The Ancient Library

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On this page: Pantomimus – Panyasis – Paper – Papinianus – Papirius – Papposilenus – Pappus – Papyrus – Parabasis



stories, an upper and a lower. Above these springs a cupola of concrete, of vaster dimen­sions than an}' that had been attempted in previous times. The diameter of this lofty cupola corresponds to that of the vast cylindrical building on which it rests. The walls of the latter are 19 feet thick. The interior of the cupola is divided into five rows of deeply sunk panels (Mcunana) 28 in each row. At its vertex an opening about 27 feet in diameter lights the whole of the interior (see cuts). The gilt-bronze tiles of the roof were taken by the emperor Constans II to Constantinople in 655 a.d. The remains of the costly marble wall-linings of the interior, which dated from the last restoration, and consisted of 56 compartments, divided by 112 Corinthian columns, and covered with white marble, porphyry, serpentine, and pavonazetto, were not carried off until 1747. In 1632 the girders of gilded bronze which sup­ported the roof of the portico were melted down by Urban VIII, to be cast into pillars for the baldacchino in St. Peter's [and into cannon for the castle of S. Angelo].

Pantomlnras. The representation of a dramatic subject by dancing and rhythmic gesticulation alone, as practised by the Romans. It originated in the custom of the ancient Roman drama, of only allowing an actor on the stage to make the necessary movements of dancing and gesticulation, while another actor sang the recitative to the accompaniment of the flute. This re­citative was called cantlcum, and was a monologue composed in rhythmical form. The illustrative dance was raised to a separate, independent branch of art by Pylddes and Bathyllus under Augustus, 22 B.C. There were comic and tragic pan­tomimes, but the latter variety prevailed on the stage of the Empire. The subjects were chiefly taken from tragedies founded on mythological love stories, and treated so that the chief situations were included in i a series of cantica. All of these were j represented by a single pantomimus, the , dancer, as well as the performer, being j designated by that name. He thus had i to represent several characters, male and female, in succession, while a chorus, ac­companied by flutes and other instruments, sang the corresponding song. The pauses necessary for the change of mask and costume for each successive part were ap­parently filled up with the recital of music by the chorus, which served to connect the chief scenes with each other. It was only

in the latest times of the Empire that women were employed in pantomime. Pantomime, aiming at sensual charm alone, went beyond all bounds of decorum in the representation of delicate subjects. As an understanding of the subtleties of the art j required a cultivated taste, pantomime was ! specially favoured by the higher classes, while the mime, with his buffoonery, was more pleasing to the multitude. On the true dramatic ballet of imperial times, see pyrrhic. dance.

Panyasis [quantity doubtful; Avienus, Arat. Phcen. 175, makes it Panyasis. There was another form Panyassis]. A Greek poet of Hallcarnassus, uncle of HerSdStus. He was put to death by the tyrant Lyg-damis about 454 b.c. for being the leader of the aristocratic party. He composed a poem in fourteen books entitled Heraclia (exploits of Heracles), which was reckoned by later writers among the best epics. The few fragments preserved are in an elegant and graceful style.

Paper. See writing materials.

Papinianus (^Emillus). The most im­portant among the Roman jurists; born about 140 a.d., a contemporary and friend of the emperor SeptTmius Severus, whom he accompanied on his expedition to Bri­tain in the capacity of pnefectus prcetomo. Severus, on his deathbed at York, left to him the guardianship of his sons Gets, and j Caraealla ; yet the latter caused Papinianus to be put to death in the next year, 212, on the day after the murder of his brother Geta. Of all his works, the thirty-seven books of Qucnstwnes (legal questions), and the nineteen books of Besponsa (legal deci­sions) were considered the most important. Till the time of Justinian these formed the nucleus of that part of jurisprudence which was connected with the explanation of the original authorities on Roman law. We only possess fragments of them, in the form of numerous excerpts in the " Digest." (See corpus juris civilis.)

Paplrius (Pdplrianum lus) See juris­prudence.

PappSsilenus. See silenus.

Pappus. A Greek mathematician of Alexandria, who lived about the end of the 4th century A.D. We still possess his Mathematical Collections in eight books, consisting of extracts from numerous mathe­matical writings, of great importance for the history of mathematics.

Papyrus. See wetting materials.

Parabasis. A characteristic, but not

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All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.