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New Directions in Ancient Pantomime$
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Edith Hall and Rosie Wyles

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199232536

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199232536.001.0001

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Lucian's On Dancing and the Models for a Discourse on Pantomime *

Lucian's On Dancing and the Models for a Discourse on Pantomime *

(p.314) 14 Lucian's On Dancing and the Models for a Discourse on Pantomime*
New Directions in Ancient Pantomime

Karin Schlapbach

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines Lucian's On Dancing, one of the few surviving examples of a discourse offering a sustained treatment of pantomime dancing. The chapter aims to show that the use of rhetorical categories in descriptions of pantomime suggests a relationship of fundamental affinity between rhetoric and pantomime, rather than a straightforward opposition or hierarchy. The discussion looks at the terms used in the dialogue to describe the visual impact of the pantomime on the audience. Next special attention is given to the use of the categories of mimēsis, demonstration, and signification and their meaning in the intellectual discourse of the Second Sophistic. In discussion of mimēsis takes Proteus as an illustrative example. The final section looks at the relationship between pantomime, rhetoric, and the visual arts. Overall the chapter sheds a critical light on the view that the argument of the dialogue can be explained against the backdrop of a general preference for literary culture over visuality; instead the issue is shown to be rather more complex.

Keywords:   Lucian, mimēsis, demonstration, signification, visual arts, pantomime, Proteus, rhetoric, Second sophistic

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