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date: 21 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter focuses on the evidence for performances of mime drama in the Hellenistic period, both scripted and unscripted, and on its reception in Latin literature. It explores possible routes through which Hellenistic mime, both in its literary variety (Theocritus and Herodas) and in its sensationalized version (the rhythmical "lament of the abandoned woman," known as the Fragmentum Grenfellianum), may have reached Roman audiences. It also examines how mime was selectively exploited in nondramatic Roman literature (Virgil, Propertius, Seneca, Petronius) and in Latin mime compositions, namely mime scripts destined for the stage (Decimus Laberius) and mimiambs (Cnaeus Matius and Vergilius Romanus), which however were probably meant only for the appreciation of the educated reader. Discussion includes detailed comments on (and an English translation of) the Fragmentum Grenfellianum and the fragments of Matius's mimiambs.

Keywords: Fragmentum Grenfellianum, Decimus Laberius, Cnaeus Matius, mime, mimiamb, nonscripted drama, reception of Hellenistic mime, women in mime

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