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Theater

Mimes (short popular plays, employing dance and song; Richlin 1992b) were put on by traveling troupes in public and in private residences (cf. Xenophon’s SYMPOSIUM). In the third century Theocritus and Herodas wrote mimes with sexual components. In the early empire, some mimes employed real rape and real ADULTERY (NERO). Pantomimes, a mime acted by a single actor, were brought to Rome in 22 BCE from the east. The pantomime DANCED the story, wearing a silk gown and mask with closed lips. The stories all had strong sexual content (LEDA or PROCNÊ; Juvenal 6.63, 7.92). Pantomimes were often EFFEMINATE (Richlin 1983:92-3, 98; Pliny, Pan. 54.1) and DESIRED (Bathyllus by Maecenas, Tacitus, Ann. 1.54.3; Pliny Ep. 7.24; Edwards 1997:67-8; Brown 1992:180-3, 186-7).