Duris

The following fragment from Xenophon preserves information provided by Duris of Samos, born about the middle of the fourth century BC, whose Histories covered a period of nearly a century, beginning wth 370 BC.

In the seventh book of his Histories Duris has preserved the following account on this subject. Only at the festival celebrated by the Persians in honour of Mithra does the Persian king become drunken and dance after the Persian manner. On this day throughout Asia all abstain from the dance. For the Persians are taught both horsemanship and dancing; and they believe that the practice of these rhythmical movements strengthens and disciplines the body.