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Headword: Πυρρίχη
Adler number: pi,3225
Translated headword: Pyrrhic dance, war-dance
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
A kind of dance.
There are three kinds of dance,[1] purrikhê, sikinnis,[2] and kordakismos.[3]
Babrius [writes]: "may I only be able to walk on the road without being ridiculous, not to mention dancing the pyrrhic." The camel [says this].[4]
"[If] he knew the pyrrhic of Kinesias."[5] This Kinesias was a dithyrambic poet,[6] and he made a pyrrhic [song]. Or because in the choruses he used a lot of movement [kinesis]. And he took an active role against the comic poets, that they should lose their right to public choruses.[7] He was sluggish in body and skeletal. He seems also to have acted indecently towards the statue of Hekate, that is shat upon it.[8] He was a Theban.[9]
Agathias [writes]: "Narses consolidated his forces and strengthened their spirit with daily exercise, forcing them to run quickly and to leap over their horses in formation and to whirl around in a kind of armed pyrrhic dance and to be deafened frequently by the trumpet sounding the war-call."[10]
Also [sc. attested is the verb] pyrrikhizein ["to dance the pyrrhic"], to dance with weapons.
Also pyrrhikhios orkhêsis ["pyrrhic dance"].
Greek Original:
Πυρρίχη: εἶδος ὀρχήσεως. τρία δέ εἰσιν εἴδη ὀρχήσεως, πυρρίχη, σίκιννις καὶ κορδακισμός. Βάβριος: ἐμοὶ γένοιτο κἂν ὁδῷ βαίνειν μὴ καταγέλαστον μήτι πυρρίχην παίζειν. ἡ κάμηλος. πυρρίχην ἔμαθε τὴν Κινησίου. οὗτος ὁ Κινησίας διθυραμβοποιὸς ἦν, ἐποίησε δὲ πύρριχον. ἢ ὅτι ἐν τοῖς χοροῖς πολλῇ κινήσει ἐχρῆτο. καὶ ἐπραγματεύσατο κατὰ τῶν κωμικῶν, ὡς εἶεν ἀχορήγητοι. ἦν δὲ καὶ περὶ τὸ σῶμα ὀκνηρὸς ἅμα καὶ κατεσκελετευκώς. δοκεῖ δὲ καὶ κατησχημονηκέναι τοῦ τῆς Ἑκάτης ἀγάλματος, ἤγουν κατατῖλαι. ἦν δὲ Θηβαῖος. Ἀγαθίας: ὁ δὲ Ναρσῆς συνεκρότει τὰς δυνάμεις καὶ ἐπερρώννυε τὸν θυμὸν ταῖς καθημέραν μελέταις, τροχάζειν ἀναγκάζων καὶ ὑπὲρ τῶν ἵππων ἐν κόσμῳ ἀναπάλλεσθαι ἔς τε πυρρίχην τινὰ ἐνόπλιον περιδινεῖσθαι καὶ θαμὰ τῇ σάλπιγγι καταβομβεῖσθαι τὸ ἐνυάλιον ἠχούσῃ. καὶ Πυρριχίζειν, μετὰ ὅπλων ὀρχεῖσθαι. καὶ Πυρρίχιος ὄρχησις.
Notes:
See already pi 3224.
[1] From ps.-Herodian 115; cf. a scholiast on Lucian (136.3 Rabe).
[2] cf. pi 3159, sigma 396.
[3] cf. kappa 2071.
[4] Babrius 80.3-4.
[5] Aristophanes, Frogs 153, followed by comment from the scholia there. (For Kinesias cf. kappa 1639.) The phrase humorously augments the categories of offender to be encountered by visitors to the underworld.
[6] See delta 1029 and kappa 2647 for the poets of the "new dithyramb" and the attacks by the comic playwrights on them.
[7] For Kinesias' legislation to deprive the comic playwrights of their choregiai, probably in or shortly after 405 BCE, see delta 1029 note (based on the scholia to Aristophanes, Frogs 404).
[8] See also kappa 822 and tau 693. Aristophanes mentions this three times: Frogs 366, Ecclesiazusae 329-30, and Gerytades fr. 156.12-13 (PCG vol. 3.2).
[9] But Pherecrates (fr.155.8 PCG vol. 7) calls him "the cursed Attic" (= Athenian).
[10] Agathias, Histories 2.1; cf. sigma 1303.
References:
Ceccarelli, P. La pirrica nell'antichita greco romana : studi sulla danza armata (1998)
Delavaud-Roux, M.-H. Les danses armées en Grèce antique (1993).
ead. Les danses dionysiaques en Grèce antique (1995)
ead. Les danses pacifiques en Grèce antique (1994)
Emmanuel, M. La Danse grecque antique d'après les monuments figurés (1984)
Henrichs A., "Warum soll ich denn tanzen?", Dionysisches im Chor der griechischen Tragödie (1996)
Lambropoulou, V. Choros kai armonia (1997)
Lawler, L.B. The Dance in Ancient Greece (1964)
Lonsdale, S. H. Dance and ritual play in Greek religion (1993)
Naerebout, F. G. Attractive performances, ancient Greek dance (1997)
Keywords: biography; comedy; definition; ethics; historiography; history; medicine; military affairs; meter and music; poetry; religion; zoology
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 29 August 2001@23:34:38.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; cosmetics) on 30 August 2001@03:47:25.
Catharine Roth on 30 August 2001@10:54:49.
Robert Dyer (Added cross references as notes 6, 8, 9, and suggested privately a new note 7, to be added. Cosmetics.) on 15 January 2002@15:05:39.
Robert Dyer (Added note 7, and modified translation of the sentence on which it depends, with the agreement of the writer. Raised status.) on 16 January 2002@06:41:48.
Catharine Roth (added italics) on 17 February 2008@22:34:15.
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 17 May 2011@08:44:22.
Catharine Roth (cosmeticule) on 17 May 2011@22:03:52.
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 25 May 2016@05:30:53.

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