Historical region of Country
II. Pantomime and other entertainments. The structural elements of the pantomime were as follows: actor pantomime actor-dancer, a mute person, who expressed himself by dancing out in the manner of a mime with musical accompaniment the ideas sung by the chorus; the chorus that sang the legend, fabulae salticae dancing songs with female or mixed voices; a musical instrument; the appearances; and lastly, the themes, which were mythological, especially the theme of adultery.
During the imperial era the entertainments in the amphitheater, the circus and the hippodrome were common. In the amphitheater, various types of entertainments were carried out: gladiatorial fights ludi gladiatori; fights waged on horseback by horsemen carrying long lances; battles between the essedarii war-chariot fighters, and lastly the venationes the hunting shows. The Christian masses, along with the pagans, attended the amphitheaters Emperor Honorius in 404 sanctioned its demise, which had already largely occurred. In the circus and in the hippodrome, ludi circenses i.e., circus games and horse races took place; the latter were well known by Christians John Chrys., De Lazaro concio VII, 1: PG 48, 1045. In Late Antique Rome and Constantinople, the various factiones of the circus i.e., the company of persons acting together to run the circus were famous, which often also had an influence on the political and social life of the city. III. Judgment of the Fathers. The attitude of the Fathers varied according to the types of entertainments.
Clement of Alexandria considered the exhibitions and the gymnastic exercises something admirable, if practiced with moderation Paed. III, 10: SC 158, 49, although he condemned the professional ethics of some entertainers. The stadium and the theater, however, were judged by some as the cathedra of pestilence Paed. III, 11: SC 158, 76-77. Tertullian regarded athletic games as idolatrous De spect. 11,1-3: CCL 1, 240-243; some such as boxing and wrestling are violent while others are useless De spect. 18,1-3: CCL 1, 243.
Their judgments on the circus and the amphitheater were more severe, inasmuch as watching a man be killed is almost like killing him yourself Athenag., Legat. 24,4-5; Theoph. Ant., Ad Antol. 3,15: SC 20, 235. For Tertullian the circus and the amphitheater events were idolatrous manifestations De spect. 7,2: CCL 1, 146-150 because they were connected to the pagan cult the worship of the sun. Cyprian wrote, What show is there without an idol? What game without a sacrifice? De spect. 4: PL 4, 813. For Augustine, the gladiators were public sinners De fide et op. 18,33: PL 40, 220.
With respect to the theatrical entertainments, the Fathers prohibited catechumens from attending them because of their pagan, mythological, perverse and luxurious character; the actor is a person pos- sessed. A trace of this prohibition probably also remains in the baptismal formulas H. Waszink, Pompa diaboli: VChr 1 1947 13-41. Such entertainments were immoral Clem. of Alex., Paed. III, 11: SC 108, 76, 77. To delight in the flutist, choirs, dances, Egyptian rattlesnakes, cymbals and timbales is disorderly and foolish Paed. II, 4: SC 108-140. Theophilus of Antioch condemned anthropophagia i.e., cannibalism Thyestes and Atreus and adulteries among the gods Ad Autol. 3,15: SC 20, 235. For Tertullian, religious motives idolatry prevent a Christian from attending them in light of their baptismal promises De spect. 13-14 and for moral reasons De spect. 15 and 17: CCL 1, 288-289. For Cyprian, the tragedy, cothurnus, represented parracides, incests and mimes Ad Donat. 8: CCL 1, 290ff.. It is a scandal for the catechumens to see the same men filling the churches on Christian feast days and the theaters on pagan feast days Aug., De cat. rud. 25,48: CCL 46, 172.
Basil of Caesarea warns the Christians not to pay attention to the entertainments and dissolute theatrical songs of charlatans In Hex. hom. 4: SC 26, 80. John Chrysostom recalls in this regard their baptismal promises that were incompatible with the Satanic exhibition In Iohan. hom. 1,4: PG 59, 28-29; the average 4th-c. Christian, Chrysostom laments, gives less attention to Christ than they do to a pantomime In Iohan. hom. 17,4: PG 59, 112: entertainments, musical lewdness, Satanic songs are placed by young people before spiritual songs Id., In ep. ad Cor. hom. 48,3: PG 58, 491. John Chrysostom prohibited transgressors from receiving the sacraments In Matth. hom. 17,5- 6: PG 56, 269.