The Ancient Library

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in earlier times called Trapaxpco^oy, represented an old woman with long white hair, with noble but pale features, to indicate a person who had seen better days ; the ypdidiov etevOepov, an old freed-woman ; the ypd'iSiojs oiKeriKov, the old domestic slave ; the oikstik^ [jLecroicovpov, a domestic slave of middle age ; and lastly the 5*<£0epms, a young female slave.

5. Tragic masks for free women. The first of these, called /mrd/co/ios, represented a pale lady, with long black hair and a sad expression in her countenance. She generally shared the sufferings of the principal hero in a play. The second, called jueo-o/coupoy c^Xpa, resembled the former, with the exception that her hair was half shorn. She was a woman of middle age, and was probably intended to repre­sent the wife of the chief hero, if he was not too advanced in age. The third is the /J,ecr6icovpos 7rpJ<r</>aTos, representing a newly married woman in fall bloom with long and floating hair. The fourth is the icovpi/j.os TrapfleVos, a maiden of mature age, with short hair divided on the middle of the forehead, and lying smoothly around the head. The colour of her countenance was rather pale. There was another mask of the same name, but it differed from the former by the following circum­stances : — the hair was not divided on the forehead or curled, but wildly floating, to indicate that she had had much suffering to 'go through. The last is the /cop??, or young girl. This mask represented the beauties of a maiden's face in their full bloom, such as the face of Danae, or any other great beauty was conceived to have been.

The account which Pollux gives of the tragic masks comprehends a great number, but it is small in comparison with the great variety of masks which the Greeks must have used in their various trage­dies, for every hero and every god who was known to the Greeks as being of a particular character, must have been represented by a particular mask, so that the spectators were enabled to recognise him immediately on his appearance. For this very reason the countenances of the gods, heroes, and heroines, must, in point of beauty, havo been as similar as possible to their representations in statues and paintings, to which the eyes of the Greeks were accustomed ; and the distorted masks with widely open mouths, which are seen in great numbers among the paintings of Herculaneum and Pompeii (see the annexed woodcut from Museo Borbon. vol. i. tab. 20) would give but a very in­adequate notion of


the masks used at Athens during the


most flourishing pe­riod of the arts. All the representations of tragic masks be­longing to this pe­riod, do not show the slightest trace of exasperation or


distortion in the features of the countenance, and the m<'Uth is not opened wider than would be neces­sary to enable a person to pronounce such sounds as oh or ha. In later times, however, distortions and exaggerations were carried to a very great extent, but more particularly in comic masks, so that they in some degree were more caricatures than representations of ideal or real countenances. (Apollon, Vit. Apollon, v. 9. p. 195, eel. Olear ;

Lucian,deSalted. 27-fAnach. 23, Nigrm. ll,*So»m* 6-. Gall. 26.)

The annexed woodcut re­presents some masks, one ap­parently comic and the other tragic, which are placed at the feet of the choragus in tho celebrated mosaic found at Pompeii. (Museo Borbon.. vol. ii. tab, 56 ; Gell, Pomp. vol. i. pi. 45.)

II. comic masks.—In the old Attic comedy, in which living and distinguished persons Avere so often brought upon the stage, it was necessaiy that the masks, though to some extent they may have been caricatures, should in the main points be faithful portraits of the individuals whom they were intended to represent, as otherwise the object of the comic poets could not have been attained. The chorus on the other hand, as well as certain phantastic dramatis personae, rendered sometimes a complete masquerade necessary ; as in those cases when the choreutae appeared with the heads of birds or of frogs, &c. We may remark here, by the way, that the chorus of tragedy appeared gene­rally without masks, the Eumenides of Aeschylus being probably only an exception to the general rule. The masks of the characters in the old Attic comedy were therefore, on the whole, faithful to life, and free from the burlesque exaggerations which we see in the masks of later times. A change was made in the comic masks, when it was forbidden to represent in comedy the archon by imitating his person upon the stage (Schol. ad Aristoph. Nttb. 31), and still more, shortly after, by the extension of this law to all A.thenian citizens. (Schol. ad Aristoph. Ach. 1149, Av. 1297; Suid. s. v. 'Avri-uaxos.) The consequence of such laws was., that the masks henceforth, instead of individuals, repre­sented classes of men, i. e. they were masks typical of men of certain professions or trades, of a particu­lar age or station in life, and some were grotesque caricatures. A number of standing characters or masks was thus introduced in corned}'-. Pollux gives a list of such standing masks, which are divided, like those of tragedy, into five classes.

1. Comic masks for old men. Nine masks of this class are mentioned. The mask representing the oldest man was called Trdiriros rrpwros : his head was shaved to the skin, he had a mild ex­pression about his eyebrows, his beard was thick, his cheeks hollow, and his eyes melancholy. His complexion was pale, and the whole expression of the countenance was mild. 2. The irdiriros ercpos was of a more emaciated and more vehement ap­pearance, sad and pale ; he had hair on his head and a beard, but the hair was red and his ears broken. 3. The ^ye^cW, likewise an old man, with a thin crown of hair round his head, an aqui­line nose, and a flat countenance. His right eye­brow was higher than the left. 4. The Trpeo-guTyy? had a long and floating beard, and likewise a crown of hair round his head ; his eyebrows were raised, but his whole aspect was that of an idle man. 5. The eppdveios was bald-headed, but had a beard and raised eyebrows, and was of angry appearance.

6. The Tropvo€o(TK6s resembled the mask called A.iwoju7}8eu)si, but his lips were contorted, the eye­brows contracted, and the head without any hair.

7. The ep/Acaveios Sevrepos had a pointed beard, but was otherwise without hair. 8. The

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