The Ancient Library

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On this page: Chlamys – Chloris – Choerilus – Choes – Chorus



men. Workmen, sailors and slaves wore a chiton with one armhole only for the left arm, while the right arm and right breast were left uncovered. This was called the exoinls. Country folk wore a chiton of skins. The chiton worn by Doric ladies was a long garment like a chemise, slit up­wards on both sides from the hips and held together by clasps at the shoulders. In the case of young girls it was fastened up so high that it hardly reached the knees. For the rest of Greece the usual dress of a lady was the Ionian chiton, long, broad, reaching , to the feet in many folds, and only drawn I up a short distance by the girdle. From : this long ladies' chiton was developed the double chiton, a very long and broad piece of cloth, folded together round the body, and fastened with clasps at the shoulders. : It was folded double round the breast and : back, and was open or fastened with clasps ; on the right side, and fell simply down to : the feet. Sometimes the open side was 1 sewn together from the girdle to the lower i edge. For the garments worn over the chiton see himation, chlamys, and tri-bon.

Chlamys. An outer garment introduced at Athens from Thessaly and Macedonia. It con­sisted of an oblong piece of woollen cloth thrown over the left shoulder, the open ends being fastened with clasps on the right shoulder. The chlamys was worn by Iphebl; it was also the uniform of general officers, like the pcdu-damentum, as it was called in later times among the Romans. It commonly served as an overcoat for travelling, hunting, and military service. (See cut.)

(Statue of Phocion, Vatican, Rome.)

Chlorls. (1) The personification of the spring season, and god­dess of flowers, the wife of Zephyrus, mother of Carpos (" Fruit"). She was identified by the Romans with Flora. (See flora.)

(2) Daughter of Amphira of Orchomenus, wife of Neleus, mother of Nestor and Periclymenus. (See periclymenus.)

Chcerilus. (1) An Athenian dramatist, one of the oldest Attic tragedians, who

appeared as a writer as early as 520 B.c, He was a rival of Pratmas, Phrynichus and ^Eschylus. His favourite line seems to have been the satyric drama, in which he was long a popular writer.

(2) A Greek epic poet, born in Samos about 470 b.c., a friend of Herodotus, and afterwards of the Spartan Lysander. He lived first at Athens and afterwards at the court of King Archelaus of Macedonia, where he was treated with great consider­ation, and died about 400 b.c. He was the first epic poet who, feeling that the old mythology was exhausted, ventured to treat a historical subject of immediate in­terest, the Persian wars, in an epic entitled Persels. According to one account the poem was read in the schools with Homer. The few fragments that remain show that it did not lack talent and merit; but little regard was paid to it by posterity.

(3) Chcerilus of Icisos in Caria. This Chcerilus was also an epic poet, who accom­panied Alexander the Great. Alexander promised him a gold piece for every good verse he wrote in celebration of his achieve­ments, but declared that he would rather be the Thersltes of Homer than the Achilles of Chcerilus.

Choes. See dionysia.

ChSrus. The word chorSs in Greek meant a number of persons who performed songs and dances at religious festivals. When the drama at Athens was developed from the dithyrambic choruses, the chorus was retained as the chief element in the Diony-siac festival. (See tragedy.) With the old dramatists the choral songs and dances much preponderated over the action proper. As the form of the drama developed, the sphere of the chorus was gradually limited, so that it took the comparatively subordi­nate position which it occupies in the ex­tant tragedies and comedies. The function of the chorus represented by its leader was to act as an ideal public, more or less con­nected w7ith the drftmatis personal. It might consist of old men and women or of maidens. It took an interest in the occur­rences of the drama, watched the action with quiet sympathy, and sometimes in­terfered, if not to act, at least to advise, comfort, exhort, or give warning. At the critical points of the action, as we should say in the entr'actes, it performed long lyrical pieces with suitable action of dance and gesture. In the better times of the drama these songs stood in close connexion with the action; but even in Euripides this

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