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date: 15 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter considers how the long classical tradition of mime functioned as the last cultural repository of paganism into the new Christian order. The “Year of Years” (a year for every year after the death of Christ, or 394 CE) was a Christian/pagan flashpoint that saw the aggressive and legislative suppression of pagan culture: the destruction of pagan temples and pagan statues and the eradication of cultic worship and practices in the opening decades of the fifth century. Yet in spite of the century’s iconoclasm, one form of pagan tradition remained, the mimes who danced the classical myths well into the ninth century. This chapter considers how the dance resisted the erasure of its classical roots.

Keywords: Dionysus, The Year of Years, paganism, Christianity, mime, cultic worship

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