Volltext: A history of caricature and grotesque in literature and art

of C aricazure 
there was not even a name for him in the language, and they were 
obliged to adopt the Tufcan word, and call him a lzifirio, becaufe lz_ifZer in 
that language meant a player or pantomimilt. This word, we know, 
remained in the Latin language. Thefe fit-it Etrurian performers appear 
indeed to have been mere pantomimifts, who accompanied the {lute with 
all forts of mountebank tricks, geftures, dances, gefticulations, and the 
like, mixed with fatirical fongs, and fometimes with the performance of 
coarfe farces. The Romans had alfo a clafs of performances rather more 
dramatic in cltaracter, confrfting of ftories which were named Fal-ulw 
Atellanw, becaufe thefe performers were brought from Atella, a city of 
the Ofci. 
A conliderable advance was made in dramatic Art in Rome about the 
middle of the third century before Chrift. It is afcribed to a freedman 
named Livius Andronicus, a Greek by birth, who is faid to have brought 
out, in the year 240  the firll: regular comedy ever performed in 
Rome. Thus we trace not only the Roman comedy, but the very rudi- 
ments of dramatic art in Rome, either direct to the Greeks, or to the 
Grecian colonies in Italy. With the Romans, as well as with the Greeks, 
the theatre was a popular inflitution, open to the public, and the {late or 
a wealthy individual paid for the performance; and therefore the building 
itfelf was neceifarily of very great extent, and, in both countries open to 
the fky, except that the Romans provided for throwing an awning over 
it. As the Roman comedy was copied from the new comedy of the 
Greeks, and therefore did not admit of the introduction of caricature and 
burlefque on the ftage, thefe were left efpecially to the province of the 
pantomime and farce, which the Romans, as juft Rated, had received 
from a {till earlier period. 
Whether the Romans borrowed the mafk from the Greeks, or not, is 
rather uncertain, but it was ufed as generally in the Roman theatres, 
whether in comedy or tragedy, as among the Greeks. The Greek actors 
performed upon ftilts, in order to magnify their figures, as the area of the 
theatre was very large and uncovered, and without this help they were 
not fo well feen at a dittance 5 and one object of utility aimed at by the 
mafk is faid to have been to make the head appear proportionate in Iize 


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