The Pyrrhichios dance ("Pyrrhic dance"; Ancient Greek: πυρρίχιος or πυρρίχη, but often misspelled as πυρρίχειος or πυρήχειος) was the best known war dance of the Greeks. It was probably of Dorian origin and practiced at first solely as a training for war.
Plato (Leges, 815a) describes it as imitating by quick movements the ways in which blows and darts are to be avoided and also the modes in which an enemy is to be attacked. It was dance to the sound of the aulos; it's time was quick and light, as is also shewn by the metric foot called pyrrhic.
It was described by Xenophon in his work the Anabasis. In that work he writes that at a festival was held in Trapezus to celebrate the arrival of his troops in the city. The following is the part in which the pyrrhic dance is mentioned:
"A Mysian who saw that they were amazed, retorted by persuading one of the Arcadians who had acquired a dancing girl to dress her in the finest costume he could, fit her with a light shield and bring her on to give a graceful performance of the “Pyrrhic” dance. Thereupon there was a roar of applause, and the Paphlagonians asked if the Greek women also fought side by side with their men. The Greeks answered that these were the very women who had routed the king from his camp"
Also Homer refers to Pyrrihios and describes how Achilles danced it around the burning funeral of Patroclos. The dance was loved in all of Greece and especially the Spartans considered it a kind of light war training and so they taught the dance to their children while
Pyrrichos (Greek: Πύρριχος; called "Πούρρχο", Pourcho by local Maniots) is one of the oldest towns in Mani peninsula, Laconia, Greece. It is part of the municipal unit East Mani. It was promised to Achilles by the Achaeans if he took part in the Trojan War.
|Municipal unit||East Mani|
|Elevation||400 m (1,300 ft)|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
|• Summer (DST)||EEST (UTC+3)|
|Postal code||230 66|
According to one tradition Pyrrichos was named after Pyrrichos, the legendary Laconian founder of Pyrrhichios. According to another tradition Pyrrhichios was named after Pyrrus (alternative name of Neoptolemus), son of Achilles, who was the first who danced Pyrrichios, after defeating in battle Eurypylus, son of Telephus, who fought on the side of the Trojans during the end of the Trojan War.
Contemplation of Alexander