In our own day, the French have returned to the original application of dialogue, and the inventions of "Gyp," of Henri Lavedan and of others, in which a mundane anecdote is wittily and maliciously told in conversation, would probably present a close analogy to the lost mimes of the early Sicilian poets, if we could meet with them.
SOPHRON, of Syracuse, writer of mimes, flourished about 43 o B.C. He was the author of prose dialogues in the Doric dialect, containing both male and female characters, some serious, others humorous in style, and depicting scenes from the daily life of the Sicilian Greeks.
Hiller, ad loc. The mimes are three in number, viz., ii., xiv., xv.
Comes immediately before xiv., an arrangement which is obviously right, since it places the three mimes together.
" These three mimes are wonderfully natural and lifelike.
It will be convenient to add to the Bucolics and Mimes three poems which cannot be brought into any other class, viz.: xii.
The epics in general show a mixture of Homeric, Ionic and Doric forms. The Bucolics, Mimes, and the " Marriage-song of Helen" (xviii.) are in Doric, with occasional forms from other dialects.
The metre used by Theocritus in the Bucolics and Mimes, as well as in the Epics, is the dactylic hexameter.
In the mimes Theocritus appears to have made great use of Sophron.
It is extremely interesting to find a similar poem in the recently discovered mimes of Herondas, the fourth of which is termed " Women making offerings to Aesculapius" (Acranirly avar,OE2aat Kai Ovaci ovaac).
Herodas (Mimes, 4) gives a description of one of his temples, and of the offerings made to him.
Though, for some unexplained reason, he abolished the mimes, so beloved of the populace, at the outset of his reign, he availed himself of the occasion of his first triumph to restore them again.
Perhaps there is only one extant MS. of the text, as in the case of the Mimes of Herodas and the Annals and Histories of Tacitus.
After him Sophron of Syracuse gave the Sicilian mimes a place among the forms of Greek poetry.
The recently discovered mimes of Herodas (Herondas) give us some idea of their scope.