The Ancient Library

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On this page: Drama (continued)



Satyric Drama, see satyric drama.) The chorus of the comedy caricatured the ordi­nary dress of the tragic chorus. Sometimes they represented animals, as in the Frogs and Birds of Aristophanes. In the Frogs they wore tight dresses of frog-colour, and masks with a mouth wide open; in the Birds, large beaks, bunches of feathers, combs, and so on, to imitate particular birds. (See plate in Journal of Hellenic Studies, vol. ii, plate xiv B, copied in Haigh's Attic Theatre, p. 267.)

the manager received no compensation. But after performance the piece became his property, to be used at future representa­tions for his own profit. In the time of Cicero, when it was fashionable to revive the works of older masters, the selection of suitable pieces was generally left to the director. The Romans did not, like the Greeks, limit the number of actors to three, but varied it according to the re­quirements of the play. Women's parts were originally played by men, as in Greece.

(2) * REHEARSAL OF A SATYRIC DRAMA. (Moaaic from Pompeii, Naples Museum.)

(2) Roman. Dramatic performances in Rome, as in Greece, formed a part of the usual public festivals, whether exceptional or ordinary, and were set on foot by the sediles and praetors. (See games.) A private individual, however, if he were giving a festival or celebrating a funeral, would have theatrical representations on his own account. The giver of the festival hired a troupe of players (grex), the director of which, (Aumlmis grlgis), bought a play from a poet at his own risk. If the piece was a failure,

Women appeared first in mimes, and not till very late times in comedies. The actors were usually freedmen or slaves, whom their masters sent to be educated, and then hired them out to the directors of the theatres. The profession was technically branded with infdmia, nor was its legal position ever essentially altered. The social standing of actors was however improved, through the influence of Greek education; and gifted artists like the comedian Roscius, and ^Esopus the tra-

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