Juggler - Encyclopedia




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JUGGLER (Lat. joculator, jester), in the modern sense a performer of sleight-of-hand tricks and dexterous feats of skill in tossing balls, plates, knives, &c. The term is practically synonymous with conjurer (see Conjuring). The joculatores were the mimes of the middle ages (see Drama); the French use of the word jongleurs (an erroneous form of jougleur) included the singers known as trouveres; and the humbler English minstrels of the same type gradually passed into the strolling jugglers, from whose exhibitions the term came to cover loosely any acrobatic, pantomimic and sleight-of-hand performances. In ancient Rome various names were given to what we call jugglers, e.g. ventilatores (knife-throwers), and pilarii (ball-players).

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