Costumes of the utmost magnificence were worn, and the chiselling of masks for the use of the performers occupied scores of artists and ranked as a high glyptic accomplishment.
The laws were publicly promulgated or rehearsed; there were councils to deal with disputes and matters of local interest; popular sports such as horse-racing, running and wrestling were held; poems and tales were recited, and prizes were awarded to the best performers of every dan or art; while at the same time foreign traders came with their wares, which they exchanged for native produce, chiefly skins, wool and frieze.
Actors, comic and tragic, pantomimi, and the performers of the circus were commonly slaves, as were also the gladiators.
This silly libel so enraged the performers at the Opera that they hanged and burned with him, the Dijon academy, which had founded his fame, announced the subject of "The Origin of Inequality," on which he wrote a discourse which was unsuccessful, but at least equal to the former in merit.
Solemn and gay dances were frequent, and a sport called the bird-dance excited the admiration of foreigners for the skill and daring with which groups of performers dressed as birds let themselves down by ropes wound round the top of a high mast, so as to fly whirled in circles far above the ground.