being distinct from the pacific, one may rightly term “pyrrhiche”1
; it represents modes of eluding all kinds of blows and shots by swervings and duckings and side-leaps upward or crouching; and also the opposite kinds of motion, which lead to active postures of offence, when it strives to represent the movements involved in shooting with bows or darts, and blows of every description. In all these cases the action and the tension of the sinews are correct when there is a representation of fair bodies and souls
in which most of the limbs of the body are extended straight: this kind of representation is right, but the opposite kind we pronounce to be wrong. In pacific dancing, the point we must consider in every case is whether the performer in his dances keeps always rightly, or improperly, to the noble kind of dancing, in the way that befits law-abiding men. So, in the first place, we must draw a line between questionable dancing and dancing that is above question.
All the dancing that is of a Bacchic kind and cultivated by those who indulge in drunken imitations of Pans, Sileni and Satyrs (as they call them), when performing certain rites of expiation and initiation,—all this class of dancing cannot easily be defined either as pacific or as warlike, or as of any one distinct kind. The most correct way of defining it seems to me to be this—
to separate it off both from pacific and from warlike dancing, and to pronounce that this kind of dancing is unfitted for our citizens: and having thus disposed of it and dismissed it, we will now return to the warlike and pacific kinds which do beyond question belong to us. That of the unwarlike Muse, in which men pay honor to the gods and the children of the gods by dances, will consist, broadly speaking, of all dancing performed under a sense of prosperity: of this we may make two subdivisions—
the one being of a more joyful description, and proper to men who have escaped out of toils and perils into a state of bliss,—and the other connected rather with the preservation and increase of pre-existent blessings, and exhibiting, accordingly, joyousness of a less ardent kind. Under these conditions every man moves his body more violently when his joys are greater, less violently when they are smaller; also, he moves it less violently when he is more sedate and better trained in courage,