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PERSO´NA (larva, πρόσωπον or προσωπεῖον), a mask. Masks were worn by Greek and Roman actors in nearly all dramatic representations. This custom arose undoubtedly from the practice of smearing the face with certain juices (Hor. ad Pis. 277) and colours, and of appearing in disguise, at the festivals of Dionysus [DIONYSIA]. The red colouring was appropriate to that worship (Paus. 2.2, 6; 7.26, 11). But leaves were also used as coverings for the face before masks (Suidas, s. v. θρίαμβος: cf. Ath. 14.622); and we hear, too, of masks made of tree-bark (Verg. G. 2.387). Now, as the Greek drama arose out of these festivals, it is highly probable that some mode of disguising the face was as old as the drama itself. Thespis (Suidas, s. v. Θέσπις is said to have smeared the face with white lead (ψιμυθιῷ), afterwards with purslane (ἀνδράχνῃ); and finally to have introduced the linen mask. Choerilus of Samos, however, is said to have been the first who introduced regular masks (Suid. s. v. Χοιρίλος). The invention of masks is elsewhere attributed to Aeschylus (Suid. s. v. Αἴσχυλος: Hor. ad Pis. 278), though the latter had probably only the merit of perfecting and completing the whole theatrical apparatus and costume. Phrynichus is said to have first introduced female masks (Suid. s. v. Φρύνιχος). Aristotle (Poët. 5=1449 b, 4) was unable to discover who had first introduced the use of masks in comedy. Some masks covered, like the masks of modern times, only the face, but they appear more generally to have covered the whole head like a visor, fastened with bands under the chin, for we find always the hair belonging to a mask described as being a part of it; and this must have been the case in tragedy more especially, as it was necessary to make the head correspond to the stature of an actor which was heightened by the cothurnus. The terms for having a mask put on are περιτίθεσθαι, ἐπικεῖσθαι, περικεῖσθαι: for putting off, ἀποτίθεσθαι, ἀφελεῖν (Lucian. Tim. 28, Nigr. 11, de Salt. 27, pro Mere. Cond. 5, Icaromenipp. 29). The masks were made by σκευοποιοί. Aristotle (Aristot. Poet. 6=1450 b, 19) notices how important their art was for the stage effect.


It may at first seem strange to us, that the ancients, with their refined taste in the perception of the beautiful in form and expression, should by the use of masks have deprived the spectators in their theatres of the possibility of observing the various expressions of which the human face is capable, and which with us contribute so much to theatrical illusion. But it must be remembered that in the large theatres of the ancients it would have been impossible for the greater part of the audience to distinguish the natural features of an actor. The features of the masks were for this same reason very strong and marked. Again, the dramatis personae of most of the ancient tragedies were heroes or gods, and their characters were so well known to the spectators, that they were perfectly typical. Every one therefore knew, immediately on the appearance of such a character on the stage, who it was, and it would have been difficult for a Greek audience to imagine that a god or hero should have had a face like that of an ordinary actor. The use of the cothurnus also rendered a proportionate enlargement of the countenance absolutely necessary, or else the figure of an actor would have been ridiculously disproportionate. Lastly, the solemn character of ancient tragedy did not admit of such a variety of expressions of the countenance as modern tragedies; the object of which seems to be to exhibit the whole range of human passions in all their wild and self-devouring play. How widely different are the characters of ancient tragedy! It is, as Müller (Hist. of the Lit. of Anc. Greece, i. p. 298) justly remarks, perfectly possible to imagine, for example, the Orestes of Aeschylus, the Ajax of Sophocles, or the Medea of Euripides, throughout the whole tragedy with the same countenance, though it would be difficult to assert the same of a character in any modern drama. But there is no necessity for supposing that the actors appeared throughout a whole piece with the same countenance; for if circumstances required it, they might surely change masks during the intervals between the acts of a piece. Whether the open or half-open mouth of a tragic mask also contributed to raise the voice of the actor, as Gellius (5.7) thinks, cannot be decided here, though we know that all circumstances united to compel a tragic actor to acquire a loud and sonorous voice. The κωφὰ πρόσωπα appear to have had masks (Lucian, Toxar. 9; de hist. conscr. 4), also the chorus in Comedy (Schol. on Ar. Nub. 344; Theophr. Char. 6), and most probably the chorus in Tragedy, both because it was likely that all the performers should be fairly uniform in appearance, and also we are told that the Eumnenides in Aeschylus's play had masks with snakes in their hair (Paus. 1.28, 6). Yet in certain illustrations, such as in Baumeister's Denkmäler, fig. 910, the κωφὰ πρόσωπα appear without masks.

The masks used in ancient tragedies were thus, for the most part, typical of certain characters, and consequently differed according to the age, sex, rank, and other peculiarities of the beings who were represented. Pollux, from whom we derive most of our information on this subject, enumerates (4.133, &c.) 28 typical or standing masks of tragedy: six for old men, eight for young men, eleven for females, and three for slaves. The number of masks was indefinite, which were not typical, but represented certain individuals with their personal peculiarities, such as the horned Actaeon, the blind Thamyris with one eye black and the other grey, the myriadeyed Argus, Tyro with cheeks all bruised from the blows of Sidero; the representations of River and Mountain Gods, Centaurs, Titans, Giants, Indians, Tritons, the Minotaur, &c.; and such allegorical figures as Justice, Death, Madness, Drunkenness, Deceit, &c. See Pollux, iv. [p. 2.375]141, 142, who mentions many more such ἔκσκευα πρόσωπα, as they were called. The only example of an ἔκσκευον πρόσωπον which we possess is from a very beautiful wall-painting from Pompeii, reproduced in Baumeister's Denekmäler, fig. 1947, p. 1851. It is Perseus with his Cap of Darkness and its griffin crest. The standing masks of tragedy are divided by Pollux (4.133-140) into five classes.

1. Tragic masks for old men (133-135).--The mask for the oldest man on the stage was called ξυρίας ἀνήρ, from the circumstance of the beard being smoothly shaved. The hair, which was in most cases attached to the masks, was white, and hung down with the exception of a part above the forehead, which was raised by a projection on the mask. This projection rose either into an acute angle (λαβδοειδὲς is the word Pollux uses), or was rounded at the top. It was called ὄγκος. The size of it varied chiefly according to the social position of the person represented. The chin of this mask was close shaved, the cheeks flat and hanging downwards. This would be the mask worn by Cadmus, and perhaps Priam (Suidas, s. v. πριαμωθῆναι). 2. A second mask for old men, called λευκὸς ἀνήρ, had grey hair, floating around the head in locks, the beard fixed to the mask and immovable (γένειον πεπηγός). It had drooping eyes and a palish colour (παράλευκος). This was perhaps the mask Tiresias would wear or the παιδαγωγὸς in Sophocles' Electra (43). 3. A third mask, called σπαρτοπόλιος, had black hair interspersed with grey, and was somewhat pale. It probably represented a hero of from 40 to 50 years, perhaps the mask of Oedipus (cf. Soph. O. T. 742 f.). 4. The fourth mask, μέλας ἀνήρ, represented a hero in his full vigour, with dark curly hair and beard, strong features and a high ὄγκος. This was probably the mask for most of the tragic heroes who were not very much advanced in age. 5, 6. For a secondary class of heroes there were two other masks, the ξανθὸς and the ξανθότερος ἀνήρ: the former represented a fair man with floating locks, a low ὄγκος, and a good colour in his countenance; the second or fairer man was pale and of a sickly appearance.

2. Tragic masks for young men (135-137).--Among these are mentioned: 1. The νεανίσκος πάγχρηστος, a mask intended to represent a man who had just entered the age of manhood, and was yet unbearded, but of a blooming and

Mask of a young man. (
Mus. Borb.
xi. Tav. xlii.)

brownish complexion, and with a rich head of black hair. This is the mask to be given to such a character as Achilles in the Iphigenia in Aulis. The word πάγχρηστος, “all-excellent,” is used possibly for the virtuous hero of the piece. 2. The νεανίσκος οὖλος, a fair youth of a haughty character; his hair was curly and attached to a high ὄγκος: his character was indicated by his raised eyebrows. A specimen of the οὖλος νεανίσκος is given above from a statue of Melpomene (Mus. Borb. xi. Tav. xlii.). 3. Νεανίσκος πάρουλος: resembled the preceding mask, but was somewhat younger. The counterpart of these two was (4) the ἁπαλός, a young man of a delicate and white complexion, with fair locks and a cheerful countenance, like that of a youthful god. 5, 6. Πιναρός. There were two masks of this name, both representing young men of a severe appearance, of yellow complexion and fair hair, gloomy and squalid (κατηφής, δυσπινής); the one, however, was thinner and younger. 7. Ὠχρός, a mask quite pale, with hollow cheeks and fair floating hair. It was used to represent sick or wounded persons. 8. The πάρωχρος might be used for the πάγχρηστος if this character was to be represented in a suffering condition or in love.

3. Tragic masks for male slaves.--Pollux (137, 138) mentions three--viz.: 1. The διφθερίας, “leather jerkined,” which had no ὄγκος, but some sort of a covering (περίκρανον) round the smoothly-combed white hair. The countenance was pale, the beard grey, the nose sharp, the eyebrows raised, and the expression of the eyes gloomy. Perhaps like the θεράπων in the Bacchae. 2. The σφηνοπώγων, “wedge-like-bearded,” represented a man in the prime of life with a high and broad forehead, a large ὄγκος, broad and rounded inwards at the top (κοιλαινόμενον ἐν τῇ περιφορᾷ), hard-featured and red like a messenger. 3. The ἀνάσιμος, or snubnosed, had a high ὄγκος (ὑπέρογκος) with fair hair rising up on it; had a reddish face and no beard. He, too, acted as a messenger.

4. Tragic masks for female slaves (139).--Of these five specimens are given. 1. Πολιὰ κατάκομος (i. e. with long grey hair), originally called παράχρωμος (with altered colour). It represented an old woman with long grey hair, a small ὄγκος, pale and dignified to indicate one who had seen better days. 2. Tb Τὸ ἐλεύθερον γραΐιον, an old freed-woman with fair hair turning grey, hanging over a small ὄγκος down to the shoulders. She was apparently in mourning. 3. Tb Τὸ οἰκετικὸν γραΐδιον had a covering for the head of sheep-skin instead of an ὄγκος; was very wrinkled. 4. Tb Τὸ οἰκετικὸν μεσόκουρον ( “with a tonsure,” like that of monks) had a small ὄγκος, white skin, rather pallid; was not quite grey-haired. 5. Διφθερῖτις represented a young slave-girl without any ὄγκος.

5. Tragic masks for free women (140, 141).--Of these seven specimens are given. 1. Κατάκομος ὠχρὰ represented a pale lady with long black hair and a sad expression. She generally shared the sufferings of the principal hero in the play. On the next column is an example taken from Baumeister, op. cit. fig. 1945, p. 1849. 2. Μεσόκουρος ὠχρὰ resembled the former, only that she had a tonsure and was pale, as well acquainted with sorrow. 3. Μεσόκουρος πρόσφατος probably represented one who was just new to some great sorrow. Hence it had the tonsure for mourning, [p. 2.376]but not the paleness of 2. 4. Κούριμος παρθένος had no ὄγκος, but hair smoothly combed down

Woman's Tragic Mask. (From a painting at Herculaneum.)

on each side of the head with a little cut off in front (καὶ βραχέα ἐν κύκλῳ περικέκαρται). This was the mask of Antigone and Electra (see Brunck, Analect. 1.500). 5. Ἕτερα κούριμος παρθένος, like the other, except that her hair was floating about as if she was in the most violent grief. 6. The κόρη, or beautiful young girl, e. g. a daughter of Danaus.

The account which Pollux gives of the tragic masks comprehends a great number, but it is small in comparison with the great variety of masks which the Greeks must have used in their various tragedies; for the distorted masks with widely open mouths, which are seen in great numbers among the paintings of Herculaneum

Mask, from a painting at Pompeii.

and Pompeii (see the annexed woodcut from Museo Borbon. vol. i. tab. 20), would give but a very inadequate notion of the masks used at Athens during the most flourishing period of the arts. All the representations of tragic masks belonging to this period do not show the slightest trace of exaggeration or distortion in the features of the countenance, and the mouth is not opened wider than would be necessary to enable a person to pronounce such sounds as oh or ha. In later times, however, distortions and exaggerations were carried to a very great

Masks, Tragic and Comic, from Pompeii.

extent, but more particularly in comic masks, so that they in some degree were more caricatures than representations of ideal or real countenances (Philostr. Vit. Apollon. 5.9, p. 89, Kayser; Lucian, de Saltat. 27, Anach. 23, Nigrin. 11).

The annexed woodcut represents some masks, one apparently comic and the other tragic, which are placed at the feet of the choragus in the celebrated mosaic found at Pompeii (Museo Borbon. vol. ii. tab. 56; Gell, Pomp. vol. i. pl. 45). The ὄγκος is fairly well represented.


In the Old Attic Comedy, in which living and distinguished persons were so often brought upon the stage, it was necessary that the masks, though to some extent they may have been caricatures, should in the main points be faithful portraits of the individuals whom they were intended to represent, as otherwise the object of the comic poets could not have been attained (Platon. de Diff. Com. p. 14.5.80, Dübner; Aristoph. Kn. 230, and Schol.). We know that no σκευοποιὸς ventured to make Cleon's mask; Aelian (Ael. VH 2.13) says that the mask of Socrates in the Clouds was a faithful representation. Of course, the chorus of Birds and Clouds and such like had peculiar masks of their own, as also such out-of-the-way characters as Pseudartabas in the Acharnians. The masks of the characters in the Old Attic Comedy were therefore, on the whole, faithful to life, and free from the burlesque exaggerations which we see in the masks of later times. A change was made in the comic masks when it was forbidden to represent in comedy the archon by imitating his person upon the stage (Schol. ad Aristoph. Cl. 31); and still more, shortly after, by the extension of this law to all Athenian citizens (Schol. ad Aristoph. Ach. 1150, Av. 1297; Suid. s. v. Ἀντίμαχος). The consequence of such laws was, that the masks henceforth, instead of individuals, represented classes of men, i. e. they were masks typical of men of certain professions or trades, of a particular age or station in life, and some were grotesque caricatures. A number of standing characters or masks was thus introduced in comedy. In the New Comedy they were very ridiculous and unnatural looking, with enormously wide and distorted mouths (Platon. de Diff. Com. p. 14.83-91), at least for the characters representing the lower orders and old men. Platonius says the reason was fear of caricaturing any influential Macedonian. Pollux gives a list of such standing masks, which are divided, like those of tragedy, into five classes.

1. Comic masks for old men (143-145).--Nine masks of this class are mentioned. The mask representing the oldest man was called πάππος πρῶτος: his head was shaved to the skin, he had a mild expression about his eyebrows, his beard was thick, his cheeks hollow, and his eyes melancholy. His complexion was pale, and the whole expression of the countenance was mild. 2. The πάππος ἕτερος was of a more emaciated and more vehement appearance, sad and pale; he had hair on his head and a beard, but the hair was red and his ears broken from boxing. 3. The ἡγεμὼν πρεσβύτης, likewise an old man, with a thin crown of hair round his head, an aquiline nose, and a flat countenance. His right eyebrow was higher than the left. (Cf. Quint. Inst. 11.3, 74: “alter erecto alter composito est supercilio; atque id ostendere maxime latus actoribus moris est quod cum iis quas agunt partibus congruat.” ) An example of the ἡγεμὼν πρεσβύτης is given below from Müller, fig. 21.1 = Baumeister, fig. 905 a. 4. The πρεσβύτης μακροπώγων had a long and floating beard, and likewise a crown of hair round his head; his eyebrows were raised, but his whole aspect was that of a dull man. 5. The Ἑρμώνειος was that [p. 2.377]of a man getting bald (ἀναφαλαντίας, different from φαλακρός, actually bald, Bekk. Anecd. 16, 31), but it had a beard and raised eyebrows and

Ἡγεμὼν πρεσβύτης. (From a terra-cotta mask found at Vulci.)

was of a grim appearance. The name of the mask was derived either from an actor or a σκευοποιός, as was also that called Λυκομήδειος, No. 7. 6. The σφηνοπώγων, or wedge-like bearded mask, was likewise bald, had raised eyebrows, and looked rather ill-tempered (ὑποδύστροπος). 7. The Λυκομήδειος (cf. No. 5) had a thick long beard and had one eyebrow raised, as if absorbed in business. 8. The πορνοβοσκὸς was somewhat like the latter, but his lips

Comic Mask for an old man.

were contorted to a grin, his eyebrows contracted, and his head either bald or getting bald. 9. The δεύτερος Ἑρμώνειος had a pointed beard, but otherwise no hair.

The annexed comic mask, representing an old man, is taken from the Museo Borbon. vol. i. tab. A.

2. Comic masks for young men (146-148).--Pollux enumerates eleven masks of this kind. 1. The πάγχρηστος formed the transition from the old to the young men; he had but few wrinkles on his forehead, showed a muscular constitution (γυμναστικός), was rather red in the face, and slightly sun-burnt (ὑποκεχρωσμένος); the upper part of his head was bald, his hair was red, and his eyebrows raised. 2. The νεανίσκος μέλας was younger than the preceding one, and with low eyebrows. He represented a young man of good education and fond of gymnastic exercises. 3. The νεανίσκος οὖλος, or the thick-haired young man, was young and handsome, and of a blooming countenance, his eyebrows were extended, and there was only one wrinkle upon his forehead. 4. The νεανίσκος ἁπαλός: his hair was like that of the πάγχρηστος, but he was the youngest of all, and represented a tender and effeminate youth. 5. The ἄγροικος, or rustic young man, had a dark complexion, broad lips, a pug-nose, and a crown of hair round his head. 6. The ἐπίσειστος στρατιώτης was of dark complexion, and had long dark hair waving about. This would be the mask of the Miles Gloriosus. 7. The ἐπίσειστος δεύτερος was the same as the preceding, only younger and of a fair complexion. 8. The κόλαξ or the flatterer, and 9. the παράσιτος or parasite, were dark (compare Athen. 6.237), and had aquiline noses. Both presented a luxurious and well-fed appearance (εὐπαθεῖς); the parasite, however, had broken ears, was merry-looking, and had a wicked expression about his eyebrows. 10. The εἰκονικός (i. e. like a statue) had a few grey hairs spread over his head, a close-shaved chin: the wearer was got up in splendid attire (εὐπάρυφος) and represented a stranger. He could also act a kind of parasite. Böttiger thinks we should read Σικυωνικός. 11. The Σικελικὸς was a third kind of parasite.

3. Comic masks for male slaves (149, 150).--Of this class seven masks are mentioned. 1. The mask representing a very old man was called πάππος: it had grey hair, and indicated that he had obtained his liberty. 2. The ἡγεμὼν θεράπων had his red hair plaited, raised eyebrows, and a contracted forehead. He was among slaves the same character as the πρεσβύτης among freemen. 3. The κάτω τριχίας, or κάτω τετριχωμένος, was half bald-headed, had red hair and raised eyebrows. 4. The οὖλος θεράπων, or the thick-haired slave, had red hair and a red countenance; he was without eyebrows, half-bald, and with squinting eyes. 5. The θεράπων Μαίσων was bald-headed and had red hair. Μαίσων was a character in a farce, like Maccus in the Atellanae, though Athenaeus (14.659) and Festus (s. v. Moeson) say he was an actor. 6. The θεράπων τέττιξ was bald-headed and dark, but had two or three slips of hair on his head and on his chin, and he also had squinting eyes. Why he was called τέττιξ is not plain. Athenaeus (l.c.) says, ἐκάλουν οἱ παλαιοὶ τὸν μὲν πολιτικὸν μάγειρον Μαίσωνα, τὸν δ᾽ἐκτόπιον Τέττιγα. 7. The ἐπίσειστος ἡγεμών, or the audacious slave, resembled the ἡγεμὼν θεράπων with the exception of the hair.

4. Comic masks for old women (150, 151).--Pollux mentions three, viz.: 1. The γραΐδιον ἰσχνὸν or λυκαίνιον, the wolfish old woman, who was tall with many but small wrinkles, pale, and with squinting eyes. 2. The παχεῖα γραῦς, or the old woman with large wrinkles, and a band round her head keeping the hair together. 3. The γραΐδιον οἰκουρόν, or the domestic old woman. Her cheeks were hollow, and she had only two teeth on each side of her mouth.

5. Comic masks for young women (152-154).--Pollux mentions fourteen, viz.: 1. The γυνὴ λεκτική, or the talking woman; her hair was smoothly combed down, the eyebrows rather raised, and the complexion white. 2. The γυνὴ οὔλη was distinguished from the preceding only by the way she wore her hair. 3. The κόρη had her hair combed smoothly, had high and black eyebrows, and a white complexion. 4. The ψευδοκόρη had a whiter complexion than the former, her hair was bound up on the top of the head, and she was intended to represent a young woman who had been lately married. 5. Another mask of the same name was only distinguished from the former by the fact that the hair was not divided (τῷ ἀδιακρίτῳ τῆς κόμης). 6. The σπαρτοπόλιος λεκτική, an elderly woman who had once been a prostitute, and whose hair was partly grey. 7. The παλλακὴ resembled the former, but had a better head of hair (περίκομος). 8. The τέλειον ἑταιρικὸν was more red in the [p. 2.378]face than the ψευδοκόρη, and had locks about her ears. 9. The ὡραῖον ἑταιρίδιον was less got up (ἀκαλλώπιστον), and wore a band fastened round her head. 10. The διάχρυσος ἑταίρα derived the name from the gold with which her hair was adorned. 11. The διάμιτρος ἑταίρα, from the variegated band wound around her head. 12. The λαμπάδιον, from the circumstance of her hair being dressed in such a manner that it stood upright upon the head in the form of a lampas. 13. The ἁβρὰ περίκουρος represented a young female slave with her hair cut round (περικεκαρμένον), wearing only a white tucked--up chiton. 14. The παράψηστον (with straight hair) was that of a slave distinguished by her hair, and by a somewhat snub-nose: she wore a crocus-coloured chiton and represented an hetaera's servant.

It will be seen from the foregoing list that the chief points of distinction in the masks lay in the colour of the face, in the colour and arrangement of the hair, in the size of the ὄγκος, and in the eyebrows. It is to be noticed that the iris as well as the whites of the eyes must have been represented in the mask, as e. g. the διφθερίας (1.3, 1) is said to have had ὀφθαλμοὺς σκυθρωπούς, the πάππος πρῶτος (2.1, 1) to have been τὴν ὄψιν κατηφής, the γραΐδιον ἰσχνὸν (2.4, 1) to have had squinting eyes, &c. Also it is to be noticed that the teeth are very rarely found in masks, and only once mentioned in Pollux's list (the γραΐδιον οἰκουρόν, 2.4, 3).

Numerous as these masks are, the list cannot by any means be considered as complete, for we know that there were other standing masks for persons following particular kinds of trade, which are not mentioned in Pollux. Maeson of Megara, for example, is said to have invented a peculiar mask called after his own name μαίσων, another for a slave, and a third to represent a cook (Athen. 14.659). Compare Lucian, Salt. 27, for reference to special masks for cooks. These were a most prominent class in the New Comedy. From Athenaeus (l.c.) we also learn that Stephanus of Byzantium wrote a work περὶ προσώπων.

III. Masks used in the Satyric Drama (141).

The masks used in this species of the Greek drama were intended to represent Satyrs,

Masks in British Museum.

Silenus, and similar companions of Dionysus, whence the expressions of the countenances and the form of their heads may easily be imagined. The other characters wore the ordinary tragic masks. Pollux only mentions the grey-headed Satyr, the bearded Satyr, the unbearded Satyr, and the Σειληνὸς πάππος. The latter (who perhaps occurs in the Cyclops) represented an old man, probably bald (Eur. Cycl. 227), rather like a brute (θηριωδέστερον). There appear to have been more than one kind of Silenus (Xen. Symp. 4, 19). All the Satyric characters appear to have had the ordinary snub-nose and pointed ears of Satyrs. The dress of the Silenus was called χορταῖος (Poll. 4.118). A grotesque mask of a Satyr, together with one of the finest specimens of a tragic mask, is contained in the Townley Gallery in the British Museum, and is represented here. Another Satyric mask, probably that of the Silenus, is also reproduced

Satyric Mask in front and profile, found in a grave at Vulci.

from Müller, fig. 20, i. = Baumeister. fig. 1630.

As regards the earliest representations of the regular drama among the Romans, it is expressly stated by Diomedes (1.489, 10 Keil), that masks were not used, but merely the galerus or wig, so that the colour of the hair alone indicated in a way who the character was, according as it was white (for the old), black (for the young), or red (for slaves). In the time of Terence there appear to have been no masks used [cf. such a scene as Ter. Phorm. 1.4, 32 ff., and the numerous passages in which a remark is said to be made voltu laeto or moesto (e.g. Andr. 3.3, 20) given by Hoffer, de personarum usu in Terentii Comoediis, 23-30, cf. 34]; and it was not till about 110 B.C. that Roscius, as he was not good-looking and had a squint, and his manager Minucius Prothymus, introduced them into tragedy. One Cincius Faliscus is said to have introduced them into comedy (Diomed., l.c.; Donat. de Com. et Trag. p. 10, 1, Reiff.); it. was some time, however, before they met with approval (Cic. de Orat. 3.59, 221). Aesopus sometimes acted without a mask (Cic. de Div. 1.3. 7, 80). It should, however, be remembered that masks had been used long before that time in the Atellanae (Fest. s. v. Personata), so that the innovation of Roscius must have been confined to the regular drama; that is, to tragedy and comedy. As for the forms of Roman masks, it may be presumed that, being introduced from [p. 2.379]Greece at so late a period, they had the same defects as those used in Greece at the time when the arts were in their decline, and this supposition is confirmed by all works of art, and the paintings of Herculaneum and Pompeii, in which masks are represented; for the masks appear unnaturally distorted and the mouth always wide open. The expressions of Roman writers also support this supposition. (Gellius, 5.7; Juv. 3.175.) We may mention here that some of the oldest MSS. of Terence contain representations of Roman masks, and from these MSS. they have been copied in several modern editions of that poet, as in the edition published at Urbino in 1726, fol., and in that of Dacier. The cut annexed contains representations of four of these masks prefixed to the Andria.

Masks from the Andria.

When actors at Rome displeased their audience and were hissed, they were obliged to take off their masks; but those who acted in the Atellanae were not obliged to do so (Fest. s. v. Personata fabula; Macr. 2.7). The Roman mimes never wore masks. [MIMUS] (Compare Ficoroni, Dissertatio de Larvis scenicis et Figuris comicis ant. Rom., Rome 1786 and 1750, 4to; Fr. Stieve, Dissertatio de rei scenicae apud Romanos Origine; Witzschel in Pauly, 5.1373-1380, s. v. Persona; F. Wieseler, Theatergebäude und Denkmäler des Bühnenwesens; Sommerbrodt, Scaenica, pp. 199-205; A. Müller, Die Griechischen Bühnenalterthümer, 270-289; Bernard Arnold in Baumeister's Denkmäler, s. vv. Lustspiel, Satyrspiel, Schauspieler und Schauspielkunst, and Trauerspiel.

[L.S] [L.C.P]

hide References (18 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (18):
    • Aristophanes, Acharnians, 1150
    • Aristophanes, Clouds, 31
    • Aristophanes, Knights, 230
    • Euripides, Cyclops, 227
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.28
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.6
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2.2
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2.6
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 7.11
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 7.26
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 742
    • Xenophon, Symposium, 4
    • Vergil, Georgics, 2.387
    • Cicero, On Oratory, 3.59
    • Cicero, De Divinatione, 1.3
    • Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria, Book 11, 3
    • Gellius, Noctes Atticae, 5.7
    • Aelian, Varia Historia, 2.13
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