A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology

Smith, William

A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. William Smith, LLD, ed. 1890

1. Of Alexandria, the freedman and favourite of Maecenas, together with Pylades of Cilicia and Hylas the pupil of the latter, brought to perfection during the reign of Augustus the imitative dance or ballet called Pantomimus, which excited boundless enthusiasm among all classes at Rome, and formed one of the most admired public amusements until the downfall of the empire. Bathyllus excelled in comic, while Pylades was preeminent in tragic personifications ; each had a numerous train of disciples, each was the founder of a school which transmitted his fame to succeeding generations, and each was considered the head of a party among the citizens, resembling in its character the factions of the Circus, and the rivalry thus introduced stirred up angry passions and violent contests, which sometimes ended in open riot and bloodshed. The nature and peculiarities of these exhibitions are explained in the Dict. of Ant. s. v. Pantomimus. (Tac. Ann. 1.54; Senec. Quaest. Natur. 7.32, Controv. v. praef. ; Juv. 6.63; Suet. Octav. 45; D. C. 54.17; Plut. Symp. 7.8; Macrob. 2.7; Athen. 1.70<!__ wrong ref? __>; Zosimus, 1.6; Suid. s. vv. Ὂρχησις and Ἀθηνόδωρος.)