Comedy and the Rise of Rome by Matthew Leigh

By Matthew Leigh

This quantity is an unique examine of the performs of the 2 nice Roman comedian playwrights Plautus and Terence within the context of political and monetary swap in Rome within the 3rd and moment centuries BC. unlike the dominant development of viewing the performs through connection with their mostly misplaced Greek originals, the e-book adopts a historicist method that concentrates on their impression on a latest viewers.

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If the term meretrix cannot be claimed immediately to suggest the grand manner of the Hellenistic hetaira, it is clear from her independent status and considerable resources that Acca Larentia is no low-grade prostibulum either. ⁸⁵ A similar observation may be made with regard to the second category discussed by Fraenkel: the parasite. ⁸⁶ He then describes as most strange the following statement from Cato’s account in the De Agri Cultura of the duties of the bailiff: ‘parasitum nequem habeat.

Ter. Haut. 227 ‘meast potens procax magnifica sumptuosa nobilis’, Hec. 797 on the ‘nobilitatem’ of Bacchis and the claim of Don ad loc. that ‘nobilis’ is the characteristic term used to describe either ‘meretrix’ or ‘gladiator’; Lucil. fr. 263 M = Non. p. 557 L ‘Phryne nobilis illa’. Adams (1983) 321–7 demonstrates the tendency of ‘meretrix’ to represent a higher class of prostitute than ‘scortum’ but does not discuss the manifestly oxymoronic ‘scortum nobile’. ⁸¹ Among these must be the interpolator who added Plaut.

7. 24; Eutr. 3. 10. 3; Macr. Sat. 1. 11. 30; Fest. p. 511 L; App. Hann. 27; Zonar. 9. 2. ¹⁴ See esp. Val. Max. 7. 6. 1; Sil. 10. 643–6; Flor. 1. 22. 30; Eutr. 3. 10. 3. It may legitimately be asked to what extent these sources reflect feelings at the time, but their evidence must at least be considered. Hunt (1998) 206–9 refers only to Livy. ¹⁵ Liv. 24. 14. 3–16. 19. ¹⁶ De Sanctis (1968) iii. 2. 249 and n. 118 argues that the claim at Liv. 24. 16. 12–13 that those ‘volones’ who did not show courage at Beneventum were ordered to eat standing up for the rest of the campaign is an annalistic embellishment based on misinterpretation of 28 Plautus and Hannibal Livy emphasizes the exuberant festivities of the slaves as they return from battle.

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