The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Hfstrio – Hippoperae – Histion


for the connecting wall, H, between the goals, nor does he state that the winning line, g, was marked out as a white line ; but these details are inserted from the analogy of the Roman circus. So also is the oblique position of the line of the goals, as compared with the axis of the figure: of course the greatest space was required at E, where the chariots were all nearly abreast of each other.

Respecting the dimensions of the Olympic Hip­podrome we have no precise information ; but, from the length of the measure called hippicqn, and on other grounds, it seems probable that the distance from the starting-place to the goal, or perhaps rather from one goal to the other, was two stadia, so that one double course was four stadia. How many such double courses made up the whole race, we are not informed. The width must have been, at least, as great as the length of each side of the aphesis, namely, more than 400 feet. There does not appear to have been much architectural display in the structure, and not many statues. The internal area of the aphesis, D, contained several altars.

The chief points of difference between the Greek hippodrome and the Roman circus are the smaller width of the latter, as only four chariots ran at once, and the different arrangement of the carceres. The periods at which the Olympic horse-races were instituted are mentioned under olympia.

A few other hippodromes in Greece, Syria, and Egypt, are mentioned by Pausanias and other writers ; but they deserve no special mention. (Comp. Krause, Gymn. und Agon. vol. i. pp. 151, &c.) See also hortus. [P. S.]

HIPPOPERAE (tV-TroTT^pcu), saddle-bags. This appendage to the saddle [ephippium] was made of leather (sacculi scortei^ Festus, s. v. Bul- gae\ and does not appear ever to have changed its form and appearance. Its proper Latin name was lisaccium (Petron. Sat. 31), which gave origin to bisacda in Italian and besace in French. By the Gauls, saddle-bags were called bulgae (Festus, /. c. ; Onomast. Gr. Zotf.), because they bulge or swell outwards ; this significant appellation is still re­ tained in the Welsh bolgan or bwlgan. The more elegant term hippoperae is adopted by Seneca (Epist. 88). [J. Y.]

HISTION and HISTOS (Iffrlov, «TT<fe). [navis.]

HFSTRIO (v-rroKpiT-fis}, an actor. 1. greek. It is shown in the articles chorus and dionysia that the Greek drama originated in the chorus which at the festivals of Dionysus danced around his altar, and that at first one person detached himself from the chorus, and, with mimic gesticu­lation, related his story either to the chorus or in conversation with it. If the story thus acted re­quired more than one person they were all repre­sented in succession by the same actor, and there was never more than one person on the stage at a time. This custom was retained by Thespis and Phrynichus. But it was clear that if the chorus took an active and independent part in such a play, it would have been obliged to leave its original and characteristic sphere. Aeschylus therefore added a second actor, so that 'the action and the dialogue became independent of the chorus, and the dramatist at the same time had an opportunity of showing two persons in contrast with each other mi the stage. (Aristot. Poet. ii. 14.) To wards the close of his career, Aeschylus found it necessary



to introduce a third actor, as is the case in tho Agamemnon, Choephori, and Eumenides. (-Pollux, iv. 110.) This number of three actors was also adopted by Sophocles and Euripides, and was but seldom exceeded in any Greek drama. In the Oedipus in Colonus, however, which was performed after the death of Sophocles, four actors appeared on the stage at once, and this deviation from the general rule was called irapaxop'hyrjfjt.a. (Pollux, I. c.) The three regular actors were distinguished by the technical names of Trpcaray^viffT^s^ devrcpa-7&;^KrT^s, and rpLTa/ywviffr^s (Suidas, s. v. Tpira-7«j/i<7T77s : Demosth. de Coron. p. 315, de Pals. Leg. p. 344 and 403), which indicated the more or less prominent part which an actor had to perform in the drama. Certain conventional means were also devised, by which the spectators, at the mo­ment an actor appeared on the stage, were enabled to judge which part he was going to perform ; thus, the protagonistes always came on t'he stage from a door in the centre, the deuteragonistes from one on the right, and the tritagonistes from a door on the left hand side. (Pollux, iv. 124.) The protagonistes was the principal hero or heroine of a play, in whom all the power and energy of the drama were concentrated ; and whenever a Greek drama is called after the name of one of its personae, it is always the name of the character which was per­formed by the protagonistes. The deuteragonistes, in the pieces of Aeschylus for two actors, calls forth the various emotions of the protagonistes either by friendly sympathy or by painful tidings, &c. The part of a tritagonistes is represented by some external and invisible power, by which the hero is actuated or caused to suffer. When a tritagonistes was added, the part assigned to him was generally that of an instigator who was the cause of the sufferings of the protagonistes, while he himself was the least capable of depth of feeling or sympathy. The deuteragonistes in the dramas for three actors is generally distinguished by lofti­ness and warmth of feeling, but has not its depth and vehemence peculiar to the protagonistes, and thus serves as a foil to set forth the character of the chief hero in its most striking and vivid colours. (Miiller, Hist of Greek Lit. i. p. 305, &c. ; compare Bottiger, De Actoribus Primarum, Secund.- et Tert. Partium.)

The female characters of a play were always performed by young men. A distinct class of persons, who made acting on the stage their pro­fession, was unknown to the Greeks during the period of their great dramatists. The earliest and greatest dramatic poets, Thespis, Melanthius, So­phocles, and probably Aeschylus also, acted in their own plays, and in all probability as protago-nistae. We also know of several instances in which distinguished Athenian citizens appeared on the stage, and Aeschines, the orator, did not scruple to act the part of tritagonistes. (Demosth. /. c.) Thes-e circumstances show that it was by no means thought degrading in Greece to perform as an actor, and that no stigma whatever was attached to the name of a man for his appearing on the stage. Bad actors, however, to whatever station in life they belonged, were not, on that account, spared ; and the general mode of showing dis­pleasure on the part of the spectators seems to have been by whistling. (D.-mosth. De Coron. p. 315.) It appears that when the spectators showed their displeasure in too offensive or insulting a manner,


About | First | English Index | Classified Index | Latin Index | Greek Index



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of