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By Costas Panayotakis

It is a newly revised, severe textual content of the fragments attributed to the Roman knight and mimographer Decimus Laberius, a witty and crudely satirical modern of Cicero and Caesar. Laberius might be the main celebrated comedian playwright of the past due Republic, and the fragments of performs attributed to him contain the overpowering majority of the extant proof for what we conventionally name 'the literary Roman mime'. the quantity additionally contains a survey of the features and improvement of the Roman mime, either as a literary style and as a kind of well known theatrical leisure, in addition to a re-assessment of where of Laberius' paintings inside of its ancient and literary context. this is often the 1st English translation of the entire fragments, and the 1st certain English observation on them from a linguistic, metrical, and (wherever attainable) theatrical point of view.

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Extra resources for Decimus Laberius: The Fragments

Sample text

De gramm.  (referring to L. Crassicius from Tarentum, probably a contemporary  D E F I NI N G TH E ROM A N M I M E A good case-study of this tension is none other than Cicero. He often saw mime-plays, and even more often expressed contempt for them. This scorn frequently appears both in his speeches, in some of which references to mime are used as terms of abuse against his political opponents, and in his correspondence. Yet it is not easy to decide what weight should be attributed to Cicero’s opinion as an accurate indicator of the general public’s feelings towards mime, nor should his dismissive remarks be interpreted as indicative of the low literary value of the poemata of Laberius and Publilius.

See Donat. ad Ter. Ad. – Wessner; [Caes.  K; [Caes.  K; Diom. De arte gramm.  Wessner; I.  Bandy.  See also Cat. –; Petr. Sat. ; Quint. ; Apul. Flor. ; I.  Bandy; Choric. Apol. Mim. .  D E F I NI N G TH E ROM A N M I M E of the literary canon in order to maintain and reinforce the literary merit of its own intellectual preoccupations. In other words, the depiction of mime as low, trivial, and vulgar ensured the continuing existence of other literary genres (such as epic, oratory, philosophy, tragedy, and formal comedy) as high, elevated, and sophisticated.

In addition to these attempts at a definition of mime-drama, there exist some references in which mime seems to be linked with comedy. ) views farcical mime not as a variety of comedy but as its successor (especially as the successor of New Comedy). In the fourth century, mime is considered by Evanthius (exc. de com. ) as a form of comedy together with fabula togata, fabula palliata, fabula Atellana, and others. The sophist Choricius of Gaza, writing in the sixth century AD, defended the theatre of the mimes and stressed the benefits for its audience.

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