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But Aristoxenus says that the Pyrrhic dance derives its name from Pyrrhichus, who was a Lacedæmonian by birth; and that even to this day Pyrrhichus is a Lacedæmonian name. And the dance itself, being of a warlike character, shows that it is the invention of some Lacedæmonian; for the Lacedæmonians are a martial race, and their sons learn military marches which they call ἐνόπλια. And the Lacedæmonians themselves in their wars recite the poems of Tyrtæus, and move in time to those airs. But Philochorus asserts that the Lacedæmonians, when owing to the generalship of Tyrtæus they had subdued the Messenians, introduced a regular custom in their expeditions, that whenever they were at supper, and had sung the pæan, they should also sing one of Tyrtæus's hymns as a solo, one after another; and that the polemarch should be the judge, and should give a piece of meat as a prize to him who sang best. But the Pyrrhic dance is not [p. 1007] preserved now among any other people of Greece; and since that has fallen into disuse, their wars also have been brought to a conclusion; but it continues in use among the Lacedæmonians alone, being a sort of prelude preparatory to war: and all who are more than five years old in Sparta learn to dance the Pyrrhic dance. But the Pyrrhic dance as it exists in our time, appears to be a sort of Bacchic dance, and a little more pacific than the old one; for the dancers carry thyrsi instead of spears, and they point and dart canes at one another, and carry torches. And they dance in figures having reference to Bacchus, and to the Indians, and to the story of Pentheus: and they require for the Pyrrhic dance the most beautiful airs, and what are called the “stirring” tunes.
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