Ballimathias (wanton dances, from βαλλίζειν), is generally understood to refer to those wanton dances which were practiced at marriage festivals, but sometimes indicates the practice of playing on cymbals and other musical instruments. The word βαλλίζειν means to throw the legs and feet about rapidly; hence to dance a certain lively dance peculiar to Magna Graecia and Sicily. The words ballet and ball are from this root. The Council of Laodicea, and the third Council of Toledo, forbade the promiscuous and lascivious dancing of men and women together under this name, which is generally interpreted wanton dances associated with lascivious songs. Ambrose, Chrysostom, and others of the fathers, are faithful in condemning the practices which were adopted in their day at marriage ceremonies, many of which were highly disgraceful. See Bingham, Orig. Eccles.bk. 16, ch. 11, §16.

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