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DANCES OF ANCIENT GREECE. 81
logical and historical deeds which were suited to representation. " The dancer " he says '-'must understand history, mythology, rhetoric," etc.
One person performed the whole dance, no matter how many characters were included in the action, and therefore he had to change his dress sometimes with much rapidity. The Proteus of the fables, is imagined to have been only a dancer skilled in sudden changes.
The philosophers not only praised, but practised the art. Plato led a chorus of dancing boys; and considered those to be rough, uncouth churls who disliked so pleasant a gift of the gods.*
Alcibiades danced in public, arrayed in great splendor. Sophocles was a celebrated dancer, and leader of dancing; while yet a boy, after the Greek victory at Salamis, he is said to have danced (according to some, naked) before the trophies.
Socrates often entertained his guests with dancing, and studied it himself at an advanced age.f
Exact information respecting the dance is lacking, some commentators deeming it to have been very like our modern ballet, others maintaining that there was a vast difference; Czerwinski and Wieland hold the former opinion, and to all appearance justly. Some erudite writers have endeavored to give the most circumstantial accounts of the ancient manner of dancing.
Meibomius, one of the earlies+ writeis on tbia
* Cacrwinslu Geschichte d. tanzkunst, p. 19. t Luciau, de Saltatione.