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κόρδαξ). An extremely indecent dance peculiar to the comic chorus. (See Chorus; Comoedia.) The gestures, and, indeed, the costumes, of the choreutae were such that even the Athenians considered it justifiable only at the festival of Dionysus, when every one was allowed to be drunk in honour of the god; for if an Athenian citizen danced the cordax sober and unmasked, he was looked upon as the most shameless of men and forfeited altogether his character for respectability (Theophr. Charact. 6). Aristophanes himself, who did not much scruple at violating common decency, claims some merit for his omission of the cordax in the Clouds, and for the more modest attire of his chorus in that play. According to Athenaeus, the cordax was a sort of ὑπόρχημα, or imitative dance, in which the choreutae expressed the words of the song by comic gesticulations. Such a dance was the hyporcheme of the Spartan δεικελίκται—buffoons, whose peculiar mimic gestures seem to have formed the basis of the Dorian comedy, which prevailed in Megaris, and which probably was the parent stock, not only of the Attic, but also of the Sicilian and Italian comedy. The chief features of the cordax are probably preserved in the Neapolitan tarantella.

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