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[Gr.,=all in mimic], silent form of the drama in which the story is developed by movement, gesture, facial expression, and stage properties. It is known to have existed among the Chinese, Persians, Hebrews, and Egyptians and has been observed in many
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(1) A special form of classical folk theater and a comic genre of classical drama: short, improvised satirical scenes from daily life.
Mime arose in the fifth century B.C. It received its first literary treatment in the works of the poet Sophron and his son, Xenarchus. During the Hellenistic age (fourth and third centuries B.C.), mime spread to the Middle East; in the first century B.C. it appeared in Rome, where its greatest exponents were Decimus Laberius and Publilius Syrus. By that time the themes, structure, and presentation of mime performances had become more complex. Mime presented portraits of typical contemporary characters: slaves, procuresses, and hetaerae. Verse alternated with prose; there was also vocal mime, which included dancing. Actors played without masks, and, in contrast to other forms of classical theater, women also participated.
In 691, the Turulian Council prohibited mime as a sinful spectacle. Certain elements of mime were used in medieval French farces and in the Italian commedia dell’arte. Mime texts have survived only in fragmentary form.
(2) An actor or actress who performs mime. Mimes and their art were described by classical authors. There are a sizable number of depictions of mimes in vase painting. The Greek writer Athenaeus provided the names of the well-known mimes Noemon, Eudicus, Matrius, and Cephisodorus.
In the modern theater, pantomime actors are sometimes called mimes, for example, M. Marceau (France) and A. A. Elizarov (USSR).
REFERENCESVarneke, B. V. Aktery Drevnei GretsiL Odessa, 1919.
Tronskii, I. M. Istoriia antichnoi literatury, 3rd ed. Leningrad, 1957.
MIME(Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) The most common method for transmitting non-text files via Internet e-mail, which was originally designed for only ASCII text. Defined by IETF RFC 2822, MIME encodes the files using one of two encoding methods and decodes it back to its original format at the receiving end. A MIME header is added to the file which includes the type of data contained and the encoding method used. The MIME "type" (renamed "Internet media type") has become the de facto standard for describing files on the Internet (see Internet media type).
S/MIME (Secure MIME), defined by IETF RFCs 3850-3852 and 2634, is a version of MIME that adds RSA encryption for secure transmission. See base64, quoted printable encoding, UUcoding, BinHex and Wincode.