's mental reconstruction of the "image" of the lecherous, effeminate dancer: In Joannem. Homil. 18 (PG 59: 119-20).

(147.) See Traub 93 and Greenblatt 49-52.

(148.) On the possibility of the male spectator being attracted by "the youth beneath the woman's costume, thereby playing the woman's role themselves." see primarily Orgel 27 and Jardine, esp. 29-31; on Rainoldes' logic, see Dollimore 65.

(149.) See Kristina Straub's 1992 monograph.

(150.) Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet 3.1, 118-20: "O sweet Juliet / Thy beauty bath made me effeminate, / And in my temper softened valor's steel!" See Traub 134 and Orgel 25-26.

(151.) Stubbes 105; cf. Prynne 211-12. On the fear of homoerotic desire aroused by the boy clad in female dress on the stage, see Straub 1992 and 1995, Orgel, Jardine, Levine.

(152.) Literary and historical sources constructed both male and female spectators as capable of lusting after pantomime actors. For women erotically excited by pantomimes, see, e.g., Juvenal, Sat. 6.63-65 and Pliny, Ep. 7.24.1. For the infatuation of emperors and empresses with leading pantomimes, see above, note 44.

(153.) For the complex eroticism, suggested by Lucian's "effeminate" (thelydrias), applied to the pantomime (Salt. 2), cf. Clement of Alexandria, Paed. 3.15.2-3, where [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] are the same as [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and Pollux 6.127. [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]

(154.) Sat. 6. [O] 19-25 (trans. Rudd, following Courtney's text). On eunuchs as lovers, see Courtney ad 366.

(155.) I undertake such a project in my forthcoming book, Lucian and Pantomime Dancing, to be published by Duckworth.

(156.) My warmest thanks to Pat Easterling and Richard Hunter, who read and commented most helpfully on an earlier draft. I am also much indebted to the editor and the perceptive referee of Helios, whose generous comments have greatly improved this article.


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ISMENE LADA-RICHARDS is Lecturer in Classics at King's College, London. She is the author of Initiating Dionysus: Ritual and Theatre in Aristophanes' Frogs (Oxford 1999) and numerous articles on aspects of Greek drama and performance theory. She is now working on a book on Lucian and pantomime dancing.
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