Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Titel:
A history of caricature and grotesque in literature and art
Person:
Wright, Thomas Fairholt, Frederick William
Persistente ID:
urn:nbn:de:gbv:wim2-g-1429385
PURL:
https://digitalesammlungen.uni-weimar.de/viewer/resolver?urn=urn:nbn:de:gbv:wim2-g-1431002
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 106 
Grotejgue 
and 
C HAPTE R 
VII. 
PRESERVATION OF THE CHARACTER OF THE MIMUS AFTER THE FALL OF 
THE EMPIRE._-THE MINSTREL AND  OF POPULAR 
     
I HAVE already remarked that, upon the fall of the Roman empire, 
the popular inftitutions of the Romans were more generally 
preferved to the middle ages than thofe of a higher and more refined 
charafiter. This is underltood without ditiiculty, when we confider that 
the lower clals of the population-in the towns, what we might perhaps 
call the lower and middle clafles-continued to exill much the fame as 
before, while the barbarian conquerors came in and took the place of the 
ruling claffes. The drama, which had never much hold upon the love 
of the Roman populace, was loit, and the theatres and the amphitheatres, 
which had been fupported only by the wealth of the imperial court and 
of the mling clafs, were abandoned and fell into ruin; but the mimus, 
who furnifhed mirth to the people, continued to exiit, and probably 
underwent no immediate change in his character. It will be Well to 
{late again the chief characteriitics of the ancient mimus, before we 
proceed to defcribe his rnediaaval reprefentative. 
The grand aim of the mimus was to make people laugh, and he 
employed generally every means he knew of for eileeting this purpofe, 
by language, by geiiures or motions of the body, or by drefs. Thus he 
carried,'Hrapped over his loins, a wooden fword, which was called 
gladius lzifiricus and clunaculum, and wore fometimes a garment made of 
a great number of fmall pieces of cloth of different colours, which was 
hence called centunculus, or the hundred-patched dreisf Thefe two 
characleriltics 
4 "Uri me consuesse tragoedi syrmatqhistrionis crotalone ad trieterica 0rgia,aut 
mimi centunculo."- Apulems, Apolog.
        

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