Article

Plautus

Susanna Braund

in Classics

ISBN: 9780195389661
Published online August 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195389661-0083
Plautus

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Titus Maccius Plautus, from Sarsina in Umbria, wrote plays at the turn of the 3rd into the 2nd century bce; only two can be dated (200 and 191 bce). Gratwick 1973 (cited under Introductory Works) shows that his name is probably a pseudonym, indicating close connection with Italian performance culture. Although 130 plays were attributed to him, 21 were ultimately regarded as genuine in Antiquity, and these plays have been transmitted to us; other fragments exist. Most are adaptations from Greek New Comedy written by Menander, Diphilus, and Philemon, and hence we name them fabulae palliatae, although Amphitruo shows the influence of other forms of drama, such as the phlyakes, farces performed in southern Italy (see Bieber 1971, cited under Introductory Works). Plautus Romanized and Latinized a number of features in the plays and invented material of his own, inspired by native forms of drama, such as farce, and improvised forms of comic entertainment. See General Overviews and Relationship to Greek Models.

Article.  11435 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Classical Art and Architecture ; Classical History ; Classical Literature ; Classical Philosophy

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