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In assessment of the origins and nature of pantomime in ancient Rome one will clearly see that the latter two factors are wide and varied This is due to the collaborative nature of the art as a whole With a close examination of archaeological textual and representational evidence one will gain a precise understanding of how the origins nature and type of audience of the pantomime are interrelated One will additionally gain inisight into the widespread popularity of pantomime despite a general dislike towards drama in ancient Rome Before one can begin to consider the origins of Roman pantomime one must have a clear understanding of the nature of pantomime This is due to the fact that the nature of the art is in most cases directly related to its origins Once the nature of the art has been established one will clearly see the connection between the latter and its origins The term pantomime which was introduced by the Italian Greeks referrs to the actor The mimer of everything The pantomime was considered a solo performer who wore a mask and expressed himself through dance but did not sing Rather a musical group or chorus accompanied the pantomime This type of performance is usually likened to a ballet enactment with a mythical theme The pantomime usually tended to appeal to higher tastes with its mythical themes but as Grimal implies could also be comic and erotic In his discussion of pantomime Lucian of Samosata ca 125 180 notes that the pantomime represents the orator and the composer of declamations Lucian claims that the success of the pantomime depends upon his skillful adadptation of language to character It is considered that the pantomime had incredible versitality to show forth human character and passion in all their varieties These qualities of the pantomime were praised by
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