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-1430254
in 
and Art. 
Literature 
31 
7 
 
common life, and more efpecially fcandalous and indecent anecdotes, like 
the jogelors and performers of farces in the middle ages. The Romans 
were very much attached to thefe performances, fo much fo, that they 
even had them at their funeral procefiions and at their funeral feafts. In 
our figure, the mimus is reprefented naked, mafked (With an exaggerated 
nofe), and wearing what is perhaps intended as a caricature of the 
Phrygian bonnet. In his right hand he holds a bag, or purfe, full of 
objects which rattle and make a noiie when fhaken, while the other holds 
the crotalum, or calianets, an initrument in common ufe among the 
ancients. One of the ftatues in the Barberini Palace reprefents a youth 
in a Phrygian cap playing on the crotalum. VVe learn, from an early 
authority, that it was an inftrument efpecially ufed in the fatirical and 
burlefque dances which were fo popular among the Romans. 
As I have remarked before, the Romans had no tafte for the regular 
drama, but they retained to the laflz their love for the performances of 
the popular mimi, or comzedi (as they were often called), the players 
of farces, and the dancers. Thefe performed on the Rage, in the public 
fellivals, in the itreets, and were ufually introduced at private parties."' 
Suetonius tells us that on one occafion, the emperor Caligula ordered a 
poet who compofed the" Atellanes (Attllame poetam) to be burnt in 
the middle of the amphitheatre, for a pun. A more regular comedy, 
however, did flourifh, to a certain degree, at the fame time with thefe 
more popular competitions. Of the Works of the earlieit of the Roman 
comic writers, Livius Andronicus and N aevius, we know only one or two 
titles, and a few fragments quoted in the works of the later Roman 
writers. They were followed by Plautus, who died B.C. 184, and nineteen 
of whofe comedies are preferved and well known; by feveral other 
writers, whofe names are almoft forgotten, and whofe comedies are all 
loft; and by Terence, fix of whofe comedies are preferved. Terence 
died about the year 159 B.C. About the fame time with Terence lived 
Lucius 
'1' See, for allusions to the private employment of these performances, Pliny, 
Epiit. i. 15, and ix. 36.
        

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