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can. 11 Bodily training in Greece 45

developed to the utmost by the exercises of the gymnasium, and by'the ennobling physical and moral effect of complete exposure in heroic nudity, as when the youthful Sophocles danced naked, lyre in hand, at the head of the triumphal choir after Salamis. At Lacedaemon at any rate the same care was spent on the physical culture of the girls, who also danced and exercised and raced in short tunics like that of the charming girl-runner of the Vatican Gallery,1 while if it was only at Sparta that the fair maidens sported with

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bare breast and limbs, there were in every part of Greece professional female dancers and flute players of unsurpassed bodily grace, whose performances we may judge of from pictures like Fig. 9, copied from an unpublished vase in the British Museum. Interest in bodily loveliness found an outcome in certain contests of beauty (KWLm-e'ia) held in different places, about which we unfortunately know little more than the fact of their existence. The Scholiast on Homer, Iliad ix. 129 says, ‘the Lesbians hold a contest

1 Cast at South Kensington, and in the Dundee Museum.

of beauty among the women in the precinct of Hera,’ and Athenzeus mentions a similar institution in Arcadia,1 while the Eleans had a contest of beauty for men, in which the handsomest were selected to carry the sacrificial vessels in the festival of Athene.2 Certain xaMurrei‘a of a more private kind are described in the Epistles of Alciphron.

§ 27. Influence of the Dance on Sculpture.

The effect upon the study of sculpture of this cultivation and free exposure of the body may easily be understood. The artist would hardly need professional models, when the beautiful highly-trained human form both of man and woman, not in rest only but also in motion, was so freely displayed before his eyes. The close connection between the pose and movement of the living form and its crystallisation in marble or bronze was noticed by the ancients, and Athenaeus remarks that there were ‘relics and traces of the ancient dancing in some statues made by statuaries of old, on which account men at that time paid more attention to moving their limbs with graceful gestures.”a Moreover it was not only abstract beauty of form that the sculptor had before his eyes, but that beauty schooled to decorous and expressive movement, Damon the Athenian, as quoted by Athenaeus, affirmed that ‘the poets originally arranged dances for freeborn men, and employed figures only to be emblems of what was being sung, always preserving in them the principles of nobility and manliness.’ ‘ If any one,’ he continued, ‘ while dancing, indulged in unseemly postures or figures, and did nothing at all corresponding to the songs sung he was considered blameworthy. . . . For the dance is a display at once of the care the dancers bestowed on

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can. n The Posture-dance 47

their persons and also of good discipline.’ 1 Greek feeling for decorum forbade anything sudden or strained in gesture, and as much care was taken over the composition of the limbs of the dancer as the statuary expends on the artistic arrangement of his figure. The studied posture-dance was thus a more advanced form of art than the mere rhythmi- cal swing of limb and body, and was held by the Greeks to

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have a high educational value for the performer. Thus the primitive romp and caper of armed youths was taken up and systematised, under the name of the Pyrrhic dance, at Sparta, where it was used as an exercise for war, and consisted of feigned attack and defence and the like, all executed in time to music (Fig. 10). The Spartan boys had their special dance (called gymnopeedika) which they per— formed naked with movements of the whole frame accord—

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ing strictly to the music. Educational too were the choral celebrations of the Laconian girls, wherein, as Aristophanes sings, there was ‘the sound of dancing, while like young fillies the maidens on the banks of the Eurotas rapidly moved their feet, and their hair floated back like the tresses of revelling Bacchanals.’1 The Spartans indeed, Lucian says generally, did everything with the Muses, and their youths learned to dance just as they learned to fight.2

§ 28. The mimic Dances.

In the style of dancing here described there is already an element of imitation, for the gestures have to be ‘ emblems of what is being sung,” but this element is developed still further in those kinds of dances which are specially of a mimic order. The mimic dance is a form of savage art of a very primitive type, but the genius of the Greeks moulded it into that elaborate and noble artistic product the Attic drama. The drama, tragic and comic, as we shall presently see, was evolved out of a mass of popular perform~ ances in which the human figure was made to present a series of solemn or ridiculous ideas. Such exhibitions at festival-tide were wanting in the stately dignity so characteristic of the higher manifestations of Hellenic art, but displayed abundant action and variety. They were less regular, less beautiful, less purely artistic than the simpler dances that depended only on the display of lovely forms and poses, but they were kept within our definition of art by their strict obedience to the measure marked by the musical accompanist.- Were we not expressly informed of the fact we should have doubted whether these complex pantomimic movements could have been actually performed to music. There is no doubt, however, that music, and

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can. u [Mimic Dances among 1112 Greeks 49

hence rhythmical measure, were always present. The best idea of these dances in their comparatively rude and popular form we derive from a passage in Xenophon’s Anabasz's or Expedition of the Ten Thousand, describing a banquet given by the ofiicers of the Greek army to the chief men of a district in Asia Minor that they were traversing. After the feast the soldiers entertained their guests as follows. ‘As soon as the libations had been poured out and the paean sung, two Thracians rose up and danced in full armour to the sound of a pipe; they.bounded into the air with the utmost agility brandishing their swords, till at last one struck the other in such a manner that every one thought he had killed him. He then despoiled the vanquished of his arms and went out singing a triumphal lay (the “ Sitalces ”), while other Thracians came forward and carried off the man as if he had been dead, though indeed he had suffered no hurt. Afterwards some {Enians and men of Magnesia stood up, and danced what they called the Carpaean dance, in heavy armour. The order of the dance was as follows. One man having laid aside his arms feigns to be sowing a field, and drives along a yoke of oxen, frequently turning to look back as if he were afraid. A robber then approaches, and the husbandman, when he perceives him, snatches up his arms, dashes to meet him, and fights with him in defence of his yoke of oxen, all these movements being performed by the men while keeping time to the music of the pipe. At last, however, the robber, binding the other man, leads him off with his oxen.’1 Sometimes, Xenophon adds, the dance ends differently; the ploughman binds the robber, and then, having fastened him to his oxen, drives him ofi with his hands tied behind him.

1 Anabarir, vi. i.

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