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PIERIDES IV, Series Editors: Sophia Papaioannou This volume examines interpretation as the original process of critical

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Terence and Interpretation [1 ed.]
 9781443869676, 9781443863858

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Terence and Interpretation

Pierides Studies in Greek and Latin Literature

Series Editors:

Philip Hardie and Stratis Kyriakidis

Volume I

Stratis Kyriakidis, Catalogues of Proper Names in Latin Epic Poetry: Lucretius – Virgil – Ovid Volume II

Antonis Petrides and Sophia Papaioannou (eds), New Perspectives on Postclassical Comedy Volume III

Myrto Garani and David Konstan (eds), The Philosophizing Muse: The Influence of Greek Philosophy on Roman Poetry

Pierides Studies in Greek and Latin Literature

Volume IV

Terence and Interpretation

Edited by

Sophia Papaioannou

Terence and Interpretation, Edited by Sophia Papaioannou This book first published 2014 Cambridge Scholars Publishing 12 Back Chapman Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE6 2XX, UK British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Copyright © 2014 by Sophia Papaioannou and contributors All rights for this book reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner. ISBN (10): 1-4438-6385-8, ISBN (13): 978-1-4438-6385-8


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ............................................................................... vii CONTRIBUTORS ........................................................................................... ix INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................. 1 Terence and Interpretation Sophia Papaioannou PART I: TERENCE AS INTERPRETER CHAPTER ONE ............................................................................................ 25 The Innovator’s Poetic Self-Presentation: Terence’s Prologues as Interpretative Texts of Programmatic Poetics Sophia Papaioannou CHAPTER TWO ........................................................................................... 59 Singing the Sermo Comicus with Terence Jarrett Welsh CHAPTER THREE ........................................................................................ 75 Tragic and Epic Interactions in Terentian Comedy Evangelos Karakasis CHAPTER FOUR .......................................................................................... 95 Terence’s Literary Self-Consciousness and the Anxiety of Menander’s Influence Sophia Papaioannou CHAPTER FIVE.......................................................................................... 119 Terence, the Corrective Reader and Innovator Alison Sharrock CHAPTER SIX............................................................................................ 143 Terence’s Stock Characters and Plots: Stereotypes ‘Interpreted’ Sophia Papaioannou


Table of Contents

PART II: INTERPRETATIONS OF TERENCE CHAPTER SEVEN ...................................................................................... 179 Cicero, an Interpreter of Terence Gesine Manuwald CHAPTER EIGHT ....................................................................................... 201 Donatus on ‘Appropriate Style’ in the Plays of Terence Robert Maltby CHAPTER NINE ......................................................................................... 223 Performing Terence’s Characters: a Study of Donatus’ Interpretation Chrysanthi Demetriou CHAPTER TEN .......................................................................................... 241 Interpretations and Adaptations of Terence’s Andria, from the Tenth to the Twentieth Century Peter Brown BIBLIOGRAPHY ......................................................................................... 267 GENERAL INDEX....................................................................................... 293 INDEX LOCORUM...................................................................................... 297


As editor of this volume I would like, first and foremost, to express my gratitude to the seven distinguished specialists of Terence and Roman Comedy I have been fortunate to collaborate with; all seven accepted with enthusiasm to contribute their own expert interpretation of Terence or his interpreters. My communication with them in the course of the past three years, from initial discussions on argument formation all the way through the composition of the final versions of the individual chapters, has been a source of knowledge, and taught me to become a more careful and sensitive reader of Terence. Professors Philip Hardie and Stratis Kyriakidis, the editors of CSP’s Pierides Series, endorsed this project from the beginning and facilitated its publication process with exemplary promptness. Warm thanks are due to the anonymous reader of CSP and the Pierides Series for important suggestions that encouraged constructive re-thinking. Several of the arguments advanced in this volume have been developed and improved as a result of discussions with colleagues and friends. I would like to extend special thanks to my colleague Ioannis Konstantakos for his acute comments and bibliographical suggestions. No less profitable has been the discussions with my students at the University of Athens, who attended my lectures and seminars on Terence and Plautus in the past three years. Most of them had never read or attended a performance of a Roman comic play prior to reading Roman Comedy under my direction. Their ‘first-time audience’ perspective has been invaluably instructive. The fiscal crisis that hit Greece harshly in the past four years affected deeply university budgets, and library resources were drastically reduced. Thankfully, the American School of Classical Studies at Athens has held its doors wide-open to the Hellenic academic community, and has provided unfailing support, congenial environment and the resources necessary for uninterrupted academic research. This book is intended for the specialist scholars of Roman Comedy but also for the graduate students working in the fields of Classics and Literary History. All long quotations of Greek and Latin are translated. Athens, September 2014 SP


Note on the Critical Editions of the Texts Cited Unless otherwise noted, Terence’s plays are quoted from the OCT edition of Kauer/Lindsay/Skutsch (1958) or from Barsby (2001), the more recent Loeb edition, while the translations follow Barsby (2001). Plautus’ text follows Lindsay (1904-5) or De Melo’s (2011-13) Loeb; unless noted, the translations are those of De Melo (2011-13). Menander’s texts follow the following editions: Dyskolos: Arnott (1979); Epitrepontes: Furley (2009); Samia: Arnott (2000). Translations of other sources either are the authors’ own or follow the authors’ individual choices and when so, clearly noted. Abbreviations

FPL4: Blänsdorf, J. (ed.) (2011) Fragmenta Poetarum Latinorum Epicorum et Lyricorum Praeter Enni Annales et Ciceronis Germanicique Aratea post W. Morel et K. Büchner editionem quartam auctam curavit J. B. Berlin/New York: De Gruyter. LHS: Leumann, M, Hofmann, J.B. and Szantyr, A. (1965-67) Lateinische Grammatik. 2 vols. Munich: Saur. PCG: Kassel, R. and Austin, C. (eds) (1983-2001) Poetae Comici Graeci. Vols. IVIII. Berlin/New York: De Gruyter. SH: Lloyd-Jones, H. and Parsons, P.J. (eds) (2011) Supplementum Hellenisticum. Revised edition by H.-G. Nesselrath. Berlin: De Gruyter. TrGF: Kannicht, R., Snell, B., and Radt, S. (eds) (1971-2004) Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta. 5 vols. Göttingen: Vanderhoeck & Ruprecht. Barwick: Barwick, K. (ed.) (1925) Flavii Sosipatri Charisii Artis Grammaticae Libri V. Leipzig: Teubner. D’Anna: D’Anna, J. (ed.) (1967) M. Pacuvii fragmenta. Rome: Athenaeum. Jocelyn: Jocelyn, H.D. (ed.) (1969) The Tragedies of Ennius. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Marx: Marx, F. (ed.) (1904) C. Lucilii Carminum Reliquiae. Leipzig: Teubner. Pfeiffer: Pfeiffer, R. (1949-1953) Callimachus. 2 volumes (Volume I: Fragments; Volume II: Hymns and Epigrams). Oxford: Clarendon Press. Ribbeck: Ribbeck, O. (ed.) (1898) Comicorum Romanorum Fragmenta. Third Edition. Leipzig: Teubner, 157-187. Skutsch: Skutsch, O. (ed.) (1985) The Annals of Quintus Ennius. Oxford Clarendon Press. Other abbreviations of authors or works follow the Année Philologique.


Peter Brown is an Emeritus Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford University (United Kingdom) and a member of the Advisory Board of the Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama. He has published extensively on Greek and Roman drama, and his translation of Terence’s Comedies appeared in the Oxford World’s Classics series in 2008. He is co-editor with Suzana Ograjenšek of Ancient Drama in Music for the Modern Stage [Oxford: Oxford University Press (2010), paperback ed. (2013)]. Chrysanthi Demetriou studied Classics at the University of Cyprus (BA), the University of Cambridge (MPhil) and the University of Leeds (PhD). She has written on Roman comic dramaturgy and Donatus. She is an Adjunct Tutor of Studies in Hellenic Culture at the Open University of Cyprus. Evangelos Karakasis is Assistant Professor of Latin literature at the University of Ioannina. He studied Classics at the University of Ioannina, Greece (BA, 1995) and Pembroke College, University of Cambridge (MPhil, 1997; PhD, 2001) and taught Latin Language and Literature at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Lecturer in Latin 2004-11). He is the author of Terence and the Language of Roman Comedy, Cambridge (2005; 2008, paperback); Song-Exchange in Roman Pastoral, Berlin (2011); and of various papers on Roman comedy, elegy, pastoral, epic and novel. He is also the editor of the Trends in Classics Special Issue (4.1) with the title: Singing in the Shadow... Pastoral Encounters in Post-Vergilian Poetry. He is currently completing a monograph on Neronian Pastoral and a collective volume on Plautus. Robert Maltby studied as an undergraduate and postgraduate at Cambridge. He worked for a spell on the Thesaurus Linguae Latinae in Munich before becoming a lecturer in Latin at Sheffield and later at Leeds, where he became Professor of Latin Philology in 2000 and has been Emeritus since 2010. His main publications include A Selection of Latin Love Elegy (1980), A Lexicon of Ancient Latin Etymologies (1991), Tibullus Elegies: Text, Introduction and Commentary (2002), Terence: Phormio (2012) and most recently, in collaboration with Kenneth Belcher,



a course-book entitled Wiley’s Real Latin: Learning Latin from the Source (2013). Gesine Manuwald is Professor of Latin in the Department of Greek and Latin at University College London (UCL). Her research interests cover Roman drama, Roman oratory and especially Cicero’s speeches, Roman epic and the reception of the classical world, particularly in Neo-Latin literature. Her publications on Cicero and Roman drama include a commentary on Cicero’s Philippics (2007), a co-authored Loeb edition of these speeches (2009), a Roman drama reader (2010), an overview of Roman Republican theatre (2011) and an edition of the fragments of Ennius’ tragedies (2012) as well as bibliographical surveys and numerous articles for handbooks and scholarly journals. Sophia Papaioannou in Associate Professor of Latin literature in the Department of Classics, Faculty of Philology at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Her research focuses on Roman epic, Augustan literature and culture, and Roman comedy. Her publications include two books on Ovid’s Metamorphoses and the inventive reception of earlier epic of Homer and Vergil (2005 and 2007), and the first translation and commentary on Plautus’ Miles Gloriosus in Modern Greek (2009) as well as several journal articles and chapters in collective volumes on the above areas of research and beyond. She is currently working on a commentary of Plautus’ Curculio. Alison Sharrock is Professor of Classics at the University of Manchester. After starting out with Ovid, elegy, and literary theory, she turned to Roman comedy, and in 2009 published Reading Roman Comedy: Poetics and Playfulness in Plautus and Terence (Cambridge). She is now returning to Ovid, working on a book on Ovid and Epic. Jarrett Welsh is Assistant Professor of Classics at the University of Toronto (Canada). He holds an AB from Davidson College and the AM and PhD from Harvard University. His research focuses on early Latin literature and drama, particularly fragmentary texts, and later grammarians and lexicographers. He has written on ancient methods of citing and quoting Latin dramatic verse, and is currently preparing an edition, with translation and commentary, of the fragments of the fabulae togatae


Interpretation Terence’s comedy is the product of a long literary tradition that begins in Classical Greece with Old Comedy, undergoes gradual transformation in the next century, and through diffusion and dissemination across the Hellenistic world reaches Rome and initiates a thorough revision of native dramaturgy. The six plays that survive under Terence’s name draw on this rich tradition, inasmuch as they comprise products of a literary genius that aspires to add a dimension of freshness and authenticity to the history of appreciation of the comic genre.1 As with any literary collection that belongs to a specific genre, Terence’s plays are both inspired and challenged by the earlier representatives of the genre. Primarily antagonistic by definition, drama, especially comedy, measures success on the basis of criticism often expressed indirectly, through reception and revision. The process of agonistic reception of an earlier tradition, aiming primarily at the production of original material and defining one’s own position in the evolutionary course of the genre as a result, is essentially a process of interpretation. Interpretation, defined in this study as original critical reception of earlier material, is inextricably linked to creativity. According to Heidegger,2 interpretation is a process that traces the course from matter-of-fact, tacit 1

The critical reception of Terence’s interaction with tradition and the question of originality in Terence’s plays, has always been remarkably polyphonic; cf., for example, the diversity in the assessment of Terence’s originality by early scholars as summarised in Duckworth (1952) 385-6. More recent criticism has been no less diverse, though critics nowadays tend to acknowledge the subtlety and sophistication of Terence’s artistry; cf. recently Sharrock (2009) 201; and earlier, J. Wright (1974) 127; Goldberg (1986) chapter 6. 2 Heidegger (1927).



pre-understandings to reflection, improving modification (refinement) and originality. The completion of an interpretation process, the production of creativity, preconditions contextualisation, an earlier situation of significance that is taken for granted. The originality in Terence’s dramaturgy, accordingly, may be illustrated once the plays are contextualised. Hence, the definition of this context, inside and against which Terence interacts and creates, indeed interprets, should be determined. The context comprises the literary tradition of the genre, that is, the plays of the earlier dramatists, Greek and Latin, and the ideology or politics of antagonism, elemental in the production of a drama, that is embraced by a given dramatist—Terence—to serve as the methodological platform upon which the interpretation will be built. In the interpretation of an author who composes inside an antagonistic environment, there are three types of elements involved: the conceptual structures that constitute the ‘literary’ understanding of the text (language, generic rules and conventions, etc.); the over-all conceptual fabric that constitutes what we call the experiential world (in Terence’s case, performance circumstances, audience and its needs and expectations, momentum, etc.); and the conceptual links used to connect the two. In the case of antagonism between literary texts, interpretation is defined on the basis of intertextuality. Intertextuality is a literary phenomenon of broad application. It often points to a role consciously played by a character in the text, but its interpretative force is of greater impact when it underlines differences as much as similarities, or differences within similarities; it can be a tool for bringing out how, and how far, a world has changed. A new comedy is simply more acceptable if it engages in dialogue with a set of forces (the ‘context’) that the audience finds familiar. Stories are built on other stories, characters on other characters, and plots on other plots, consciously (when a playwright develops a pre-existent script) and without apparent intention (when a new play seems to the audience to resemble in structure and themes an earlier one, without this necessarily or actually being the case); writers and readers apply familiar codes in order to make sense of what they say and what they read. Interpretative inferences, that is, evocations of earlier, similar events/jokes/data in general, a) aid the plausibility of the more recent event, meaning, they help us understand the present event better in light of the past one; and b) exploit the knowingness of the reader to produce artistic aemulatio, to compete against an earlier great text, all the while cultivating a special, exclusive bond with the particular reader, who is encouraged to believe that she belongs to a special small category of select ‘interpreters’—those qualified to appreciate the specialness of the new opus to be produced.

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Interpretation, in short, is a matter that involves ‘interpreters’ and interpreters, with the former ‘interpreting’ (creatively re-contextualising pre-existing data) and the latter interpreting the ‘interpretation’ (applying hermeneutics, that is, a particular master code, to make the ‘interpretation’ familiar to their individual experiences and part of the cultural context that determines their interpretative strategies).3 Before proceeding with adjusting the focus on the various aspects of the interpretative methodology that initially produced and subsequently reinformed Terence’s text, it is necessary to distinguish interpretation as a critical activity at work in the process of original literary creation, from appropriation, another important form of dynamic critical interaction with a model text, and which results in the production of new literature. In the analysis of Terence advanced in this book, interpretation is defined according to the identity of the interpreting agent. These agents belong to two separate groups and this categorisation determines the structure of the present volume which is thus comprised of two parts. The First Part (‘Terence as Interpreter’) examines Terence as an interpreter of earlier literary traditions. The Second Part (‘Interpretations of Terence’) identifies and explores different expressions of critical reception of Terence’s output. The leading common objective of the papers in both sections is to illustrate the various expressions of originality and individual creative genius that the process of interpretation entails. What is more, this volume is the first study to focus not only on the interpreter but also on the continuity and evolution of the principles of interpretation. In this way, it directs the focus from Terence’s work to the meaning of Terence’s work in relation to Terence’s predecessors (the past literary tradition), Terence’s contemporaries (his literary antagonists, but also his audience) and posterity (his critical readers across the centuries). In light of this emphasis on chronology, a second objective, underlining the interpretative perspective of the papers in the Second Part, is to assess the ways in which temporal distance and alienation due to the change of viewpoint condition the definition of interpretation: the so-defined interpreters of Terence examined in the volume lived in different eras and were not professional dramatists, even though some experimented with dramatic compositions. Cicero, Donatus and Terence’s Renaissance translators were not interested in using Terence as a source for literary inspiration, but approached Terence from the perspective of an exegete, either systematically and self-consciously critical (as Donatus did), or in 3

Jameson (1981) 10: “Interpretation is here construed as an essentially allegorical act which consists in rewriting a given text in terms of a particular interpretative master code”.



the context of performance-response, a reader who uses selectively parts from Terence for a variety of reasons (Cicero’s various quotations of Terence are interpreted in this context). A third category of critical readers, the most common one, comprises the numerous translators across several centuries who strove to transfer Terence’s comic speech into their own respective languages and cultural mindsets. This very diverse community of interpretative readers is drawn together by the fact that they are not literary antagonists of the dramatist, a realisation that has drawn anew the parameters of interpretative reception of Terentian drama in its afterlife. The four chapters in the Second Part of the volume discuss various critical attitudes towards Terence until the end of the twelfth century— shortly before the rediscovery of Terence as leading force of inspiration behind the Humanist comedies—and demonstrate that from the first century BCE onwards Terence’s poetry has been received philologically or assessed from an exegetical perspective. Admittedly, as a result of the decline of the palliata soon after Terence’s death no literary text inspired by Terence’s plays has been composed prior to Pierpaolo Vergerio’s Paulus.4 In light of this, the infusion of interpretation with theory is applicable only to the extent this concerns Terence’s interaction with the earlier tradition and the forging of his own unique dramatic identity—as such, it is limited to the papers of the First Part in this volume. By interpreting earlier literature while in the process of composing his own plays, Terence was involved in what might be characterised as acts of appropriation. This is to say that he both produced a new text, which had been modelled on some earlier text, and in the process transported structural and thematic elements of the model text into a new context. The transportation is accompanied by transformation in order that the received elements might acquire a new significance and define themselves inside a new narrative. This process of appropriation is described in a lucid and graphic way by Vergil, in Georgics 2.22-34. In this passage Vergil explains 4

I do not include in the category of Terentian-type dramas the christianised imitations of Hrotsvitha of Gandersheim, on which see most recently Augoustakis (2013). The only other Latin comedy that survives from the later antiquity and is clearly indebted to the palliata, is the anonymous Querolus sive Aulularia, of uncertain date (most likely the early fifth century CE); as the title denotes, the principal model is Plautus’ Aulularia; this is shown by the language which preserves many reminiscences of Plautus’ comedy, both archaisms and borrowings of whole phrases; on Querolus see primarily Jacquemard-Le Saos (1994); also Küppers (1989).

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how it is possible by ‘cultivation’, that is, the employment of artificial techniques, not only to imitate but even perhaps to surpass nature and thus plant trees that would have been impossible to see growing spontaneously.5 It is not the artificial techniques, specifically the grafting, however, that attracted attention to this passage but rather the types of trees allegedly subjected to combination—trees that are not genetically compatible, meaning that an amalgamation of them would be impossible regardless of the technology available. The accomplishment of such a natural impossibility, this invention and growing of new kinds of trees, is read nowadays as an allegory for the composition of original literature, gleaned from combinations of genres or models, by creative imitation and in such a manner that had never before been attempted. In fact, this may be clearly observed in the presentation of Vergil’s own creative poetic technique as described in Georgics 3.1-48. In the opening section to Georgics 3, Vergil defines the originality of his poetry in terms of advancing, by reframing or recoding, ideas already introduced in earlier tradition. Further, the acknowledgement and appropriation of the earlier models is noted by a recusatio, a refusal to follow archetypal literary declarations of originality, and more specifically Callimachus’ Victoria Berenices (SH 254–268C)—an intertext whose identity is extracted from the phrase lucos Molorchos of l. 19. At the same time, this recusatio entails also an admission that the originality of the Georgics may be defined through comparison to Callimachus, and by audiences familiar with Callimachus’ theory of literary originality. Terence, and presumably the other literary-minded interpreters of his generation, used the term vortere/vertere (lit. ‘to turn around’), “a creative and contents-based poetic reformulation of ideas and the adaptation of literary strategies in a different language for different purposes and audiences”, to describe the production of original Latin plays on the inspiration of Greek models.6 The original and artistic, interpretative, character of Terence’s appropriation of the literary model by means of this vortere/vertere process is underscored by the fact that he refers to himself with the distinct literary Greek term poeta. In Greek, a poiêtês, in the literary sense the ‘creator of artistic verse compositions’, is a catachresis of the term that describes the creator more generally and presumes the component of labour. The latter meaning is ever implicit in the essence of the poet, the demiurge of poetry. In Latin, on the other hand, a poeta is exclusively the creator of verse literature, and the term is strictly defined 5

On this passage see, e.g., Leach (1981); Thomas (1988) 157ff.; Mynors (1990) 101ff.; Erren (2003) 310ff. 6 Walde (2009) 18.



in the context of poetics. In Plautus the term poeta is a terminus technicus for the composer of a dramatic performance, but on three occasions (As. 746-8; Cas. 860-1; Ps. 401-5) the same term clearly presupposes familiarity with the more general, Greek meaning of the word, ‘maker, producer’; furthermore, in all three passages the term is employed with the distinct metaphorical, indeed metapoetical, meaning of ‘deviser’ or, implicitly, ‘trickster’, ‘contriver’, for it is set in the context of plot-making and characterises the agent who devises some form of counter-plot.7 Terence’s poeta as self-introduced in the prologues is much closer to the Greek poiêtês in breadth of meaning: the emphasis is on the inventiveness and artistry or talent that are required in order to execute successfully the vortere/vertere process of the Greek model, but also on the considerable 7 A Plautine poeta is the tragedian (cf. Curc. 591: antiquom poetam audivi scripsisse in tragoedia, I have heard that an old poet had written in a tragedy…), the comic dramatist (cf. Men. 7: hoc poetae faciunt in comoediis, this the poets do in the comedies; also, Capt. 1033: huius modi paucas poetae reperiunt comoedias, the poets will come up with few comedies of this type), the dramatist in general (cf. Mil. 211: poetae… barbaro, a barbarian poet, for Naevius; Vid. 7: poeta hanc noster fecit Vidulariam, our poet made this Vidularia play; Cas. 18: ea tempestate flos poetarum fuit, at this time there existed a boom of poets), but also the improviser (cf. Ps. 404: nunc ego poeta fiam: viginti minas… inveniam, now I shall become a poet: I shall find… the twenty minas), including the conceiver of fictitious, false tales (Ps. 401: quasi poeta, tabulas quom cepit sibi / quaerit quod nusquam gentiumst, reperit tamen, just like a poet when he has taken up his tablets, seeks what exists nowhere on earth, yet he invents it), as well as the schemer and the trickster (cf. As. 748: tu poeta’s prosus ad eam rem unicus, you are the singular deviser for the business; Cas. 841: nec fallaciam astutiorem ullus fecit poeta, no crafty mind ever made a more clever deception). Specifically on the programmatic use of the poeta in the Pseudolus passage, and in terms of literary composition more generally, see Hunter (2006) 82; and Sharrock (2009) 116-7; Slater [(2000) 9] detects a similar meaning of the term poeta in the Asinaria passage; the similar use of the term poeta in all three passages is noted in Bertini (1968) 294 ad As. 746-8nn. The toying of the poet with the schemer and the trickster, the teller of tall tales, has a long and famous tradition that reaches back to Plato and his well-known objection to all poets who fabricate stories and do more harm than good to their audiences (cf. Plat. Rep. 363a-367a); and even earlier, to the epic aoidos of Homer and Hesiod, who is a poeta creator, a craftsman who toils over a task, but also an agent of crafty deception since his creations are of compromised veracity as products of inspiration by the Muses who are famously known to speak both truth and falsehood (Theog. 24-8; see also Od. 19.203). Despite the prerequisite that they must be divinely inspired, in Homer and Hesiod the bards or singers (aoidoi) are classified as demiourgoi, that is, as ‘public’ or ‘professional’ craftsmen (Od. 17.383-5; Op. 26).

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labour this artistic initiative needs to materialise both literally, in light of the substantial difficulties tied to the production and staging of Terence’s innovative—as it will be presently argued—script, and metaphorically, given the lack of a precedent. It may be said that the very Greek term poiêtês is subjected to the vortere/vertere process as Terence expands its meaning to include in the semantic context of his poeta the Greek ‘maker’ who specialises in verse compositions, the Latin composer of drama, and the Plautine ‘contriver’.

Interpretation and Terence In the various cases in which Terence is in critical interaction with earlier tradition, we may see two different types of dialogue: a dialogue of the poet with a predecessor (Greek and/or Roman), summoning up a past plot to illuminate a present one; and a dialogue of two voices within the Terentian play at hand, one of continuity and one of change. Close allegiance to earlier, highly regarded tradition carries such authority that one can certainly be more persuaded about the accuracy and the credibility of a plotline if it fits into a familiar pattern. But the changes matter too. If the story treated in Terence has already an earlier, markedly different precedent, or is recast centuries later in a different world and with different motives in the work of another comic dramatist, why should that be? Those are fundamentally interpretative questions, and the defamiliarisation of the intertextual templates plays just as important a role in prompting them as the familiarity of the patterns we see. We already noted that a successful interpretative appropriation is effected when marked by creativity: ‘someone’ must explicitly interpret an object as ‘something’, as having a certain new significance that nonetheless fits into a familiar and comprehensible background. In the case at hand, this ‘someone’ is, for the first section of this book, Terence; and, for the second half of the book, those who interacted with Terence’s work, either in order to show that they ‘comprehended’ it and share this comprehension, or in order to ‘reproduce’ it in their own language. We also have noted that the two acts of interpretation are not identical in character, methodology or motivation. Further, Terence’s interpretation of a given context and the interpretation applied to the same context by his contemporary Roman audience, the primary addressees of Terence’s plays, are distinct as well. Terence re-contextualises the tacit pre-understandings (the conventions of the palliata) and interprets them (subjects them to reflection and refinement), while the audience assesses—more or less critically—the process of re-contextualisation and the outcome, and either



interprets them too, by producing new original literature that follows a new interpretation pattern inspired by Terence’s own, or ‘interprets’ them, that is, subjects them to an exegesis. On both occasions interpretation of something as something is always a re-interpretation of the situated context, and this is what brings both acts together under the label interpretation. Interpretation is an evolving process of ‘tacit pre-suppositions’, in Heidegger’s philosophical language: tentative (that is, subjectively determined) pre-understandings and anticipations. The interpretative process allows one to reflect upon these pre-understandings methodically and to refine new meanings, perspectives and terminologies in order to understand how re-contextualisation works, and so, to produce originality. To bring this refinement of meaning successfully into being, an interpretation must have a perspective, which means that the aspiring interpreter should take a specific approach in interpreting something, and must use a special language, which in turn suggests that some system of expression is available in order to provide a conceptual framework for the interpretation to materialise. In the case of Terence’s interpretation the pre-understandings include: first, the theatrical tradition. This tradition includes all forms of Greek and Roman dramatic expression contributing to the evolution of the palliata; the present study, however, sets a limit and considers the plays which Terence’s audiences have attended or read (in case of the literate, upper classes) prior to their first Terentian experience. These plays include the plays of Plautus and the other Roman playwrights, contemporary and earlier; and the plays of Greek New Comedy, specifically Menander and Apollodorus, which may have been attended by the Roman audience, since Menander’s plays, the most popular works of New Comedy by the end of the third century BCE, were being staged all over the Hellenophone world (including Southern Italy) by travelling theatrical companies. An experienced theatrical audience in Terence’s day would have attended dozens of plays, several of them repeatedly over the years (the most successful plays routinely were brought to the stage more than once, and this repetition was often remarked upon by the reproducing authors themselves, to advertise the commercial value of the play8), and the more 8

Such later additions to earlier scripts are identified in the prologues of several of Plautus’ plays, including Casina and Menaechmi (Cas. 12, Men. 3; Cas. 5-20 is commonly acknowledged as an addition written within a generation of Plautus’ death); both texts include passages that were written for revivals later in the second century, indicating a continuing popularity of Plautus’ plays as well as a guaranteed reputation and profit associated with a successful reproduction of a

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experienced spectators among them would have been able to identify Terence’s conscious interaction with his sources. The second major pre-understanding in the proper study of Terence’s interpreting perspective is the assessment of the ways in which the playwright perceives himself as a literary representative of a specific genre, that of the fabula palliata, and also as a contributor to the production and definition of literature of distinct Latin identity. This entails that we ascertain a) Terence’s knowledge of earlier tradition; b) Terence’s acceptance of basic principles of this tradition; c) Terence’s tendency to differentiate himself from popular manifestations of this tradition, or from what is considered ‘canonical’ or ‘anticipated’ on the basis of these popular manifestations of this tradition; and d) Terence’s criticism of this tradition and desire to move beyond it, to contribute towards its evolution (self-referentiality). To ascertain these is sometimes easy, sometimes challenging. Easy, because for literary professionals of the second century belonging to a tradition meant acknowledging that they draw inspiration from the work of a distinguished representative of this tradition; difficult, because the ongoing reproduction of popular plays through the years altered them as conditions required, without consulting their nominal authors.9 This explains, as will be discussed later in this volume (Papaioannou, chapter 4; Sharrock, chapter 5), why, for example, Terence eagerly claimed Plautus as one of the auctores that directly influenced his work, yet denied he knew of a play Colax by Plautus (An. 15-21, Eun. 30-4). The involvement of the audience in the successful production of a theatrical performance is the third pre-supposition in the proper assessment of Terence’s interpretative revision of earlier tradition. An audience attests that a literary interpretation is successful, that the new literary product is original and has been properly re-contextualised. Identifying the details of the re-contextualisation is the audience’s interpretation of the author’s interpretation. In order to lead, even manipulate his audience to accept his interpretation as their own, the author/interpreter needs to employ three additional pre-understandings: the representation of the situation, the recasting of the situation from new perspectives, and the employment of a special language. A playwright must be able to represent the situation to be interpreted, which means to produce what the audience anticipates from experience, ‘a play along Plautine play after Plautus’ death; on the revision and alteration of Plautus’ plays on stage in Terence’s time (a process known with the scholarly term retractatio) see Coulter (1911) 8-15; Duckworth (1952) 65-8; and Parker (1996) 587-90. 9 Goldberg (2005) 52-86, esp. 66-7.



traditional lines’, in Terence’s case, a Plautine-type palliata. Then, in the context of this representation, our playwright will introduce certain innovations, by violating traditional motifs, changing structures, altering typical characterisation, etc.—parameters which will enable the most experienced and better educated among his audience to change their own interpretative perspective accordingly. The third pre-understanding is the employment of a special language, Terence’s purus sermo. This comic language that has been admired by Cicero and Caesar in the first century BCE, and has been held by Quintilian to exemplify proper Latin speech alongside the languages of Cicero, Sallust and Vergil, has been the reason for the survival and continuous transmission of Terence’s complete corpus throughout the Middle Ages, since it has been endowed with a “simplicity and an elegance that make [Terence] proper to be accurately studied as a model” as late as the early 19th century, according to the second US president John Adams.10 Terence’s language constitutes an exemplary and ingenious way of model interpretation in more than one respect: inspired by the popularity of Menander post mortem thanks to his language, the common Attic speech which avoids dialectic infusions and extreme colloquialism, Terence similarly “chose consciously to distance himself from the linguistic/stylistic tradition of Plautus”.11 To be clear, Terence did not imitate Menander’s language and style but rather Menander’s inventive forging of a sophisticated yet ostensibly simple language. Menander’s language was at once widely understood and distinctly personal, and yet meant to be embraced for its clarity of meaning, but also appreciated for its ability to produce a sexual joke through suggestive verbal humour and a clever turn of phrase, not vulgarity and explicitness, graphic language, or obscene gestures.12 The authenticity in Terence’s reproduction of Menander’s plain speech is to be found in the production of plays from a complete scripted text that the actors were not allowed to alter during the performance (cf. full discussion in chapter 1). The ‘fixidity’ of Terence’s texts pointedly contrasted the fluidity of Plautus’ plot-making that was marked by the actors’ improvisation while on stage, and this conscious break-away from the Plautine tradition is repeatedly commented upon in Terence’s extradiegetic prologues, where references to the act of writing 10

McCullough (2001) 259; the phrase is recorded in one of the letters Adams wrote to his son advising the latter on his readings. 11 The phrase is quoted from the back cover of Karakasis (2005) referring to the language of Eunuch. 12 On the sophisticated ‘simplicity’ of Menander’s language see recently Krauss and Miner (2009).

Terence and Interpretation


feature prominently with formulaic frequency. This new technique may or may not have won over the audience who attended these plays during the dramatist’s lifetime,13 but it certainly proved catalytic in making Terence a timeless classic across the centuries. In this respect, Terence succeeded in surpassing Menander’s popularity, after all. The interpretative aspect of Terence’s creative reaction to earlier tradition strings together the six papers in the First Part (‘Terence as Interpreter’). Sophia Papaioannou’s study of the prologues in the opening chapter (“The Innovator’s Poetic Self-Presentation: Terence’s Prologues as Interpretative Texts of Programmatic Poetics”) follows the way Terence’s interpretative interaction with the tradition of literary antagonism, and his capitalising on self-consciousness as a distinct style of personal expression, are articulated. The fabula palliata as a genre born and developed within a culture of antagonism logically may reflect upon its own poetics. Several important recent studies principally on Plautus have shown that there are numerous passages in which a play comments on its own merits or on the merits of another play by the same playwright.14 Papaioannou studies how poetic self-consciousness becomes a thematic motif in Terence’s palliata poetics and she follows how the mission of comic craftsmanship is articulated in the diction of the Terentian prologue along these lines. The Terentian prologue is engineered to be a political text that declares innovative poetics and, following after the example of the Callimachean Aetia prologue, transforms itself into a text with programmatic function. The principal elements of the meta-language of the prologues will be identified and analysed in this chapter to the extent that they recontextualise traditional palliata poetics. In the opening section Papaioannou focuses on the metaliterary and meta-linguistic significance of contaminatio, the principal accusation cast against Terence’s works, and the variant accusation of furtum (section I). Subsequently, she examines the vetus vs. novus poeta dichotomy in the context of poetic succession, and the literary politics tied to it (section II). The remainder of the chapter (section III) is concerned with the employment of the technology of oral poetic composition in the prologues in conjunction with the declaration that these texts (and the plays following them) are pieces of laborious writing. The emphasis on the scripted character of the plays to 13

For the critical majority Terence’s plays were less popular than Plautus’ own; contra Parker (1996). 14 E.g. Blänsdorf (1982); Riemer (1996); Frangoulidis (1997); Moore (1998); Slater (2000); Batstone (2005); Marshall (2006).



be produced directs the peculiar style of model-manipulation exercised by Terence. The interplay between orality and literacy in the prologues encapsulates Terence’s new language of comic expression, which transfers Menander’s comic style into Latin and also tries to incorporate parts of spontaneous dramaturgy as to maintain a distinctly Roman authorial identity. By virtue of his stylised language, Terence stood outside, even rejected the consistent traditional style of Roman light drama, which is evident in the scripts of Plautus and the comic fragments alike.15 By building on research on Terence’s own style, Jarrett Welsh in the second chapter (“Singing the Sermo Comicus with Terence”) sets out to consider how Terence interpreted and exploited stylistic tics of the traditional sermo comicus. Welsh points out that Terence’s language is not monolithic: the dramatist was a skilful manipulator of speech, striving for diverse effects by modulating the utterances of character-types and of individual personages alike.16 One of those desired effects was, broadly, the abandonment of the traditional style, but it is also clear that Terence had a finely honed sense of that style and could imitate it when it suited him, as Eunuch amply and eloquently demonstrates.17 Just as J. Wright [(1974) 195] has argued that we must judge Plautus not by his failure to escape tradition, but by his success within that tradition, so too, it would seem, we must judge Terence not just as a dramatist who abandoned the language of his comic predecessors with little impact, linguistically, upon his successors, but also as a comedian who could work within tradition, exploiting its recognisable linguistic qualities to achieve his dramatic ends. Focusing especially on language but with a secondary concern for dramatic function, Welsh examines the effects of traditional comic language in Terence’s ‘songs’ (both mutatis modis cantica and the isolated lyric cantica of Andria and Adelphoe), aiming at a two-fold goal. First, he argues that Terence, like his predecessors but also his successors, exploited songs at moments of high emotion and high dramatic tension. This observation is not surprising, but is significant as an indicator of how attuned Terence was to the emotional fluctuations that we can now trace in the scripts of Plautus; for all that Terence abandoned Plautine polymetry and style, we can also see him fashioning his own interpretation of comic song and its functions. Secondly, he points out that, in the irruption of 15

J. Wright (1974); Karakasis (2005). For instance, Maltby (1979), (1985); Martin (1995); Karakasis (2005), (2003), on meter. 17 With Karakasis (2005) 121-43. 16

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elements of the traditional sermo comicus into the songs, we can see Terence’s interpretation of that style. These arguments are necessarily somewhat more subjective than traditional arguments about the distribution of linguistic items, but they open up an important aspect of the function of linguistic colouring in Terence. While Terence sought certain verisimilistic effects in the modulations of language he gave his characters, he could also make those characters speak like their Roman comic ancestors; in those momentary irruptions of ‘Plautinity’, we get a glimpse of Terence interpreting and reworking the style of his predecessors. The focus stays on Terence’s language also in the third chapter, but the interpretative perspective now is dictated by genre. Evangelos Karakasis (“Tragic and Epic Interactions in Terentian Comedy”) takes off from the premise that the language of Terence is a literary construction, a Kunstsprache, a rhetorically embellished sermo, often stylised and made up (fraught with inflated/padded style, a range of figures of speech, etc.), which occasionally makes use of several means to further distance itself from common linguistic habits. In this endeavour the comic dramatist draws not only on his archaising register but also on the diction of higher poetic registers (epic, tragedy), and specialised registers such as the sacral language, the legal and the formal-official sermo in general. The study of the influx of linguistic elements from other literary genres, specifically tragedy and epic, in Terence, is Karakasis’ primary concern. Karakasis notes that tragedy, epic and comedy are the three genres mainly favoured by the Early Latin poets, with some of them (Livius Andronicus, Ennius, Naevius) composing in all three. By the time of Plautus and Terence, each of these three genres had developed their own tradition and distinctive generic markers in terms of themes and language/style, but ‘generic interaction’ operated without interruption, becoming with the passing of time subtler and more complex. This was especially the case with comedy, which traditionally invested in the transformation of the lofty genres of epic and tragedy, either by assimilation or by stark differentiation, in order to produce laughter. Within this broad interpretative perspective, Karakasis looks into the way Terentian comedy interacts with the tragic and the epic, and advances a threefold approach: first, to survey the way in which this practice adds to the unfolding of the comic plot and the production of (generic) meaning, both in terms of a specific scene or dramatic act, and also within the whole of a comic drama; second, to examine this Terentian practice against the backdrop of the palliata tradition, especially Plautus; and third, to explore the means by which such a technique may be used for character



delineation and individualisation. Instances of such ‘generic interaction’ between tragedy or epic and comedy contribute to our understanding of the ways in which Terence read and, as such, interpreted earlier literature that often functions as a Terentian intertext. Terence’s decision to follow Menander rather than other equally popular Greek dramatists of New Comedy, such as Diphilos or Philemon, was directed both by the original style of Menander’s comic speech (which was the exception rather than the rule during Menander’s lifetime, and yet was the reason he skyrocketed in popularity after his death) and by the knowledge that Menander was not Plautus’ primary model. The fourth chapter, by Sophia Papaioannou, titled “Terence’s Literary SelfConsciousness and the Anxiety of Menander’s Influence”, focuses on various registers of the special relationship between Terence and Menander, specifically as this applies to the phenomenon of literary metatheatricality. The chapter identifies and explores examples of model referentiality in Terence, wherein it is possible to identify interaction with the Menandrian text (though not necessarily a specific Menandrian text). The anatomy of this intertextual engagement showcases Terence’s approach towards ‘interpreting’ the model, meaning his effort to identify issues that exhibit the originality of Menander in the context of the Comedy genre of his day, and underscore their importance by treating them anew in conjunction with his own understanding of the reformed palliata. Two representative case studies illustrate the thoughtful character of Terence’s agonistic interaction with Menander. In the first, Papaioannou zooms in on the question of the potential textual relationship between Terence’s Eunuchus and Menander’s Kolax, acknowledged in the prologue to Eunuchus (whose primary model is Menander’s Eunouchos); there, Terence states that he took the characters of the parasite and the soldier in his Eunuchus from Kolax—and only from that play. With this statement, Terence underscores his independence from other famous Roman dramatic ‘readings’ of Kolax (and possibly alerts his audience to those other plays), and encourages an appreciation of his innovative reinterpretation of the stock comic character of the parasite that plays a dominant role in all these plays. Papaioannou’s second example of intertextual interpretation discusses the creative reception of the political character of New Comedy in Terence, as depicted in Phormio and the dramatisation therein of situations informed by Athenian family legislation. The play develops around the Athenian law of the epiklƝros and comments upon a series of important issues on citizenship identity.

Terence and Interpretation


Terence chose to ‘Romanise’ this distinctly Athenian dramatic cultural environment by urging his audience to discern the meta-dramatic commentary behind a political façade. In the next chapter (“Terence, the Corrective Reader and Innovator”) Alison Sharrock argues along similar but much broader lines. She explores Terence’s interpretative readings not only of Menander but of the entire comic tradition that preceded (and, perhaps, even haunted) him. This tradition includes Plautus, Aristophanes but also Euripides, whose later plays are generally considered to have inspired important changes in the evolution of the comic drama during the fourth century. Coming at the end of the first great flowering of Roman literature, Terence was acutely conscious of his place within a dramatic and literary tradition. Although parody of other literature, particularly comic parody of tragedy, had played a role in Greek and Roman drama for centuries, Terence was remarkable in the extent to which he applied careful and critical reading of earlier texts in the composition of his own, thus producing pointed re-readings which we may see as early precursors of the Augustan method of intertextuality and poetic correction. Sharrock draws on a number of case studies to explore Terence’s knowing corrections of past dramatic texts and his innovations in narrative technique. An example of such ‘correction’ of specific earlier texts is the overheard scene which causes a change of heart in Hecyra and Epitrepontes. This scene is transferred from the young couple to one of the older couples, thus greatly developing the strands of human interaction involved in the play. This chapter will also offer a close reading of Phormio, as a case study in Terentian techniques of narrative exposition and direction of the audience as reader, both of the play itself and of the tradition. Sharrock’s analysis comprises the parasite-type embodied in Phormio and the particularly complicated portrait of the senex amator Chremes, whose conduct in this play “appears to take erotic complication among the older generation to a level of excess almost unparalleled in Greek and Roman Comedy” (Sharrock, this volume, p. 138). The portrait of the extraordinary senex amator and the plot developing around an adulterous-bigamous situation as a result, evoke similar circumstances in Plautus, most clearly the plots of Epidicus and Cistellaria, which Sharrock then proceeds to illustrate, and thus prove the corrective, innovative revision that the Plautine plotting has undergone in Phormio. In the sixth and last chapter of Part One, Papaioannou looks at Terentian characterisation as another way of interpretation (“Terence’s



Stock Characters and Plots: Stereotypes ‘Interpreted’”). Terence evokes the typical behaviour of stock characters only to prove that prejudices are wrong. Thus, in Andria the old man both enters the play with a plan of his own and implements it by tricking his son into marrying a bride he, the father, has chosen. Furthermore, nearly all courtesans in Terence are agreeable and kind; Sostrata, the matrona of Hecyra, is the most sympathetic female of her dramatic kind; while her son, the adulescens in the same play, takes over the callidus part and along with it the control of the plot. Even more impressive than the magnanimous courtesans and the amicable wives, is Terence’s marginalisation of the ‘cunning slave’, a process that evolves gradually in the six-play corpus. Such a dynamic revision of comic stereotypes is vital in bringing forth the liveliness of Terence’s dramatic art. Audience and characters alike are deceived because they rely on social and comic expectations. From this perspective, Terence interprets ‘deception’ (a crucial concept in New Comedy) anew, giving it a new dimension. The first half of the chapter follows the gradual deposition of the cunning slave from the control of the plot in all six plays, and assesses the alternative mechanisms developed in replacement, from the standpoint of dramaturgical artistry and appeal to an audience trained to determine the success of a palliata on the basis of set criteria dictated by genre. The remaining part discusses mostly Hecyra and argues that the plot of deception is played out against the background of social and comic stereotypes. Such an approach is crucially informed by the reading of Hecyra in Sharrock (2009) and focuses on the subversion of stock characters as being the driving force of Terence’s comic plot. To that end, Papaioannou examines the overall behaviour of Terence’s characters, but also analyses conventional comic diction in detail, in order to show that Terence raises his audience’s expectations only to flout them. The Second Part (‘Interpretations of Terence’), comprised of four chapters in total, examines Terence’s artistry from the perspective of his readers. These readers, unlike the dramatist’s contemporary audience, are experienced literary critics–professional appraisers of literature or literary figures themselves. In their own peculiar ways, they read Terence’s plays from a philological standpoint which is directed by individual objectives. Their approach is markedly different from the reaction of literary critics when confronted with dynamic and complex intertextual compositions forged in agonistic context and at the eve of a great cultural revolution. This, however, does not mean that these ancient readers were not alive to literary criticism. At least Donatus was very much interested in Terence’s

Terence and Interpretation


characterisation and the way Terence experiments with the conventions of New Comedy as far as character portrayal is concerned (see Demetriou’s discussion in chapter 9). The philological interpretations of Terence explored here include those of Cicero, Donatus and the long tradition of the medieval translators of Andria from the tenth century CE onwards. Chapter 7, by Gesine Manuwald, defines, as the title denotes, “Cicero, an Interpreter of Terence”. Cicero is well known to quote extensively from early Roman drama in almost all of his writings. As he is still linked to the creative period of early Roman drama, since he knew Accius and saw performances in the theatre, in addition to reading dramatic scripts, he is generally regarded as one of the main sources on early Roman drama and its reception in the first century BCE. In the case of Roman Republican tragedy and other dramatic genres that only survive in fragments, Cicero’s references have contributed to preserving pieces and can provide clues as to how these isolated lines may be interpreted. It is, however, obvious that it was not Cicero’s aim to record information on early Roman drama (he did not write dramatic treatises like his contemporary Varro); instead, he refers to verses and scenes as an element within the general knowledge of an educated Roman of his day and exploits the material in his argument. Manuwald notes that whenever Cicero quotes from fragmentary plays, there are often hints in his text suggesting that he interprets the excerpts in a particular way as it suits him, but it is impossible to establish the relationship between the original meaning in the dramatic context and Cicero’s interpretation. Within the area of Roman drama Terence (whom Cicero quotes more frequently than Plautus) provides a unique example since in this case Cicero’s references and interpretations can be checked against a complete text. Manuwald’s contribution, by means of a paradigmatic overview of some of Cicero’s most telling quotations of Terence, investigates how Cicero uses Terence and what this reveals about his reading of Terence. She explores whether there is any pattern or how far the views expressed and the details given in these quotations depend on the respective contexts, and subsequently considers how Cicero’s assessment of Terence’s works had an impact on designating these plays (as well as the plays of other early Roman dramatists) as pieces of literature. She also studies Cicero’s engagement with the plays, his tendency to excerpt quotations, and she underscores Cicero’s influence on the formation of the rules determining the reception of dramatic literature in the first century BCE. While some work on Cicero’s quotations of early Roman drama has already been done, Manuwald’s discussion is the first



systematic attempt to explore fully the specific character and function of Cicero’s references to Terence. Five centuries later, the Roman grammarian and rhetorician Aelius Donatus will produce a commentary on Terence’s plays. His comments constitute the earliest systematic interpretation of Terence and the source of necessary reference for all critical readers of Terence since. In this volume, the interpretative character of Donatus’ commentary is approached from two different but complementary angles. First, in chapter 8 (“Donatus on Style and Language in the Plays of Terence”), Robert Maltby investigates remarks in the commentary of Aelius Donatus, on the rhetorical theory of the proprium, or ‘appropriate style’ as it applies to the language of Terence’s plays. The comments contain discussions of the stylistic level appropriate to comedy as opposed to tragedy, and the circumstances in which tragic diction could be employed in comedy. They also discuss the levels of language appropriate to the different charactertypes and dramatic situations in the plays. In this respect, Maltby’s study is linked to Karakasis’ interpretative perspective of Terence’s style and the language of Terence’s characters. Karakasis is investigating Terence’s experimentation with language in the palliata setting, and Maltby is looking at how Donatus interprets Terence’s language. The chapter investigates Donatus’ views on the role in Terentian comedy of what he identifies as archaic and colloquial language, including dramatic interjections, and of etymological and other types of word play. The emphasis falls mainly on what Donatus sees as the literary function of these stylistic features in Terence. Maltby shows, however, that Donatus’ comments on style have a double educational role. While at a primary level they are concerned with making literary judgments on the plays under discussion, they are also aimed at providing his students with the knowledge of correct Latin usage as it applies to their own time and how this may on occasion differ from what was acceptable in the period in which Terence was writing. From this point of view the commentary can be taken as a valuable document for the state of the Latin language in the fourth century CE. In a final section of his chapter Maltby draws some general conclusions on the purpose of the stylistic comments analysed, on their relation to the ancient tradition of dramatic commentary, and on their role within the broader field of fourth-century rhetorical and linguistic education. The second paper on Donatus, by Chrysanthi Demetriou, looks at Donatus’ sensitive reading of characterisation in Terence (“Performing

Terence and Interpretation


Terence’s Characters: a Study of Donatus’ Interpretation”). The commentator, Demetriou indicates, elaborates—among other things—on the way Terence makes use of comic traditions and conventions. In such instances, Donatus finds the opportunity to explain aspects of the genre and proceeds further to praise Terence and analyse the way the playwright follows or even alters comic stereotypes and conventions. Perhaps the most well-known (and most discussed) instance of ‘surpassing’ the comic tradition is Donatus’ discussion about the comic courtesan.18 Nevertheless, as Demetriou illustrates in her contribution, Donatus is interested in other Terentian characters as well. After pointing out that Donatus’ references to Terence’s comic characters have been mainly treated in regard to the commentator’s interest in linguistic characterisation, Demetriou examines the systematic representation of comic characters by Terence. In this context, she argues that the commentator, following the principle that comic character-types are defined by certain characteristics, proceeds to a systematisation of these characters’ performance. Donatus’ scholia on the way Terence’s comedy is performed (in terms of voice, face and, mainly, gesture) often show a detailed interpretation of Terence’s characterisation; hence, according to the commentator, some well-known comic characters seem to present a uniform nonverbal behaviour which is consistent with their traditional (or even Terentian) characteristics. As Demetriou makes clear, the study of such scholia revolves around two axes: first, we have Donatus’ interpretation of Terence’s use of comic conventions and, second, we are consequently urged to think of Terence’s actual interpretation and use of such conventions, mostly in regard to the (visual) representation of well-known characters. Although considerations on Donatus’ sources and the context of his work lie in the background, the discussion focuses on the commentator’s principles of interpretation. The critical issue a modern reader faces, therefore, is to consider whether Donatus’ interpretation is always right. Directed by these questions Demetriou looks at Donatus’ scholia on performance with emphasis on Donatus’ discussion of comic character-types, in close connection with his understanding of central aspects in Terence’s comic composition. The final chapter, by Peter Brown, accomplishes the ambitious task of reviewing the long tradition of the translations of Andria, Terence’s first play, from the tenth century onwards (“Interpretations and Adaptations of Terence’s Andria, from the Tenth to the Twentieth Century”). In defining the scope of his study Brown begins with the acknowledgement of a 18

Detailed discussion in Demetriou (2010).



general approval for Terence’s works across the literary traditions in the centuries following the Late Antiquity, specifically from the tenth century onwards, and he proposes to systematise and present as ‘interpretations’ the different uses made of Andria across these centuries. In his own words, “the fortunes of [Andria] have been typical of the fortunes of all of Terence’s plays: they were admired, imitated, translated, performed and quoted, a reference point for anyone with any pretensions to learning or culture, for a great many centuries, and it was only in the twentieth century that they ceased to ‘maintain an universal, undisputed empire over the minds of men’ and became a rather specialised taste even within the world of Classical scholarship” (Brown, this volume, pp. 242-3). The exclusive focus on Andria is dictated first and foremost by the limitations of space (the reception of Terence’s work in the post-Latin European world, Brown admits, is a vast topic that has never yet been fully documented, and the variety of literary reactions recorded in the various national traditions requires a study much longer than a chapter), and secondly by the fact that Andria was the first Latin comedy ever to have been performed in the Renaissance (at Florence in 1476), the first Latin comedy to be translated into English (in the 1520s), and an overall Terentian favourite. Brown’s point of departure is not a translation but an adaptation of Terence’s Andria, by Hrotsvitha of Gandersheim, who created original literature by drawing directly and deliberately on Terence, and he discusses the extent to which one might discover critical intention behind Hrotswitha’s reproduction of the Terentian Andria phraseology and also how Hrotswitha’s prologues try to rephrase into her own dramatic context, so unlike that of Terence’s own (Hrotswitha’s comedies are about Christian saints), the polemic of Terence’s prologues. Then, Brown moves on to the 16th-century translations of Andria. First he discusses Machiavelli, where among other things he points out the influence of the commentators Guido Juvenalis and Donatus, whose interpretative comments influenced Machiavelli’s choice of expression at several points. Next, under Brown’s focus comes the first English translation of Andria, a team project, composed in 1520, for a production of the play at Cambridge University (a fairly accurate translation, in verse and in rhyme, and quite lively even though a bit more restrained than Machiavelli’s). The third and final 16thcentury translation Brown examines—in his view, the best of all—is the German translation by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, which was the first that translated Terence’s critical prologue, while also observed the meters of the original Latin and included stage directions. The next two sections in Brown’s chapter assess ‘interpretations’ of Andria, first in a series of staged performances, and then in various dramatic adaptations, all the way

Terence and Interpretation


to the 18th century. The chapter closes with two additional sections, respectively, on the inspirational influence of Andria in the works of two notable 20th-century novelists, Thornton Wilder and Samuel Beckett, and, most originally, on the incorporation of certain, readily detectable quotes from Andria in the speeches and writings by eminent politicians in the late 19th and the 20th century.



The literary prologue is a technical, carefully stylised literary form: it occupies the most conspicuous position in a text, and its narrative is usually distinguished by set conventions and structures. The prologue is the place where the author’s distinct personal voice is set. This personal signature may be defined in many different ways; it may introduce, for instance, a new literary theory or a generic profile that has gone through evolution.1 A prologue, in other words, has a very powerful interpretative function for conveying self-image and introducing new poetics. Terence’s prologues are such models of programmatic openings. Poetic self-presentation involves the construction and projection of an identity and a character in the course of a poem or an oeuvre. This poetic strategy was a distinct characteristic of the comic speech of Aristophanes and his antagonists, who were profoundly inspired by earlier lyric, since 1

Consequently, the prologues offer, to audiences who assess their performance in real time and to readers across time alike, insight into how Terence composed his comedies, and, more generally, assistance in understanding the evolution of Roman Comedy as literary genre. Prologues form part of what the literary theorist Gerard Genette calls the ‘paratext’. According to Genette the paratext is intrinsically connected to the text, influencing it in very specific ways, without actually forming part of it. The reading of the prologues advanced in this chapter embraces the idea that the prologues of Terence are engaged in a functional interactive relationship with the text proper of the comedies in order to examine how the paratext influences both the reception and interpretation of the text; on Genette and the definition of paratext see Genette (1997).


Chapter One

poetic self-consciousness was a literary practice firmly at work already in the archaic poetic tradition.2 Important work recently produced on Old Comedy deals extensively with what is defined as “the poetics of competition” and has shown that Aristophanes, Cratinus and their peers took care to position themselves as poets in the context of their own genre;3 to mark distinctly “one’s own poetic terrain, while responding to, competing with, drawing on, correcting and distinguishing oneself from previous and/or contemporary works and individuals (on either an intrageneric or an intergeneric level, or both)”.4 The poets of Old Comedy inserted in their plays ideas and strands of Greek literary criticism influenced by the poetry of the archaic period, both epic (most notably the famous Contest of Homer and Hesiod5) and lyric,6 and by expressions of literary criticism in contemporary (fifth century) literature.7 In addition to highlighting the agonistic dimension that is part of the importation of literary criticism, and disclosing the anxiety of each poet to prove his superiority over his rivals, the adoption of a certain poetic stance is aided by the development of a special language, both in terms of themes and structure, and in terms of special vocabulary. This special language was built on the idea of contest more broadly defined, in terms of the process of competition (‘agon’) that takes place when the contest materialises, but also in terms of the judgment (‘krisis’) that is the motivation for, and desired conclusion of, the competition. This language of literary competition was signalled prominently by using an older poet’s strategy for programmatic purposes.8 2

For literary personae in archaic lyric see Slings (1990); Carey (2000); Kurke (2007); Morrison (2007). 3 Most recently Biles (2002) and (2011); Bakola (2010). 4 Bakola (2008) 1, while discussing the comic poet’s persona and literary criticism. 5 On the influence of the Contest on Aristophanes’ Frogs see Cavalli (1999); Ford (2002), 282; Rosen (2004); and on Peace see Hall (2006) 344-51. Likewise closely related to the spirit of the Contest was Archilochoi by Cratinus, a comedy that dramatised a contest between Archilochus, on the one side, and Homer and Hesiod, on the other, declaring the former victorious; on this Bakola (2010) 70-80. 6 Rosen (1988) on the fifth-century comic dramatists’ awareness of comedy’s generic relationship with the iamb and the iambographic tradition led by Archilochus; specifically on the influence of Archilochus on Aristophanes see Zanetto (2001). 7 See most recently M. Wright (2009); (2010); (2012). On literary criticism as a defining characteristic of the fifth-century tragic and comic genres see the contributions in Bakola/Prauscello/Telò (2013). 8 On Old Comedy see Bakola (2010) 13-80, on Cratinus’ fashioning an ideal presentation of his authentic comic self by utilising poetic expressions and

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Old Comedy emphasises self-reflexivity especially when the comic author himself appears in the play and delivers quasi-personal information. This information supposedly is historical and is utilised to create a fictionalised acting persona for the playwright. The persona Aristophanes created for himself was that of the young but courageous poet who, despite the daunting odds against him, undertakes alone to fashion anew both the city politics and the rules pertaining to the genre of comedy. Aristophanes sets out to prove that the comedy of his rivals is vulgar and populist in order to generate easy laughter.9 This authorial persona was fashioned most distinctly in the special, metatheatrical, section of the comedy, the parabasis. Recent criticism has shown that self-referential comments on one’s own poetic identity are scattered across the play; in fact they tend to appear in greater concentration in the opening of the play. Also, the parts that have been identified as self-referential tend to favour a parabasis-like language. Finally, the self-referential, authorial comments are often identified with motifs that constitute typical allegories of poetic inspiration.10 Poetically charged comments are present also in the beginning section of an Old Comedy, the parodos, wherein the chorus assumes the persona of the poet in his role of the poet-teacher. Aristophanes has been shown to use this literary convention also in his exodos.11

strategies of the archaic lyric poets; the Homeric texts have been the poetry subjected the most to multiple re-readings directed by literary antagonism; see Graziosi (2002); and (2001) esp. 60-2, which discusses Hesiod’s antagonistic treatment of earlier literary traditions, and identifies these traditions with Homer specifically; also Rosen (1990). 9 Hubbard (1991); more recently Bakola (2008) both on Aristophanes and Eupolis; and Bakola (2010) 65ff. 10 On Aristophanes see Hubbard (1991); Dobrov (1995), esp. comments on p. 50; on Eupolis see Storey (2003); on Cratinus see Bakola (2010). The comic dramatist is typically self-referred to as a ‘drunk’ or ‘wine-drinker’, alluding to a special, exclusive relationship with Dionysus the patron god of Comedy; cf. Aristophanes Knights 85-140, with Ruffell (2002) 148-50; also Knights 526-36, calling Cratinus a drunk and making fun of his being in a permanent state of ‘manic drivelling’ (ʌĮȡĮȜȘȡȠ૨ȞIJĮ, 531; ȜȘȡİ૙Ȟ, 534); these comments of Aristophanes inspired the composition of Cratinus’ Pytine in response, wherein Cratinus caricatured himself as a drivelling drunk; details in Bakola (2010) 59-65. 11 In this respect, the parodoi and the exodoi of Old Comedy may operate as typical literary sphragis-like pieces; see details in Hordern (2002) 228-9; Calame (2004a); on the exodoi of Aristophanes as signature pieces see Calame (2004b) 182-3.


Chapter One

In the pattern of Aristophanes’ heroes, Terence’s prologus-persona brings up a firm set of themes with marked consistency. Similarly, the character of poetic antagonism detected in the Terentian introductory setpieces is informed by ideology originally articulated in Old Comedy.12 This kinship may not necessarily mean that Terence had direct access to the plays of Aristophanes and his peers, which in fact had been out of fashion already with the comedians of the MesƝ, and were not part of the dramatic repertoire of the ‘artists of Dionysus’—though one may not exclude the possibility that some personal and private study of copies of Aristophanic scripts were being supplied to Terence (as well as to other Roman dramatists) by returning acting groups, upon request.13 Nor is it my purpose to trace Terence’s debt to Aristophanes. Rather, the articulation of self-referential poetics and the meta-language of literary antagonism observed in Old Comedy and studied systematically in the past decade will be consulted only if they help identify and describe the modus operandi of similar phenomena in Terence’s prologues. The fabula palliata as a genre born and developed within a culture of antagonism logically may reflect upon its own poetics. Several important recent studies principally on Plautus have shown that there are numerous passages in which a play comments on its own merits or on the merits of another play by the same playwright.14 The present chapter will prove that 12

The parallelism has been remarked upon briefly and most recently in McGill (2012) 118. 13 It is generally believed that by the time of Menander Old Comedy had stopped being popular; owing to their strictly Athenocentric content, the plays of Aristophanes and the Old Comedians were not an obvious choice of a play to stage for the internationally oriented, travelling theatre companies of the ‘artists of Dionysus’, who preferred instead the ostensibly apolitical, situational comic scripts of New Comedy and the farcical mythological plots of Middle Comedy. These ‘artists of Dionysus’ were catalytic for the birth of Roman Comedy; their performance tours included regular visits to the Greek-speaking colonies of Sicily and Southern Italy, which since the years of the First Carthaginian war had been in regular contact with Rome; on the decline of political satire in the fourth century and the lack of political interest among the New Comedy audiences, certainly the international ones, see now Nervegna (2013) esp. 11-62; also Konstantakos (2011) esp. 153-74; most earlier studies rather superficially attribute the phenomenon to external censorship and pressures by the political authorities; cf. e.g. Nesselrath (1990) 30-45 and Sidwell (2000). See also the comments on the arrival and professionalisation of acting in Plautine Rome in Brown (2002). 14 Plautus and metatheatre was popularised in Slater (2000); the revolutionary effect of dramatic self-awareness on the popularity of Plautine drama actually had been noted a little earlier in Blänsdorf (1982); in the last twenty years critics have

The Innovator’s Poetic Self-Presentation


poetic self-consciousness is a primary force in redirecting palliata poetics. The new direction in the tradition of the palliata is evident also in the mission of comic craftsmanship as articulated in the diction of the Terentian prologue. As a result, the prologue becomes a political text, a declaration of innovative poetics, and as such it is evocative of the statements of self-reflexivity in Old Comedy, as well as of similar selfreflexive signature pieces of other literary traditions, such as archaic lyric and Hellenistic literature, wherein the poet articulates his artistic principles and defines his poetic concerns (and, on occasion, identifies himself, too) more or less directly. As in these special pieces, a special ‘language’ of self-conscious poetics is firmly at work in Terence’s prologues, and the principal elements of this code language will be identified and analysed in this chapter, to the extent that they re-contextualise traditional palliata poetics. I shall begin by focusing on the metaliterary/meta-linguistic significance of contaminatio, the principal accusation cast against Terence’s works, and the variant concept/accusation of furtum (section I). Next, I shall examine the vetus vs. novus poeta dichotomy in the context of poetic succession, and the literary politics tied to it (section II). The orality-vsliteracy dimension of Terence’s prologues is discussed in the final part of the chapter (section III). This dimension is to be observed in the employment of the technology of oral poetic composition—manifested, among other things, in the strategically planned vocabulary and themes, their recurrent presence in the prologues and in contextually kindred sections, and the introduction of the prologus-speaker as an orator and actor at once—, in combination with recurrent references to the prologues (and to the plays overall) as pieces of laborious writing. The emphasis on the scriptedness of the plays to be produced governs Terence’s peculiar style of model-manipulation and causes the young dramatist to stand apart from the earlier generation of palliata dramatists now feeling threatened by him. The interplay between orality and literacy in the prologues directs the formation of the new language of comic expression in Terence’s plays. This language transfers Menander’s comic language into Latin but also tries to incorporate parts of spontaneous dramaturgy in order to maintain a distinctly Roman authorial identity. The forces of the Menandrian subtext in relation to the mosaic of authorial self-references in Terence’s plays will be closely examined in chapter 4. illustrated new aspects of the phenomenon of dramatic self-consciousness. Notable studies include Riemer (1996); Frangoulidis (1997); Moore (1998); Batstone (2005); and Marshall (2006). Frangoulidis in particular has published a number of studies on metatheatre in Terence [Frangoulidis (1993), (1994a), (1994b), (1995)].


Chapter One

I. Contaminatio and the Concept of Furtum The perpetration of contaminatio, some sort of ‘contamination’ regarding the handling of the Greek model or models, along with that of furtum, ‘theft’, or more correctly, plagiarism15 (i.e. the reworking of a Greek play that had already been translated into Latin, and/or brought to the Roman stage in adapted form) are two grave accusations, which, in conjunction with an infelicitous application of the vortere/vertere process, Terence is called to fight in his prologues. These accusations beset his career as a dramaturge from the very beginning. Already in the prologue to his first play, Andria, Terence’s critics accuse him of improper playwriting practices, as they point out to him that it is not right to contaminate plays (An. 15ff.). This contaminatio is not clearly defined but it definitely involves the combination of plot material from more than one different play. Terence fends off the accusation not by refusing to accept that he did what he was accused of, but rather by denying that he is culpable, because he only did that which had already been embraced by his most venerable predecessors, indeed his very models, Naevius, Plautus and Ennius.16 If he is found guilty of contaminatio, Terence seems to argue, then Naevius, Plautus and Ennius should be considered guilty as well. If they committed contaminatio, and were not punished for doing so, why should Terence be punished? By aligning himself with the three leading palliata-writers of the earlier generation, whom no one would have accused of a similar violation of composition conventions, Terence exculpates himself, and, instead, makes his accusers look bad for insinuating that the same accusation should be brought against the three great dramatists. And in case Naevius, Plautus and Ennius, have all violated the rules of palliata composition, Terence readily acknowledges that he would rather be accused of following the examples of his three predecessors—and refusing 15

On furtum as the most prevalent term in Latin for ‘plagiarism’ see now McGill (2012) 8-9 and passim; Mülke [(2008) 195 n. 602] calls furtum the terminus technicus for plagiarism in Latin. 16 According to Brown [(2009) xvii–xix] Terence may simply mean that Plautus and the others had adapted Greek plays with some freedom, not necessarily by ‘spoiling’ them in the sense defined with respect to Terence’s adaptation of Greek plays. Yet, Brown wonders, why were Plautus and the others never accused of contaminatio? Is it because their adaptations were too free? Brown’s questions encourage an interesting hypothesis. Liberty to distance oneself from the model at will, may indeed have saved Plautus from the accusation of contaminatio, since Plautus’ freedom with the model, contrary to Terence’s closeness to it, likely constitutes the most prominent difference between Plautus’ versus Terence’s theory of model appropriation.

The Innovator’s Poetic Self-Presentation


to observe convention as his critics presumably have done—if this would result in the production of a play comparable in quality to the plays of Plautus, Ennius and Naevius, and not to his critics’ ‘canonical’ compositions. A careful study of the history of the term contaminare strongly suggests that the characterisation of Terence’s fusion of multiple models as contaminatio does not necessarily have such a strong negative content, as several modern critics of Roman Comedy seem to believe.17 The term as employed in Terence is a negative one, coming from the accusers whom Terence allegedly quotes here. The definition of the ‘negativity’, however, is subjective, for the content of the term contaminatio in Terence’s time need not be necessarily identical to the meaning of the same term in later centuries, when Terence’s commentators embraced the negative significance of this technical term and suggested how literary critics would understand the very term henceforth. Indeed, Donatus’ understanding of ‘contaminatio’ as the act of touching something with dirty hands, hence, the act of polluting and defiling,18 is informed by the meaning of contaminatio in the classical prose texts, notably Cicero, Livy and Tacitus, among others. The verb contaminari/e as employed twice in Terence’s prologues (An. 16 and Heaut. 17) may be a descriptive rather than a qualifying term: it means ‘to bring into union, to mingle, blend together’,

17 Notably, Duckworth [(1952) 204], according to whom, “A Greek play was defiled (in the eyes of literal translators) if alien matter was added to it from another source; perhaps also the second original was spoiled for later adaptation if a part of it was inserted into another play. It should be noted that to speak of a Latin comedy as being ‘contaminated’ is highly inaccurate; it was always the Greek play that suffered injury”. The bibliography on contaminatio is large: notable studies include Körte (1916); Waltz (1938); Beare (1940) and (1959); Duckworth (1952) 202-8; Chalmers (1957); Simon (1961); Kujore (1974); Gratwick (1982) 116-8; Goldberg (1986) 91-122; and most recently Germany (2008) especially chapter 4. A detailed list of the most important publications on the topic is recorded in the bibliographical section of Germany (2008) which is the most thorough discussion to date of Terence’s source-manipulation technique in Eunuch; also, on contaminatio in the togata see Daviault (1981) 21-2 with n. 1. 18 1 CONTAMINARI ‘contaminare’ proprie est manibus luto plenis aliquid attingere et polluere. 2 contaminare contingere est. — Vergilius “linqui pollutum hospitium”. 3 CONTAMINARI ‘contaminari’ tangi et relinqui polluta manu ac per hoc uelut foedari aut maculari, ut ipse ait “ne hoc gaudium contaminet uita aegritudine aliqua [= Ter. Eun. 522]”. 4 CONTAMINARI NON DECERE id est: ex multis unam non decere facere.


Chapter One

the blending of parts of multiple comedies into one.19 A closer examination of the passages themselves is worth our while: quae convenere in Andriam ex Perinthia fatetur transtulisse atque usum pro suis. id isti vituperant factum atque in eo disputant 15 contaminari non decere fabulas. faciuntne intellegendo ut nil intellegant? qui quom hunc accusant, Naevium Plautum Ennium accusant quos hic noster auctores habet, quorum aemulari exoptat neglegentiam 20 potius quam istorum obscuram diligentiam. An. 13-21 (Our author confesses that he has transferred anything suitable from the ‘Woman of Perinthos’ to the ‘Woman of Andros’ and made free use of it. His critics abuse him for doing this, arguing that it is not right to contaminate plays in this way. But isn’t their cleverness making them obtuse? In criticizing our author, they are actually criticizing Naevius, Plautus, and Ennius, whom he takes as his models, preferring to imitate their carelessness in this respect rather than the critics’ own dreary pedantry). nam quod rumores distulerunt malevoli multas contaminasse Graecas, dum facit paucas Latinas: factum id esse hic non negat neque se pigere et deinde facturum autumat. habet bonorum exemplum quo exemplo sibi 20 licere [id] facere quod illi fecerunt putat. Heaut. 16-21


Cf. LS s.v. contamino I.B, for the meaning in Terence’s prologues; and II, for the later, unanimously negative meaning of the term. Most interestingly, the entry of the Oxford English Dictionary for ‘contamination’ is informed by the particular use of the term in Terence’s prologues. Specifically, the OED’s entry for contaminare distinguishes between the general meaning as pollution or corruption (l.a and b), and the technical usage as a philological term of art for the blending of stories (c), lexical forms (d), or manuscripts (e). These technical, specialised meanings focus on the act of mixture per se, an ethically unqualified technical activity, as opposed to ruining. Further, meanings (d) and (e) are developments from (c), and both exempla offered for (c) are from texts discussing Roman Comedy obviously inspired by the employment of the term in Terence, because the word never appears in Plautus or in the fragments of any other Roman comic writer.

The Innovator’s Poetic Self-Presentation


(Malicious people have spread rumours to the effect that the playwright has contaminated many Greek plays while creating few Latin ones. He does not deny that this is so; he does not regret it and he declares that he will do the same again. He has good writers as a precedent, and he reckons that with them as a precedent he is permitted to do what they did).

In the Andria passage Terence admits that he not only adapted, in Latin, Menander’s Andria but he ‘transferred’ (transtulisse) some part of Menander’s Perinthia in the final Latin script of Andria and ‘used it as his own’. His antagonists, however, blamed him for this and argued back that ‘plays should not be brought together’. In response, Terence does not deny that he did engage in contaminatio,20 but defends himself by pointing out that this practice is hardly his own brainchild; the ‘mingling’ of plays was already part of the palliata tradition, since it had been used in the plays of Naevius, Plautus and Ennius—without anyone having contested the employment of the technique at the time. The vituperatio of Terence’s opponents, in other words, does not concern the outcome of the contaminare process, but the legitimacy of this process. The same, strictly technical meaning of ‘mingling’, ‘joining together’, is at work in the second attestation of contaminari/e, in the prologue of Heautontimorumenos, and the accusation is phrased in a nearly identical structure and in synonymous vocabulary. Luscius and his team, called malevoli, claim that Terence ‘joined together’ [by means of contaminatio] many Greek plays and made few Latin ones. The accusation is discredited as false from the beginning (rumores distulerunt, ‘they dispersed false allegations’), but it is unclear what exactly the false allegation here is, since on the lines immediately following the description of Terence’s ‘crime’, our poet admits that he did commit exactly what the accusers allege. He even continues by saying that he has no regrets for what he did because in doing so he follows the example of other playwrights, whom he characterises as ‘men of worth’ (exemplum bonorum)—a characterisation likely reflecting a general opinion on these particular men, not just Terence’s own assessment. In light of the Andria prologue the audience is led to identify these boni with the model playwrights of the previous generation, namely, Naevius, Plautus and Ennius. Since they are beyond reproach, yet all three have practiced contaminatio, then contaminatio is not the literary outcome, but the very literary process of palliata composition. 20

Notably, the nominal term contaminatio does not occur in literature prior to the third century CE, and these early appearances do not communicate the technical meaning the verbal form of the word had in Terence’s prologues.


Chapter One

From the above reading of the two passages, it becomes clear that a) contaminatio is a particular type of combining more than one different Greek text into a single new Latin one; b) it is reprehensible not because it produces plays of inferior quality,21 but because it becomes an eligible way of manipulating Greek models; and c) Terence readily admits that he practices the exact type of model manipulation, but denies the ineligibility of his initiative because he has been preceded by others who not only were not blamed for this but rather were held as model representatives of the palliata genre. In short, it is never said that Terence produced inferior plays, or that he spoiled plays (for others), but to have embraced a practice that his accusers considered to be illegal. If we agree for the moment to take Terence’s self-justification at face value—after all, it is the common way of self-defence mounted by Terence on both occasions the contaminari/e accusation is discussed—then it is logical to conclude a) that the particular form of treating Greek models had been ruled inappropriate at some point in Terence’s recent past, but after the time of Naevius, Plautus and Ennius, and b) that this ruling had not met the unanimous acceptance of the dramatists’ community—and Terence obviously belonged in the company of those who refused to comply with it. Terence, one might suggest, employs his wit to turn the tables to his advantage by challenging the outright negative meaning of contaminari/e. His initiative is detected and affirmed (as well as proven to have survived), several centuries later when Jerome employs the term to record the accusation he received that he fused together parts from Origen’s various works: dicunt Origenis me volumina compilare et contaminari non decere veterum scripta (they say that I plunder the volumes of Origen and that it is not proper to contaminate [that is, ‘to fuse together’] the writings of the ancients).22 The structure of the sections in the two prologues wherein the term contaminari/e is set is very similar. Both times Terence is reprimanded by the accuser for initiating something against convention, and both times Terence defends himself by claiming that he is just following precedent. This parallelism draws attention to the similar diction used in the two plays to describe the accusation itself: contaminari/e non decet fabulas in Andria, and multas contaminasse Graecas, dum facit paucas Latinas in Heautontimorumenos. This similarity could suggest that Terence actually 21

For example, TLL, which misleadingly interprets the term as miscendo depravare, ‘mixing to a bad outcome’. 22 Hieronymus, Commentarii in Michaeam 2, p. 480 Migne; notice the similarity in diction with Terence’s contaminari non decet fabulas; see the discussion of the full Hieronymus passage and his appeal to Terence as a model in Cain (2013) 392-4.

The Innovator’s Poetic Self-Presentation


transcribes (or, wishes that his audience believe that he transcribes) the accusers’ exact words. We may only speculate what motivated the accusers to describe Terence’s methodology of combining multiple Greek models (or, more correctly, the infusing of the Latin ‘transferred’ version of a principal Greek model with a section from a second Greek play) by contaminari/e, but we can hypothesise that a fairly strong reason for doing so might have been the fact that the particular term had not been used before in the context of vortere/vertere, the technical term for the ‘translation’ of the Greek models into Latin. By marking Terence’s initiative with a term never used before in this context, the accusers perhaps reasoned that this would cause Terence’s way of vortere/vertere to stand out as one without precedent, hence unconventional and reprehensible. Terence could easily ignore the term contaminari/e, replace it with a more conventional synonym, or rephrase it in some other way—the core of his defence, after all, centres on pointing out the precedent in the practice, found in the plays of Naevius, Plautus and Ennius. The reason he decided to quote his accusers’ phraseology is that he discerned in their selection of this unusual term a prime opportunity to build, by appropriating it, a special code of palliata poetics. Reinterpreted as a poetics code-word, contaminari/e becomes a technical term strictly defined henceforth in the context of palliata composition for Terence’s particular style of experimenting with Greek models; a distinct form of model combination.23 We may advance this reasoning a step further: it is logical that the critics used the term with the standard negative connotation in mind (‘to spoil’, ‘to defile’) and then Terence uses the same term with ethically neutral and technical connotations (‘to blend plays together’), thus succeeding to ‘transform’ the accusation into an advertisement of his technique. The next important issue to attend to is to provide justification for Terence’s decision to use contaminari/e and not some other, more common verb, to render the act of ‘mixing’ or ‘blending’ or ‘bringing together’ at Eun. 552, the only other attestation of contaminari/e in Terence’s six-play corpus. I suggest that the playwright saw in the adoption of the particular term an opportunity to comment on the special metaliterary meaning of the term, a meaning which became the springboard for his campaign to advertise the uniqueness of his own technique of palliata composition and distinguish his plays from those of 23 The brief discussion in Walde [(2009) 26] reached similar conclusions: “far from confessing his own lack of imagination or of good taste or the illicit crossing of ‘borders’ Terence does no less than describe the palimpsestic character of Roman literature, where the weaving together of material of heterogeneous provenance leads to an innovative condensation of meaning”.


Chapter One

the other playwrights who abide by the ‘proper’ rules of composition as understood by his accusers. Midway in Eunuch, Chaerea, the young adulescens who in the guise of a eunuch earlier had sneaked inside the house of the meretrix Thais and raped Thais’ young protégée, Pamphile, enters the stage shortly after the rape and in sheer joy sets out to describe the experience. The young lover/rapist still in the costume of the eunuch opens his monologue by acknowledging his supreme elation, but also his fear lest his great joy be disturbed. The word he uses to mark the potential disturbance is ‘contaminet’: nunc est profecto interfici quom perpeti me possum, / ne hoc gaudium contaminet vita aegritudine aliqua (I could clearly suffer to die at this moment before life contaminates this joy with some distress, Eun. 551-2). The term has an obvious negative meaning but this is only so because it is followed by the ablative aegritudine aliqua, for several of the later attestations of contaminari/e in the classical texts concern associations with terms of negative quality.24 A typical such attestation is found in Cicero, Pro Sull. 45: per me ego veritatem patefactam contaminarem aliquo mendacio (were I willingly to contaminate the truth that lays wide open, with some deception). Contaminare does mean ‘ruin’, ‘corrupt’ here, but only because of the aliquo mendacio.25 As a result of ever more frequent association with the vocabulary of outright negative content, it is logical to suggest that contaminari/e was understood eventually only as a negative term, with the meaning ‘to mix to a bad effect’; ‘spoil’, ‘ruin’, ‘corrupt’.26 Should we understand the term, however, as a code for Terence’s new palliata-making poetics, then its presence in the introduction makes sense. This programmatic understanding of contaminari/e is substantiated by the use of additional vocabulary to be read in association. The accusation of contaminatio was not the only one cast against Terence. In the prologues of two other plays, Eunuch and Adelphoe, the playwright notes that he has been accused of ‘theft’ or plagiarism (furtum) from earlier Latin comedies. Interestingly, in both these plays Terence does not seem to have used a different kind of model appropriation procedure: as in the prologues of Andria and Heautontimorumenos, the 24

Germany [(2008) 204-5] identifies more negative terminology that frames the term contaminet. 25 Germany [(2008) 200] is similarly hesitant to accept a definite translation of contaminare as ‘ruin’, ‘corrupt’. 26 On Terence’s presence in Cicero’s works see Manuwald, this volume (chapter 7).

The Innovator’s Poetic Self-Presentation


accusation concerns improper tampering with the Greek models while transferring them into Latin. quam nunc acturi sumus Menandri Eunuchum, postquam aediles emerunt, perfecit sibi ut inspiciundi esset copia. magistratu’ quom ibi adesset occeptast agi. exclamat furem, non poetam fabulam dedisse et nil dedisse verborum tamen: Colacem esse Naevi, et Plauti veterem fabulam; parasiti personam inde ablatam et militis. si id est peccatum, peccatum inprudentiast poetae, non quo furtum facere studuerit. id ita esse vos iam iudicare poteritis. Colax Menandrist: in east parasitus Colax et miles gloriosus: eas se non negat personas transtulisse in Eunuchum suam ex Graeca; sed eas fabulas factas prius Latinas scisse sese id vero pernegat. Eun. 19-34




(The play which we are now about to perform is Menander’s Eunuch. After the aediles purchased it, he contrived for himself an opportunity to examine the play, and, when the official arrived, the performance began. He shouted that the play was the work of a thief, not a playwright, but that the attempt to deceive had not worked. There was, he claimed, a ‘Flatterer’ by Naevius and an old play by Plautus, and the character of the parasite and the soldier had been stolen from these. If that was an offence, the offence was due to the inadvertence of the playwright; he had no intention of committing plagiarism. You can judge the truth of this for yourselves. There is a ‘Flatterer’ of Menander, in which there is a flattering parasite and a swaggering soldier. The playwright does not deny that he has imported these characters into his ‘Eunuch’ from the Greek play. But he does most definitely deny any knowledge of the prior existence of the Latin versions.) Synapothnescontes Diphili comoediast: eam Commorientes Plautus fecit fabulam. in Graeca adulescens est, qui lenoni eripit meretricem in prima fabula: eum Plautus locum reliquit integrum, eum hic locum sumpsit sibi in Adelphos, verbum de verbo expressum extulit. eam nos acturi sumu’ novam: pernoscite furtumne factum existumetis an locum reprehensum, qui praeteritu’ neglegentiast. Ad. 6-14



Chapter One

(SynapothnƝscontes is a comedy by Diphilus, on which Plautus based his Commorientes. At the beginning of the Greek version there is a young man who abducts a girl from a pimp. Plautus left that scene out, and our author has taken it over for his ‘Brothers’, reproducing it word for word. We are presenting this as a brand new play. It is for you to decide whether you deem us guilty of plagiarism or of the reclaiming of a scene which had been carelessly omitted.)

According to the information of the Eunuch prologue, the antagonists accused Terence of furtum, because the latter (25-6) ‘lifted the characters of the parasite and the braggart soldier’ from an earlier Latin play, Colax, by Plautus, and from an even earlier one that bore the same title, by Naevius. The phrase as stated here may mean either that Terence lifted word for word a whole part of the Latin predecessor(s)’s play(s), or that he just picked the characters of the parasite and the soldier (parasiti personam... ablatam et militis), but not necessarily a full section of text. The same phrase is repeated at line 31, in the context of Terence’s refutation of the accusation. The playwright does not deny that he used the two comic characters in question, but he claims as his source not the Latin plays but rather Menander’s play, also titled Kolax. Once again, in this second acknowledgment of the employment of material from a second play, Terence specifies that he ‘transferred’ the two comic characters (personas)—and presumably the part of the Menandrian model where these two characters acted, though this does not necessarily need to be the case. In Adelphoe, the definition of ‘plagiarism’ is identified with the ‘transference’ of a full section from an earlier Latin ‘transference’ of the same Greek play: Terence acknowledges that in his comedy Adelphoe, which reproduces in Latin Menander’s Adelphoi, he has ‘lifted’ (extulit) a full scene from a second Greek play, SynapothnƝskontes, by Diphilos—a play which had already been ‘transferred’ into Latin by Plautus—and reproduced it ‘word for word’ (verbum de verbo expressum). But he claims that he adapted precisely the very scene that Plautus in his own adaptation had left out in its entirety; since that scene had not been transferred previously, Terence’s importing it should not be considered reprehensible. In short, both Terence’s accuser(s) and Terence acknowledge as plagiarism the insertion into the vortere/vertere process (the process of adapting the principal Greek model), of material from a second Greek play which had already been adapted in Latin. The reproduction of the material from this second play could have been very close (verbum de verbo) or very loose (importation of characters only, and by implication the segment

The Innovator’s Poetic Self-Presentation


of the play wherein these characters acted), meaning that the degree of verbal and thematic proximity of the ‘transference’ to the model did not matter. What qualified as an act of plagiarism according to the technical definition of the term was the ‘transference’ of Greek material already ‘transferred’ once by some other Latin playwright. Evidently the plot-details featuring the parasite and the soldier that Terence reproduced in Eunuch resembled very closely Plautus’ and Naevius’ text—this is why Terence is accused of plagiarising them, but also why he tries to exonerate himself by professing ‘carelessness’ (inprudentia, Eun. 27): the carelessness concerns precisely his ignorance that Plautus and Naevius had already written a Colax wherein a parasite and a soldier featured in very similar staging (Terence here may or may not be telling the truth about his ignorance). Similarly, Terence professes that he is ‘transferring’ into Latin a scene from a Greek play that had been left out due to ‘negligence’ (neglegentia, Ad. 14) by Plautus when the latter ‘transferred’ into Latin for the first time Diphilus’ SynapothƝskontes under the Latin title Commorientes. The discussion of Terence’s interpretative philosophy underpinning his defence against the contaminatio/furtum accusation needs to address a final point. In the Eunuch prologue it is noted that Luscius’ attack was motivated by the fact that a scene featuring a parasitus and a miles gloriosus, the very scene Terence claims to have taken directly from Menander’s Kolax, had appeared already in Plautus and Naevius, both of whom wrote palliatae under the common title Colax. Terence and by implication also Luscius did not seem bothered by the fact that two earlier playwrights previously had written a Colax. Given that it was inappropriate to subject the same Greek comedy to the vortere/vertere process twice, it follows that Plautus and Naevius ought to have used different Greek models which nonetheless bore the same title.27 Also, Terence’s disclosure that his inspiration for the parasite and the soldier


Barsby [(1999) 86-7] is certain that Plautus and Naevius wrote two different plays, but he believes that the two were very similar because both of them were based on Menander’s Kolax. This, however, seems highly unlikely; apart from the fact that the audience would have thought that Terence was lying when he claimed that he did not know the existence of Plautus’ and Naevius’ Colax plays but he did know that of Menander’s, the employment of a single Greek model for the production of three Latin plays (two of them very similar) is against the rules of palliata composition—it is furtum pure and simple; still, no accusation had ever been raised against Plautus or Naevius, as far as our sources allow us to know; cf. also Sharrock (2009) 91.


Chapter One

personas was Menander’s comedy titled Kolax implies that Menander may not have inspired either of the two Latin Colax plays.28 The contaminatio/furtum accusations in the four Terentian prologues lead to the conclusion that a precise description of this illegitimate literary practice is complex, and because it often relies on hypothesis, it is as such, a literary puzzle. Still, this persistence on Terence’s part to introduce his work through the prism of a violation of some literary convention, that sets at the centre of everyone’s attention from the beginning the ingenuity and originality of the play, is too conspicuous, and as such deliberate: the more Terence talks about contaminatio and furtum, and tries to refute them at the same time he challenges his readers to define them, the more the two notions occupy the focus of the prologue instead of what the audience most likely expected to read in it, namely information about the plot of the play about to be performed. That much has been noted recently by Sharrock who makes the interesting suggestion of understanding the accusation as a ‘hoax’ that is introduced in order to tantalise the audience and offer them minimal, indeed peripheral, information about the content of the play “and in order to play with the whole question of tradition and originality”: the argument on whether Terence’s parasite-soldier scene is authentic or not evolves into an acknowledgment of the fact that the literary genre of the palliata is built on the recycling of a limited pool of standardised comic characters.29 This means that any character in a given play may spontaneously elicit memories of performances of his counterpart in more than one different play, without necessarily drawing deliberately on them. This intercommunication with other contemporary plays [Sharrock calls it a form of ‘intertextuality’—see also Fontaine (2014a), and my discussion on Fontaine’s argument in chapter 4 of the present volume] is at work every time a palliata is performed, but it is received differently by the individual members of the audience as a result of their diverse personal experiences.30 Now, the deliberate withholding of

28 Brown [(1992) 106] seems to believe that Plautus’ play was actually a revision of Naevius’, not a ‘transference’ of some Greek Kolax. We know very little though about the politics of revising earlier Latin plays in the heyday of the palliata, and particularly whether this concept of revision had ever been implemented. 29 Regarding Eunuch, the whole discussion about the legitimacy of ‘transferring’ the soldier-parasite scene essentially communicates, according to Sharrock, the practical information that the play will include a soldier and a parasite. 30 Sharrock (2009) 91-3, for the full argument; Sharrock’s views are endorsed also in McGill (2012) 115-45, an important study on Terence and literary furtum; the gist of McGill’s argument is that Terence exaggerated or even fabricated his battle

The Innovator’s Poetic Self-Presentation


information on Terence’s part regarding the forthcoming play’s plot belies expectations and causes surprise: the play turns out to develop differently than expected because it is determined by the a-typical acting of certain ‘stock’ palliata characters who in the play at hand act in ways that are hardly conventional (that is, along the lines of their roles in earlier palliatae).31 It is hardly surprising, then, that Terence would advertise the process of intermingling more than one ‘intertext’ (Greek or/and Latin) as the foundation for his new palliata composition methodology, and that he would do so by crafting an intelligent wordplay whereupon model ‘intertextuality’ would be reflected. Phormio exhibits the sophisticated character of the contaminatio in the very name of its title. This play is the only Terentian palliata that does not retain the title of the Greek model, but rather is named after the protagonist, the parasite Phormio. The title of the Greek model according to Terence is Epidicazomenos (25f.: Epidicazomenon quam vocant comoediam / Graeci, a comedy that the Greeks title ‘Epidicazomenos’); translated, it means ‘the claimant’, a middle-voice participle from ਥʌȚįȚțȐȗİıșĮȚ, ‘to sue’, ‘claim at law’. According to Fontaine, given that Phormio’s principal mission in the play is to claim falsely at court the ownership of a certain girl, what is reported as the title of the Greek original is the Greek translation of the role which Phormio is assigned to perform in Phormio. Only, Epidicazomenos was not quite the title of the Greek model (a play attributed to Apollodorus from Carystus). Rather, if Donatus is to be believed,32 the Greek play was entitled EpidicazomenƝ, the feminine form of the same participle, which in this case should be considered a present passive participle and translated ‘she that is to be claimed’. If the feminine form of the participle is accepted as the correct title, then the title obviously referred to the girl, not the parasite Phormio. Donatus believes that Terence confused the genderendings accidentally, but Fontaine has cleverly argued that the conspicuous change in the title is deliberate in order to evoke not just a second play by Apollodorus, entitled Epidicazomenos—an evocation which would have confused the audience and prompted them to speculate about the true model behind Phormio—but, likely, Plautus’ comedy

with his adversaries for dramatic effect, and in order to conform to the long tradition of writerly strife that runs through classical literature. 31 Sharrock (2009) 93: “Terence makes us feel comfortable with the conventions of comedy—and then destabilises them”; Sharrock’s argument builds on Eunuch— reputedly the most ‘Plautine’, and thus most successful, of Terence’s plays. 32 Donatus ad Ph. Prol. 25.


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Epidicus, a play starring one of the most characteristic trickster slaves.33 The more experienced among the Terentian audience were expected to suspect the para-etymological interaction of ‘Epidic-azomenos’ and ‘Epidic-us’, and the recollection of Epidicus’ intriguing role, once the play started and became clear to them that Phormio’s role is actually that of a brazen cunning slave.34 Fontaine [(2010a) 18] proceeds as far as to discern a punning in the etymology of Epidicazomenos, according to which the word might well mean ‘he who makes himself into an Epidicus-type character’. The employment of intricate and inventive semantics, etymology and intertextuality, in order to ‘transfer’ pre-existing material and appropriate it by transformation, epitomises the methodology of innovative poetics established by the artists of the palliata. Terence aspires not merely to follow this tradition, but to supersede it, to reach back to Plautus and the other earlier playwrights, the pioneers of the genre, in the ‘audacity’ they showed when they subjected Greek literature to the application of the vortere/vertere process. Terence in his prologues launches a sort of a new poetic programme which he tries to justify by arguing that this imitates the way literary productivity in general is generated. By defending his practice of intermingling in ‘transferred’ form material from multiple plays, not all of them necessarily of identifiable literary origin, Terence proposes to understand the comic plot as an ‘open text’: each new palliata is to be understood as a text that may never have a fixed, final form. Each playwright who wishes to compose a new play identifies an earlier, Greek model to subject to the process of vortere/vertere, and this he adapts at will. The adaptations may include the addition of elements from other comedies or other genres, elimination of longer or shorter sections from the Greek original, insertion of original material invented by the poet, combination of different plots, wordplays and, in general, various kinds of ‘interpretation’ or ‘alternative reading’ of pre-existing material that serves as source for the play at hand. In summary: rather than reading Terence’s reaction against the contaminatio/furtum accusation as an effort to define in literary terms the actual offense and prove the legitimacy of his own playwriting methodology, we should approach the prologues as complementary literary dissertations on the “palimpsestic” character of all

33 See the full argument on the wordplay that entangles the name of Phormio with the titles of the two Apollodorus plays and Plautus’ Epidicus in Fontaine (2010a) 16-20. 34 See also Sharrock, this volume (chapter 5), for a different interpretation of Terence’s toying with the gender of the title of Phormio’s Greek model.

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plays35 belonging in the tradition of the fabula palliata, in the postPlautine era which coincides with the second generation of palliatacomposition in Rome. We should understand the prologues as an effort to rationalise, assess critically and justify the imperative to redraw the rules of palliata-making as a prerequisite for the production of original literature that would guarantee ongoing popularity for the palliata not only as performance but also as a literary genre.

II. vetus versus novus poeta: the competitive politics of poetic succession The plays of Greek Comedy were competitive pieces, and they are riddled with allusions to competition. In Old Comedy the rivals are attacked ad hominem, even named. “The competitive poetics that emerges from this approach draws attention to ways in which the plays can be treated as creative responses to the competitions, designed above all else to help a poet realise his immediate objective of agonistic success over his rivals at the Lenaia or City Dionysia”.36 The conflict of generations is a fundamental theme of Ancient Comedy, Old and New, Greek and Roman alike.37 In Old Comedy this conflict is politically and culturally determined. In the clash between Philocleon and Bdelycleon in Aristophanes’ Wasps, the generational conflict is particularly expressive because it is realised against a forensic background. But elsewhere, specifically in the parabasis of Knights where Aristophanes criticises and dismisses an older rival, it is clearly a statement of poetics: it purports to advertise Aristophanes’ artistry over that of his older rivals,38 most notably Cratinus.39 In New Comedy the


The term with reference to Terence’s compositions belongs to Walde (2009) 26. Biles (2011) 2; on the rivalry between Aristophanes and Cratinus see the items listed in n. 39 below; general treatments of the issue of poetic rivalry among the Old Comedians include Heath (1990); Hubbard (1991); Harvey and Wilkins (2000); Konstantakos (2003-4); Sommerstein (2009); and now Biles (2011). 37 Full treatment of the theme is found in Sutton (1993); on the generational conflict in the earlier plays of Aristophanes see Hubbard (1989). 38 See Biles (2001); Biles studies the rivalry between the chorus of elders and the younger generation in Knights against the epigraphic evidence from the 420s BCE on the victors of comedy in the dramatic competitions; the inscriptions record very few names of poets of the older generation once Aristophanes and his peers take over the comic stage. 36


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generation conflict is the cornerstone of the plot; in all plays by Menander discovered so far there is some conflict of interest between an older and a younger man, usually regarding the fate of a woman. The generational conflict is inherited by the Romans: many palliatae advance a plot wherein a young man loves a woman against the wishes of his father from whom the youth often tries to swindle money to advance his love interest; or a plot featuring a young man and an older man who occasionally may be his father, as well, in rivalry over the same woman. The dominant, recurrent presence of the conflict motif in the prologues of Terence, which is introduced as a conflict between a newly minted poet and an organised guild of antagonists from the older generation, shows that Terence used the core theme of ancient comic dramaturgy across time in order to draw attention to the politics of dramatic competition in his day.40 The importance of introducing oneself as a young and new playwright facing the fierce rivalry of a group of older and experienced comic poets is evident in the terminology which the prologus speaker uses to describe the two parties. The adjective novus (cf. the discussion of Ad. 12 above), which refers either to Terence, in an emphatic, poetically coloured self-characterisation, or to the new kind of comic poetry, appears sixteen times in total, and in five of the six prologues41; on three additional occasions Terence employs variants of the synonym adulescens (adulescentior in Hec. 11; quae sunt adulescentium in Heaut. 2; ut adulescentuli / vobis placere in Heaut. 51-2). The opposite term, vetus, typically denoting throughout Terence’s rivals and their work, is also prominent, with seven attestations (among them I count the verb inveterasco, in Hec. 12, that is coined from vetus). Indicative of the prominence of these terms in the meta-vocabulary of Terence’s poetics is their placement, usually at the very beginning or the very end of the verse, as to become a clausula-like trope (see more on this below). 39

On the agonism between Aristophanes and Cratinus see Sidwell (1995); Luppe (2000); Rosen (2000); Ruffell (2002); and more recently Bakola (2010); Biles (2011). 40 Sharrock (2009) 78 n. 138 [summarising Ruffell (2002)]: “It is notable that many of the accusations thrown around by the fifth-century Greeks are similar to those supposedly leveled at Terence: collaboration, plagiarism, inadequate or inappropriate innovation”; the full terminology is listed in Konstantakos (2003-4) 14 with n. 19. 41 Adelphoe is the only play that does not feature any of the novus/vetus forms— this is logical in a way, since it is Terence’s sixth play, and by the time of its production Terence was not a ‘new’ poet literally speaking; therefore likely familiar to the broader community was his theory of ‘new’ (i.e. scripted in fixed form) plays (on the ‘newness’ of Terence’s plays see below in this chapter).

The Innovator’s Poetic Self-Presentation


Let us see how the novus/vetus dichotomy operates at the opening of a programmatically oriented prologue: Poeta quom primum animum ad scribendum adpulit, id sibi negoti credidit solum dari, populo ut placerent quas fecisset fabulas. verum aliter evenire multo intellegit; nam in prologis scribundis operam abutitur, 5 non qui argumentum narret sed qui malevoli veteris poetae maledictis respondeat. An. 1-7 (When the playwright first turned his mind to writing, he believed that his only problem was to ensure that the plays he had created would win the approval of the public. He now realises that the reality is quite different. He is wasting his time writing prologues, not to explain the plot but to respond to the slanders of a malicious old playwright.) Postquam poeta vetu’ poetam non potest retrahere a studio et transdere hominem in otium, maledictis deterrere ne scribat parat; qui ita dictitat, quas ante hic fecit fabulas tenui esse oratione et scriptura levi. Ph. 1-5 (Since the old playwright cannot drive our playwright from his calling and force him into retirement, he is trying to deter him from writing by the use of slander. He keeps on saying that the plays our author has previously written are thin in style and light in content. )

A Terentian prologus, literary speaking, as such is deceptive. Etymologically a prologue promises to ‘say [something] before [the play proper]’.42 Terence’s prologues clearly were written after the play was completed, and they were written in order to defend the poet against accusations by his poetic rivals—should we assume that the accusations were real. The accusations presuppose that the rivals already had read a complete version of the play prior to its performance, and that they had objected strongly enough to make Terence fear that his play may be received with negative prejudice (by the magistrates who decided which plays would be brought on stage at the ludi) and that he might feel the 42

A ‘prologue’ began as a technical term of Greek drama for the part before the entry of the chorus (Arist. Poet. 1452b19), or for the monologue containing a narrative of facts introductory to the main action (e.g. Ar. Fr. 1119).


Chapter One

need to defend himself. Though technically this hypothesis may not be excluded, it is not likely that Terence had allowed his plays to be circulated widely and early enough to become scrutinised. Hence, it is more logical that the prologues were intended to advance, by means of a metaphoric and poetically-coded language, a new methodology of palliata composition. Thus, each of Terence’s prologi essentially is an afterword, an epilogos, which becomes partly a foreword when the play is about to be performed, in order to introduce not so much the plot of the play to follow, as a defence of Terence’s innovative dramaturgy. As such, then, each prologus is also, in style and character, an apologos (apology), while to the extent that this apologos needs to refute a pre-existing counterargument it is an antilogos (counter-speech), as well. In the quadruple nature of the prologus, where the lines between each of these natures are blurred, we find a representative piece of sophisticated programmatic speech written by an artist who brushes against tradition; and not simply any tradition, but a very strong and popular one at that. Andria is Terence’s earliest play. In its prologue Terence describes himself as a young playwright (poeta, An. 1; cf. also Ph. 1), new to the profession (primum, An. 1), who introduces new poetics, a new type of comedy, but who is met with great animosity by a certain, evil member (malevoli… poetae, of the malevolent playwright, An. 6; maledictis, slanders; also An. 7; Ph. 3) of the older generation of playwrights. This person attempts to sabotage his scriptwriting career altogether and force the young poet back to literary inertia (Ph. 2). The similarity in diction of the two openings encourages a non-literal interpretation of the texts43; this helps one perceive it as a formula. Introduced by this formula, the stance against malevolence becomes a figure of speech, a code through which Terence would announce his intention to inaugurate a new methodology of comic dramaturgy.44 43

Gruen [(1992) 211ff.] is the first to suggest that the situation described in Terence’s prologues—his persecution by his envious rivals who undermined his work and even orchestrated the double fiasco of his Hecyra to embarrass him— does not describe an actual situation at all, but rather one made up in order to refer allusively to his promoting a new type of stage entertainment, one elevated in style, that clashes with the traditional types of vulgar entertainment popular with the Roman audiences; Gruen temptingly argues that Terence ranks together indiscriminately all types of vulgar entertainment, boxers, acrobats, and the palliatae of Plautus and his rivals. 44 This poetological interpretation may rationalise the oddity of identifying in the opening lines to the prologue of Andria criticism and objections to the young dramatist’s earlier plays—which actually do not exist; this chronological incompatibility is noted in Gruen (1992) 213 n. 136; Gruen explains this in the

The Innovator’s Poetic Self-Presentation


Terence’s self-defence about his new methodology of adapting the comic models, which had been judged by his antagonists as unacceptable and running against set rule, has deliberately assumed a seemingly ethical character. This is peculiar to Terence’s language of competition. Terence claims that his work has encountered the virulent resistance of a ‘malicious old playwright’ (An. 6-7: malevoli veteris poetae; Heaut. 22: malevolu’ vetu’ poeta). By the time Adelphoe is staged the malevolent poet is not alone (Ad. 15: malevoli). These rival poets are never named, probably deliberately in order to allow Terence to use the singular and the plural interchangeably—perhaps even to give the impression that Terence faces an organised communal opposition. These enemies discredit Terence’s talent by denying it and professing, falsely, that the young poet used the help of collaborators to compose his works (Ad. 16-17). By this calumny they aim at discouraging the young playwright and driving him away from the dramatic profession (e.g. Ph. 1-2: poeta vetu’ poetam non potest retrahere a studio et transdere hominem in otium, since the old playwright cannot drive our playwright from his calling and force him into retirement; 18: ille ad famem hunc a studio studuit reicere, that man set himself to remove our playwright from his calling and drive him to famine; Hec. 13: ne cum poeta scriptura evanesceret, that the scripts did not vanish from sight along with the playwright; 21-3: ita poetam restitui in locum / prope iam remmotum iniuria advorsarium / ab studio atque ab labore atque arte musica, in this way I restored the playwright to his place, when the attacks of his opponents had practically driven him from his profession and from his craft and from the dramatic art) before he has had the chance to establish himself as a popular comedian (An. 2-3: id sibi negoti credidit solum dari, / populo ut placerent quas fecisset fabulas, he believed that his only problem was to ensure that the plays he had created would win the approval of the public; Hec. 16-17: quia scibam dubiam fortunam esse scaenicam, / spe incerta certum mihi laborem sustuli, I realised that a theatrical career was a precarious one; success was uncertain and the only certainty was toil). These older poets, Terence’s prologue speaker seems to imply, are too insecure and unable to handle the prospect of defeat in an impartial dramatic contest (Ph. 16-17: in medio omnibus palmam esse positam qui artem tractent musicam, that the prise is freely available to everybody who practices the dramatic art). Malevolence and calumny, especially when directed from an older, well-established generation against a younger rival who is also an context of Terence’s effort to impress his audience and attract their attention with engaging speech even at the expense of historicity.


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advocate of radically different aesthetics, belong to the marked vocabulary of Callimachus. Their recurrence in Terence’s prologues infuses the discourse with unmistakable poetological connotations as well as with the assumption that Terence must have been familiar with the literary aesthetics of Alexandrianism. In other words, the recurrent juxtaposition of Terence’s self-introduction as a young, studious and enthusiastic poet, to his opponents who are both old and malicious, is clear reference to thethreatened-old-playwright-vs.-the-gifted-young-playwright dichotomy that sits at the core of Callimachean poetics and is famously celebrated in the Aetia prologue. His older rivals, Terence implies, embody a new version of the spiteful Telchines, the older generation of poets, the poetic establishment in Callimachus’ day, who dismiss Callimachus as a poet because he does not compose long epics that spread over multiple volumes. As Sharrock has convincingly shown, there is a considerable number of passages in Terence’s prologues that echo Callimachus’ work and his philosophy of new poetics in stark denouncement of the venerable status quo. These passages record self-conscious literary sophistication that is expressed through a different kind of comedy—comedy that has been rebuked as tenui oratione (thin of speech [or style]) and scriptura levi (light in writing) (Ph. 4-5), through the employment of terminology (tenuis and levis) that a century later would be solicited to ‘transfer’ the Callimachean ȜİʌIJȩȢ into a comparable Roman poetic context,45 in the work of the neoterics and, later, in the poetry of the Augustans. The emphasis on writing (mentioned twice in the first five lines of the Andria prologue: 1: ad scribendum adpulit; 5: in prologis scribundis), further, echoes Callimachus’ composing in writing on the deltos that Apollo set on his lap (Aet. 1.21-2 Pf.). Similarly, the careful definition of Terence’s poetry in terms of plays that resulted from a new type of model manipulation and favour narratives markedly less impressive (without despondent young men chasing after deer), urges to appreciate Terence’s advocacy of his composition style as a poetic programme along the lines of the Callimachean one.46

45 See also Maltby, this volume (chapter 8), on assessing Donatus’ interpretation of Ph. 4-5, Terence’s commentary on his antagonists’ accusations of his style; Donatus sides with Terence in considering the latter’s style too studied and elegant to accommodate the “highly coloured language and lively action associated with Plautus, Caecilius and the main tradition of Roman palliata”. 46 Full discussion of the Callimachean character of the Terentian prologues in Sharrock (2009) 79-83.

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The conspicuousness of the novus versus vetus poeta dichotomy seems to have been the theme from the prologue that made the deepest impression across the centuries, and it redefined, in a way, the agonistic character of Terence’s interaction with his opponents by urging critics to appreciate it solely from the perspective of the new, meaning explicitly young in age, poet. This is best illustrated in the opening section of a very popular medieval stage-improvisation of uncertain date entitled Terentius et Delusor (Terence and his Detractor).47 This is a fragmentary work, and only the beginning survives: throughout the text, the delusor repeatedly notes that he is very young, and Terence, his addressee and opponent, very old—this is the only line of argument. This is particularly clear in the opening twelve lines of the text, spoken by the young delusor: Mitte recordari monimenta vetusta, Terenti; cesses ulterius: vade, poeta vetus. Vade, poeta vetus, quia non tua carmina curo; iam retice fabulas, dico, vetus veteres. Dico, vetus veteres iamiam depone Camenas …. Huc ego cum recubo, me taedia multa capescunt: an sit prosaicum, nescio, an metricum? Dic mihi, dic, quid hoc est? An latras corde sinistro? Dic, vetus auctor, in hoc quae iacet utilitas? … Tu vetus atque senex; ego tiro valens, adulescens; Tu sterilis truncus; ego fertilis arbor, opimus



(Stop rewinding your plays of old, Terence; don’t go any further: move on, old poet. Move on, old poet, because I do not care for your verses; keep quiet at last, old man, I tell you, about those old plays. I tell you old man, this instant drop the old Muses… On my part when I recline here, many an ennui seizes me: is this a piece written in prose or one written in verse? I do not know. Tell me, do tell, what is this? Are you barking with your sinister heart? Tell me, old playwright, what is the usefulness that lies in it? … You are ancient and old, I am a strong, young recruit. You are a barren trunk, but I a vigorous, blooming sprout.)


Terentius et Delusor was first edited in 1902 by Paul von Winterfeld together with the works of Hroswitha of Gandersheim; a new edition of the Delusor is now available, Giovini (2007), whence the text is quoted. The composition date of the text, which was found in a manuscript from the twelfth century, is an unresolved issue; it has been dated as early as the fifth century and as late as the eleventh. The text is available also in Chambers (1903) II 226-8.


Chapter One

When the play opens the young critic is not yet on stage, but he first attacks Terence from the audience; soon Terence appears on stage and challenges the critic to come forth, mount the stage and debate with him. The youth accepts the invitation and climbs the stage thus entering the play, but does not have much to say thereafter, and tries to cover his embarrassment by means of successive asides to the audience. In these asides he confesses that he does not know what to say and wishes he had not gotten himself into this predicament, and yet he insists on pitting himself against Terence in terms of their juxtaposed ages; these asides and the awkwardness of the young delusor on stage comprise the humour of the scene. This awkwardness is due to ignorance: the young delusor has not read Terence’s works. Apart from charging that Terence’s verse is so prosaic that it is not even clear whether it is supposed to be verse or prose (ll. 9-10), a remark which he has probably found in some of the standard commentaries, he merely keeps repeating that Terence is so very old (a barren old tree-trunk) and his poetry quite irrelevant to a youth like himself (a vigorous blooming sprout). The lack of specific details on Terence’s plots probably suggests that the critic has not read Terence’s text, but he is well aware of Terence’s great reputation which somehow weighs on him heavily and uncomfortably. In a way, the delusor records the reactionary outburst of a character from a young generation of Latin speakers who feel oppressed by the authority of Terence and the need to study his texts, and their own lack of enthusiasm to do so.48 What matters, however, for the purposes of our study is the fact that as late as the Delusor’s date the most memorable characteristic of Terence’s plays were his prologues (obviously due to their ‘rhetorical’ style, which made them prime texts for instruction at schools); and in particular the dichotomy of old vs. new poetry and poets—which in the Delusor’s reading is reversed, with Terence now representing the old guard, even though the oppression he exercises is of an altogether different—ethical and cultural—kind.

III. Orality and Literacy The use of Callimachus’ metapoetics, specifically the dichotomy of new vs. old, as a rhetorical tool, transforms the prologue into a literary artefact. The proper appreciation of the reproduction in Terence’s prologues of this dichotomy that encapsulates Callimachus’ repudiation of 48

“In the end, the skit is a sort of exorcism: a modernus, a child, confronting an all-too-present Ancient Author and bravely telling him where to go”; thus Otter (2010) 165-6.

The Innovator’s Poetic Self-Presentation


untalented Homeric-type poetry, requires an audience not simply literate but well acquainted with the literary theory of Alexandrianism—an audience that does not necessarily identify with the majority of the spectators that filled the stands during Terence’s performances. Only a literate audience would have appreciated, further, that the major innovation in Terentian dramaturgy was, as I propose, the predilection for literacy, that is, the staging of performances of fully-scripted plays which the actors who enacted them observed to the letter.49 To a community of playwrights who, until Terence came along, directed performances that did not follow precisely the text of the author’s original script (even if we accept that all playwrights composed complete scripts and not, as Marshall suggests, more or less detailed plot-outlines). Terence’s persistence for directing performances that revived on stage the original script in full, without inserting gags, impromptu jokes and various expressions of improvisation, may have been seen like ‘plagiarism’, close reproduction of the Greek text in Latin, even though Terence did not ‘transfer’ verbatim the Greek model into Latin. This type of performance so tightly bound to the script was not technically forbidden, but it probably lacked precedence—hence the inconsistency in procuring a clear definition for either contaminatio or furtum—, and as a result, it appeared threatening. Roman drama had a long, non-literate tradition prior to the arrival of Greek plays at Rome; the fabula Atellana and the Roman mime are the two best known types of non-literary drama, both of which continued to 49 This idea has already been suggested, but not developed, in Marshall (2006) 260; Marshall focuses almost exclusively on Plautus’ text, which he calls “the script” and about which he argues that “it may never have existed as a physical document, and consequently the ideal of textual criticism–the recovery of the words written by Plautus himself–may be impossible even in theory because at least part of the process of composition of the fabulae palliatae was done at the moment of performance” (260). Plautus’ plays as we have them, Marshall argues (for full discussion of his argument see pp. 257-79), record a text close to that of a particular performance, but it is important to understand that each performance of the same play followed a different narrative version, and is important to realise, too, that both Plautus’ actors and the spectators, even though aware of the multiple narratives, would never think that the different script they were probably following each time they staged the play was the equivalent of a different play. Terence, however, “resisted the traditions of the palliata” (p. 15): “while he had a patron in Ambivius Turpio, Terence was less directly involved with the preparation of a play for performance than Plautus had been. What he provided for the troupe may indeed have looked very much like the surviving scripts. What we cannot say, though, is how ‘faithful’ Turpio and the other actors were in their stage representation of Terence’s work” [Marshall (2006) 275].


Chapter One

flourish in unscripted versions well past Terence’s day.50 Scriptedness came to Rome with the advent of Greek literature. The lack of extant plays from the first generation of literate Roman drama, both tragedy and comedy, suggests that scripts were not valued as definite versions of the plays but rather they were received as an intermediate stage in a long and complex process behind the transformation of a Greek plot into a fabula (palliata, praetexta or cothurnata) on-stage.51 It is possible, as I would like to suggest, that Terence was the first who staged a fabula palliata that dramatised word for word a complete script. The close observance of a scripted text is seminal for the production of dramatic expression that is stylised, codified.52 Codification is best realised when affixed through writing. This may explain why the contribution of writing to the promotion of Terence’s dramatic talent is part of the special language of the prologues (An. 1: ad scribendum adpulit; 5: in prologis scribundis; Heaut. 7: nunc qui scripserit; 15: orationem hanc scripsit; 43: novas qui scribunt; Eun. 7: et easdem scribendo male; in Thesauro scripsit; 36: licet currentem servum scribere; Ph. 3: ne scribat parat; 5: scriptura levi; 6: insanum scripsit adulescentulum; Ad. 1: poeta sensit scripturam suam; 17: adsidueque una scribere; 26 (last line): poetae ad scribendum augeat industriam; Hec. 13: cum poeta scriptura evanesceret; 24: scripturam sprevissem; 27: ne alias scriberet). The emphasis on the preference for scripted plots is advanced through the wide use of the vocabulary of writing. By this emphasis on writing Terence strives to 50

On the fabula Atellana see most recently Manuwald [(2011) 169-77 with n. 129] where earlier bibliography is cited; on the Roman mime, Manuwald (2011) 178-83 (with n. 153 for earlier bibliography). 51 Regarding specifically the fabula palliata, Goldberg [(2005) especially chapters 2 and 3] sensibly argues that comedies did not become ‘literature’ per se at the very time they were put on stage, but rather generations later, at the end of the second century BCE and onwards. The plays staged during the golden era of Roman Comedy were not considered literary texts; it was not their textual dimension that mattered but their performative aspect, namely their effective transference on stage. The fact is that the degree of scriptedness involved in the composition of Republican drama, not just of the fabulae palliatae, in the two generations prior to Terence is a matter of ongoing scholarly concern and, given the lack of substantial textual evidence, impossible to prove. Lefèvre has suggested that the Greek-style Roman tragedy (cothurnata) did not have an organically developing action either; cf. Lefèvre (1978) 43, 55, 66; contra Manuwald (2011) 138 n. 34; and it has been argued that the praetexta, too, had a long, unscripted tradition that reached back to the Etruscan era; cf. Rawson (1991) 470-1. 52 The stylised character of Terence’s prologues is noted already in Gelhaus (1972) which argues that Terence’s prologues conform to canons of rhetoric.

The Innovator’s Poetic Self-Presentation


define his plays as literacy-determined. He reinforces further the element of fixidity associated with writing through the use of set language, and the arrangement of this set language in set fashion that would echo the style of an orally composed performance as defined from archaic epic.53 In oral poetry, the formulaic character of a language is determined by the recurrence of words, verbal clusters or even concepts. These formulae help the oral performer memorise more easily the narrative to be performed, and they make it easier for the audience to follow, because the repetitiveness of the formulae makes them sound familiar, and easier to remember. Because the audience must hear and remember the important details, repetition is essential. The recurrence of words, phrases and concepts in the prologues of all six Terentian plays purportedly similarly communicates familiarity and forges rapport. A closer examination of the language of the prologues reveals that their text has been composed with great attention to structure, both in terms of narrative articulation and sequential arrangement of themes, and in terms of choosing the right vocabulary: Terence employs specific words and combinations of words that recur mostly in the same form or in some close synonym; forms and phrases are set in specific metrical positions which often identify with the beginning or the end of the verse; and a set number of themes and motifs are introduced in similar vocabulary and are arranged in the same order in multiple prologues. To name just a few: Terence (and Plautus prior to him) uses two terms, fabula and comoedia,54 to refer to his plays. The more common term, fabula, appears ten times in the six prologues, and in all but two it occupies the three last syllables of the verse (An. 3, 16; Eun. 23, 25; Ph. 4, 11a; Ad. 7, 22); the second term, comoedia, is used four times, and appears in all four at the end of the line (An. 26; Heaut. 4; Ph. 25; Ad. 6); 53

The precise reproduction of a scripted text, and the quasi-‘scripted’ style thus generated, in Terence’s performances may be related to the development of Latin oratory which was going on at the same time; it is likely that playwriting and oratory were influencing each other; it has been argued, for example, that the clausulae in Cato’s speeches were influenced by the metrical patterns in Plautus’ cantica; cf. Habinek (1985) 187-200. 54 The accompanying adjective palliata appears later, in late Republican and early Augustan times, as do the technical descriptions praetexta, togata and Atellana, an outcome of the first philological assessment of drama and the need to systematise dramatic genres; cf. Manuwald (2011) 130-1; the first literary attestation of the term palliata is Varro, fr. 306 Funaioli, ap. Diom. Ars 3, Gramm. Lat. I, p. 498.18, but in that context it is used “as a description for all kinds of dramas of Greek type”; only in the grammarians and commentators of the later antiquity the phrase fabula palliata refers specifically to the comedy of Greek style; cf. Manuwald (2011) 144.


Chapter One

the last part of the verse occupies another term for the palliata, ludos scaenicos, which appears just once (Hec. 45). The word poeta is pivotal with fifteen attestations in total in the six prologues (An. 1, 7; Heaut. 2, 22; Eun. 3, 23, 28; Ph. 1 (twice), 13, 29; Ad. 1, 25; Hec. 13, 21); in three prologues, it features on the first line (twice, on the opening verse of the Phormio prologue), and in two, on the second or the third line, and it is synonymous with Terence—the dramatist wishes to be self-introduced by his literary identity rather than his name. In the five of the six prologues (the exception is Andria) the second attestation of the term poeta is set between the 22nd and the 29th line from the top.55 Even more dominant a term, scribere, in various forms of conjugation as noted prior, is used nineteen times, but never at the very beginning of the verse, and only on three occasions is the concluding word of the verse (An. 1, 5; Heaut. 7, 15, 43; Eun. 7, 10, 36; Ph. 3, 5, 6; Ad. 11, 17, 27; Hec. 6, 13, 24, 27). In several cases it is used interchangeably with the formula facere fabulam/s (An. 3; Eun. 33; Ph. 4, 11a; Ad. 8) and facere comoediam (An. 26), to denote the composition of comic plays of Terentian type. All three clausulae, notably, are semantically related to poeta: the Greek word ʌȠȚȘIJȒȢ, from the verb ʌȠȚȑȦ, ‘to make’, ‘craft’, means the ‘maker’, ‘craftsman’, ‘demiurge’, and, of course, the poet, the ‘demiurge of verse composition’; and facere fabulam/comoediam captures the metaphoric meaning of (comic) ʌȠȚȘIJȒȢ as the literary demiurge, while it also toys with the idea that Terence wishes to advertise his own style of palliata that, contrary to the earlier tradition, identifies performance and script, and as such, rightly claims to be considered an actual poema, ‘craftwork’. Craftsmanship, especially of superior quality poemata, involves painstaking work, labor. The laboriousness of the composition of Terence’s scripts is one other theme recurring in the prologues and in significant contexts: the word itself features four times, twice in the Heautontimorumenos and as many in the second Hecyra prologue (Heaut. 40: cum labore maxumo, with the greatest effort; 42: ut aliqua pars labori’ minuatur mihi, so that I may enjoy some diminution of my labours; Hec. 17: spe incerta certum mihi labore sustuli, success was uncertain and the only certainty was toil; 23: ab studio atque ab labore atque arte musica, from his profession and from his craft and from the dramatic art). On all four occasions Terence notes how great is the toil that the direction of comic plays to conform without changes to a fixed script recorded in 55

Cf. also Sharrock (2009) 67-8: “Of the six prologues (including the Hecyra prologue to only the ‘third performance’), three explode with the letter ‘P’ (An., Ph., Ad.), while five (all except Hec.) contain the magic word poeta in the first three lines”.

The Innovator’s Poetic Self-Presentation


writing entails, but also his devotion to, and passion for, the very task (studio); and this, despite the fact that he knows very well that the outcome may be uncertain (spe incerta). The term studium that denotes the poet’s diligence and commitment to his undertaking (Heaut. 23, 52; Eun. 1, 28; Ph. 2, 18 (twice); Hec. 4, 19 (twice), 23, 53), paired with labor on the same verse on one occasion (Hec. 23 ab studio et ab labore) underscores the concept of painstaking work as prerequisite for great poetry. The two Hecyra passages belong to the first part of the second prologue where the prologus speaker, the veteran actor Ambivius Turpio, addresses the audience and tells them how he managed to stage anew and with great success performances of plays once interrupted. Ambivius identifies these once-rejected plays: they were plays by Caecilius, the most important composer of palliatae of the generation prior to Terence and after Plautus. The prologus implies that Caecilius was considered a kindred spirit of some sort to Terence (Hec. 14-15). Indeed, it is recorded in the tradition that Caecilius, like Terence, had a preference for the Attic New Comedy and the plays of Menander, and was famous for his wellcrafted argumenta (plots). And yet, a close examination of the surviving fragments, especially a rather long fragment of Caecilius’ play, Plocium, which may be studied in comparison to its model, the Plokion by Menander, reveals considerable independence from the Menandrian text in language and style: Caecilius preferred a more lively writing, that would include jokes and coarse humour and many deviations from the plot of the Greek original.56 Of course, it is possible that Caecilius’ other plays followed the language of Menander more closely, but it is also intriguing to argue that Ambivius used the name of Caecilius only as a literary pseudonym for Terence: the plays that originally failed but later were restored to popularity are not Caecilius’ plays but the two abortive stagings of Hecyra followed by Terence’s wishful anticipation for the third successful performance of the play. The oral character of the prologues brings with it a prominent oratorical aspect: in two of the prologues the speaker, Ambivius Turpio, is self-introduced as orator (Heaut. 11: oratorem esse voluit me, non prologum, he wished me to be an advocate, not a prologus speaker; Hec. 9-10: orator vos venio… sinite exorator sim, I come before you as an advocate… allow me to succeed in my advocacy), while the cognate oratio features eight more times. In several of these attestations, notably, 56

For the surviving fragments of Caecilius (with English translation) see Warmington (1935); also the more recent edition by Guardì (1974). For discussion see J. Wright (1974) 87-126; on Gellius’ comparison of Caecilius and Menander the discussion in Holford-Strevens [(2003) 198-200] is fundamental.


Chapter One

oratio is in complementary rather than antagonistic relationship to writing: An. 12: dissimili oratione sunt factae [sc. fabulae] ac stilo (they [the plays Andria and Perinthia by Menander] are written in a different language and style); Heaut. 15: qui orationem hanc scripsit (who has written this speech); Ph. 5: tenui esse oratione et scriptura levi (that it is thin of speech [or style] and light in writing). The opening line of the second Hecyra prologue is particularly suggestive of the metaliterary dimension of Amibivius’ oratorical delivery: orator vos venio ornatu prologi (I come before you as an orator in the costume of a prologus). The last line underlies the performance element in the prologue: the prologus character is introduced as an actor in a costume, about to perform a role, who suddenly finds out that the role he will actually play is a different one; thus the juxtaposition of the two, captured in their placement in the opposite parts of the line, points out the similarity of the parts of orator and prologus as roles. At the same time, the character of the prologus as known from the Euripidean tragedies and the plays of New Comedy (and later Plautus), is endowed with special knowledge, including foresight; he has the ability to look into the future and know how the play will conclude. In the case of Terence, who has already seen his Hecyra failing twice, the device of a prologus-speaker wishfully looks forward to the successful conclusion of his play the third time. The same juxtaposition of the two roles of orator and actor as performers is observed in the placement of the two terms, orator and prologus, on the same line in Heaut. 11: oratorem esse voluit me, non prologum (he wished me to be an advocate, not a prologus speaker). Further, in the lines immediately following (12-15), the two roles are first referred to as distinct (12: vostrum iudicium fecit; me actorem dedit, he has turned this into a court, with me to act on his behalf), before they come together as enactments of eloquence which is ‘constructed’, not natural, and served to Ambivius in a script to memorise (13-15: sed hic actor tantum poterit a facundia / quantum ille potuit cogitare commode / qui orationem hanc scripsit quam dicturu’ sum?, But will the eloquence of this actor be able to do justice to the aptness of the arguments which the writer of this speech has contrived to put together?); the prologus part in this respect is a textually directed guise that is to be orally performed in the style of an orator. Carefully phrased and situated in the text is the harsh criticism Terence’s compositions have received, for plagiarism and literary theft (Ad. 13: furtum factum; Eun. 23: furem, 27: furtum facere), and for committing contaminatio of multiple models (An. 16: contaminari; Heaut. 17: contaminasse). The accusations have been masterminded by a

The Innovator’s Poetic Self-Presentation


malevolent adversary, who is interchangeably referred with an array of adjectives or formulaic clusters, compounds of the term malus: An. 5: malevoli, 6: maledictis, 23: male dicere, malefacta; Heaut. 16: malevoli, 22: malevolus, 35: maledictis; Eun. 7: scribendo male; Ph. 3: maledictis, 15: male diceret; Ad. 15: malevoli, 17: maledictum. This recurrence imprints the malevolentia as the principal motive of the adversary. The same man elsewhere in the prologues is referred to, again repeatedly, as someone who enjoys hurting people: An. 11: laedit laederet; Eun. 2: laedere, 18: laedere; Eun. 16: lacessere; Ph. 13: lacessisset, 19: lacessere; on all but the first instance, the ‘hurting’ is set at the closing part of the verse. The phrases denoting the evilness of the adversary are equally divided between those that either open or close the verse, and those that occupy a part in the middle of the verse, mindfully set in different metrical positions. The expressions noted above are conspicuous in their variety, omnipresence across the text, recurrence, as well as in their careful placement in the line, and proximity to other terms. The collection of repeated motifs may be augmented: to mention only the most striking, with the exception of Hecyra all prologues refer to the Greek model behind Terence—this communicates, among other things, Terence’s concern to have his Greek models identified, contrary to Plautus who is not consistent with this practice; in at least two of the prologues Terence touches upon the issue of transferring a text from Greek to Latin and of the (implicit) lack of objective criteria to assess the outcome of this process. The term argumentum with the technical dramatic meaning ‘plot’ features repeatedly as well. All six prologues, finally, appeal (the three of them in their conclusion) to the equanimity of the spectators (An. 24; Heaut. 28, 35; Eun. 42; Ph. 30, 34; Ad. 24; Hec. 28). This special vocabulary of the prologues, then, so meticulously ‘oral’ and yet so emphatically proposing a new type of fabula palliata that dramatises without alterations a scripted plot faithfully, advances a code of quasi-formulaic ‘orality’ that infuses the prologues with the spontaneity and immediacy of an oral delivery in-performance. This embracing of a technology of orality must have been felt by an audience that, even though in their great majority had limited access to literary texts, were trained to appreciate complex information received orally, including various types of performance. The literate audience were no less keen in detecting polished speech. Their assessment of the stylistically polished orality of the prologues is filtered through the consciousness that this orality is ‘polished’, designed to seem ‘oral’. The detection of this ‘artificial’ orality


Chapter One

qualifies accordingly the information these seemingly ‘oral’ texts communicate. The prologues become carefully tended pieces of patterned composition, language, motifs, structure and all. They are memorised more easily and they are recalled more readily, and they become a recognisable trope by an audience eager to detect the variations to the model introduced by Terence each time. The embracing of ‘orality’, in short, facilitates the forging of a special meta-language which is employed exclusively in the prologues. Dissociated from the rest of the play, and ridden with recurring formulaic expressions and set-themes, the special language of the prologues serves Terence’s dramatic politics as it becomes a code of communication that promotes the dramatist’s special interaction with his attentive audience. .


The deliciously mannered portrait of the malevolus vetus poeta and his comedies that is given in Terence’s prologue-speeches suggests, once one makes allowances for the exaggerations and distortions it undoubtedly contains, that that playwright, Luscius of Lanuvium, was very much a poet of the traditional style of the fabulae palliatae.1 Terence’s prologuespeakers pillory the elder comedian because, among other reasons, he made a young man in a burst of insanity imagine that he saw a deer in flight begging for help, and because he scripted a servus currens to whom people gave way in the street.2 A more sympathetic critic might reply that these charges, such as they are, could equally be laid against other playwrights of the palliatae.3 The caricature of Luscius that is presented in these prologues opens up some distance between Terence and his established rival, and suggests that spectators and theatrical professionals alike could identify, or could at least be prompted to identify, in Terence’s work a dramatic style that ran against the grain of tradition. The differences include aspects not just of dramatic style but also of language, for the ventriloquised Luscius is made to allege on one occasion that Terence’s style is ‘thin’ and ‘light’ (Ph. 5: tenui esse oratione et scriptura 1

On Luscius, never named by Terence but identified as the malevolus vetus poeta in Donatus’ commentaries, see Manuwald (2011) 242-4, with references to earlier discussions; on Luscius as playwright of the generation prior to Terence, see also Papaioannou, this volume (chapter 1). 2 For these scenes see Terence, Heaut. 30-2, Ph. 1-8. 3 Roehricht [(1885) 326-8], listing similar Plautine situations, demonstrates the fragility of the charges. The charge about the order of speakers at arbitration in Luscius’ Thesaurus (see Terence, Eun. 10-13) is equally weak; Barsby [(1999) 84] rightly calls attention to the arbitration scene in Menander’s Epitrepontes, and in Plautus’ Rudens (1060-7) Gripus, who is in possession of the disputed chest, at least protests against Trachalio’s being permitted to speak first.


Chapter Two

levi), thus implicitly faltering, by one set of standards, when compared with the exuberant and traditional comic verbal style that is now so familiar to readers of Plautus.4 Whatever one makes of those differences—whether one thinks that Plautus, for example, “wrote like a blacksmith mending a watch”,5 or that comedy benefits from precisely that kind of mending—it has long been clear, and much scholarship has put beyond doubt, that Terence’s language sets him apart from, though not entirely outside, the traditional style of Roman light drama, which is evident not just in the scripts of Plautus but also in the remains of the fragmentary light dramatists.6 Although it is thus legitimate to speak of a Terentian style in contrast to an enduring, traditional one, at the same time Terence’s language is not monolithic. The dramatist was a skilful manipulator of speech, striving for diverse effects by modulating the utterances of character-types and of individual personages alike.7 By writing long-windedness into the characteristic speech-patterns of old men, for example, or by outfitting the speech of female personages with markers of the kind of cozening flattery that Donatus would label blanditia,8 Terence strove to give to his characters speech that was realistic, or at least internally consistent. Against that broad picture of a dramatist who eschewed a style that had, over the preceding three generations, apparently become traditional and who gave to his personages individualised patterns of speech 4

The sole extant verbatim quotation of Luscius, preserved at Donatus, Ter. Eun. 10.2 [Atheniense bellum cum Rhodiensibus / quod fuerit, quid ego hic praedicem, quod tu scias?, Why should I describe what happened in the Athenian war with the Rhodians, since you (already) know?], suggests at least for that scene that Luscius wrote in a style closer to Plautus’ than to Terence’s, although the evidence is slender and the dramatic context of that fragment (the arbitration speech of the senex in the Thesaurus) would naturally have invited a high-flown and turgid style. 5 Norwood (1923) 1; cf. Norwood (1932) 58, for similar judgements. 6 J. Wright (1974); Karakasis (2005). The older comparisons of Plautus and Terence, by Haffter (1934) 126-43, and Duckworth (1952) 331-60, still have value. 7 Maltby (1979) and (1985); on individual personages see, e.g., Martin (1995); Karakasis (2005) 101-20. The discussions of individual speaking styles offered by Barsby (1999) throughout his commentary are invariably informative. For the possibility of individualised metrical characterisation see Karakasis (2003). Of course one also cannot properly speak of a single traditional style in light drama, for that style contains within its boundaries a tremendous diversity of styles. However the basic point remains true: broadly speaking, there is a very diverse Terentian style that differs from the traditional style and its own diversity. 8 See Dutsch (2008) 48-9, for references to Donatus’ comments; and Dutsch (2008) 48-91, on blanditia in Plautus.

Singing the Sermo Comicus with Terence


according to aspects of their status and character, it must also be noted that Terence had a finely honed sense of that traditional style and could imitate it when it suited his purposes to do so. The most extensive and most famous case of such imitation comes in Eunuchus, which in aspects large and small, from dramatic structure to linguistic detail, shows signs that Terence appropriated and exploited the comic style characteristic of other Roman light drama.9 Similarly, individual scenes where Terence alters or reworks a Greek model more extensively than normal, as for example at the end of Heautontimorumenos, often show signs that the traditional comic style is being exploited for particular effect.10 In other instances still other explanations for such linguistic touches might reasonably be sought.11 Whatever factor or factors motivated them, what these irruptions of tradition indicate is that Terence could appropriate elements of that traditional style to achieve particular effects within a given scene or in a play as a whole. For those reasons we must apply to Terence a standard parallel to the one that Wright argued must be applied to Plautus.12 For as Plautus must be judged not by his ‘failure’ to escape the traditional style, but according to his successes within it, so too must Terence be judged not just as a dramatist who eschewed the language of his comic predecessors with little linguistic impact upon his comic successors, but also as a comedian who could at times work with and within that tradition, exploiting its recognisable linguistic qualities to achieve his dramatic goals. The modest aim of the present paper, then, is to explore some moments in which Terence interpreted and exploited the stylistic tics of the sermo comicus. By building upon previous work that has shown Terence working both with and outside that tradition, I shall suggest that one recognisable aspect of Terence’s eclectic style is based not strictly in his own avoidance of tradition, nor solely in his desire to create realistic or consistent patterns 9

Karakasis [(2005) 121-43] gives extensive evidence with references to earlier discussions of the similarity of Eunuchus to the traditional, especially Plautine style. 10 Maltby (1983). 11 In practice, it will not always be possible to identify the cause or causes of irruptions of that comic style. Thus at Terence, Ad. 155-69, in a mutatis modis canticum, we may encounter an utterance like abi prae strenue (go ahead, quickly now, 167) because Terence is here blending Diphilus and Menander, or because sung passages readily admit of such touches, or because this kind of linguistic colouring suits the characterisation of Aeschinus, or because of some combination of these factors. The adverb is Plautine (see Aul. 264, Mil. 1373, Poen. 405, Ps. 1175, Rud. 493, Trin. 1102) and occurs only here in Terence. 12 J. Wright (1974) 195.


Chapter Two

of speech for character-types or individual personages, but more pointedly in his own interpretation, refashioning and deployment of that traditional comic style. In other words, just as he could make personages speak ‘like’ old men (or at least like a comic idea of how old men should speak), so too could Terence make his characters speak like comic characters of the traditional mould. I shall here examine the effects of irruptions of traditional comic language and style in Terence’s songs, including under that label both the mutatis modis cantica and the isolated lyric passages of Andria and Adelphoe.13 The presence of such elements should be regarded, I suggest, as another of the modulations to be traced in the language of Terence’s personages; and furthermore, that from those momentary irruptions we can see some indications of how Terence interpreted the traditional comic style. By focusing on sung passages, I am aiming to consider some dramatic moments in which this kind of stylistic rapprochement would be especially effective and especially recognisable to connoisseurs of Roman drama. For although we certainly cannot slight the importance of metrical and musical virtuosity in Terence’s plays in general, nevertheless Terence did make less frequent use of the kind of comic lyrics that abound in the scripts of Plautus and are often to be found among the fragments of light drama.14 When characters sing in Terence’s plays, then, there is at least the possibility that such songs would imitate and recall the traditional style of light drama. I shall argue that, when Lesbia sings bacchiacs in Andria, for example, or when Chremes sings about his son’s misbehaviour in Heautontimorumenos, one resonance available for an audience member to recognise is with that traditional style. Sometimes, as in Lesbia’s bacchiacs, Terence was striving to evoke the specific atmosphere of traditional comic 13

The label is largely a convenience, since our knowledge of the manner of performance of such passages is not quite adequate and of course can hardly account for inevitable deviations from a rule; see Moore [(2012) 92-103] for a rich discussion. The relaxation, in comic songs, of certain rules of word-placement observed in stichic iambo-trochaics could suggest that a different manner of delivery prevailed and that it is therefore possible to group these kinds of songs, whatever their metrical composition, together as distinct from stichic passages. I discuss some examples in passing in Welsh (2013). In any case I am not arguing that these irruptions of a traditional style are at all exclusive to the passages here grouped as song. 14 See especially Moore (2007). As to the fragmentary genres, I would note only that the metrical indices in Ribbeck’s second edition of the Roman scenic fragments [Ribbelck (1871-3) 1.366-8, 2.506-8] under-represent the polymetry of that material because of a persistent habit of forcing the fragments into iambotrochaic patterns where they might more naturally be taken as lyric verses.

Singing the Sermo Comicus with Terence


language and performance and to insert that atmosphere into the unfolding play. At other times, however, Terence could make more subversive use of that traditional language, evoking by linguistic means that atmosphere in a situation that was otherwise quite alien to the Roman comic tradition. Despite the inevitable artistic diversity served by such modulations of language, in these instances we have available the opportunity to glimpse how one practitioner of the genre interpreted the style of his predecessors. Early in his career, it would seem, Terence had already acquired a firm sense of the traditional style and was able to exploit it specifically as a means to call to mind the aura and situations of the Roman palliatae. In some splendid scenes in Andria, the senex Simo suspects that the slave Davus has hatched a scheme to prevent Pamphilus from being married off to a woman he does not love.15 These scenes are littered with the language of deceptions so familiar from the doings of the servi callidi of Plautine comedy, but what Simo in fact sees playing out is not a comic deception at all, but the birth of Glycerium’s child by Pamphilus. One of the events provoking Simo’s suspicion is the approach of the midwife Lesbia. The audience’s first introduction to this character comes from the ancilla Mysis, who describes Lesbia as a reckless drunk, the drinking buddy of the old maid Archylis.16 Although Mysis’ colourful language is quite in line with Terence’s later linguistic usage,17 the character so described seems by contrast almost to have been summoned from the comic past. It is, in a way, unsurprising when Lesbia herself uses a language redolent of the traditional style; her bland utterances when she arrives (An. 466-7) scarcely prepare the audience for her short burst of song when she exits the house at An. 481-5 (ba4, ia4^):


For Simo’s suspicions see Terence, An. 196-8: si sensero hodie quicquam in his te nuptiis / fallaciae conari quo fiant minus / aut velle in ea re ostendi quam sis callidus (If I find you attempting any trick today to prevent this marriage, or trying to show how clever you are in this situation…); 404: reviso quid agant aut quid captent consili (I’ve come back to see what they’re doing, what schemes they’ve hatching); 432f. (Davus speaking): hic nunc me credit aliquam sibi fallaciam / portare et ea me hic restitisse gratia (He’s sure I’ve some trick up my sleeve and that’s why I’m staying here). 16 See Terence, An. 228-33. 17 sane pol (sure as heck, An. 229) is more in keeping with Terence’s own style than with the traditional one (the collocation does not recur, but cf. sane hercle, at Eun. 607, Ph. 542, Hec. 459); similarly, for temulenta (in scenic verse only in Terence and Afranius). When Mysis calls Archylis an anicula, literally, a ‘little old woman’ (An. 231), she is using a word not found in scenic verse outside Terence (here and Ph. 98).


Chapter Two adhuc, Archylis, quae adsolent quaeque oportent signa esse ad salutem, omnia huic esse video. nunc primum fac ista ut lavet, post deinde quod iussi ei dari bibere et quantum imperavi date; mox ego huc revortor.18 (So far, Archylis, all is normal. All the customary indications of a safe delivery are present. First make sure she has her bath, and after that Give her the potion I prescribed in the right dose. I’ll be back soon.)

This lyric passage, when viewed against Terence’s later productions, by virtue of its meter alone would seem more akin to the traditional lyric style of Plautus and the other comedians. That initial similarity proves to be significant, for Lesbia’s language includes a number of specific linguistic items redolent of that style. Her expression quae adsolent… signa esse (all the customary indications), employs a verb that is otherwise in scenic verse found only in Plautine lyrics,19 and her quod iussi dari bibere (give her the potion I prescribed), employs the infinitive in a fashion widespread in early Latin but otherwise avoided by Terence.20 More generally, there is at least one signal of the kind of prosodic liberties familiar from Plautine song, for deinde here must scan as a trisyllabic word, although it is elsewhere in Terence regularly disyllabic.21 18 I give this passage as it is printed by Questa (2007) 439. Although I generally agree with his comments about the distance separating these lyrics from Plautus’ bacchiac style there are, as I shall argue, some notable irruptions of traditional comic style in Lesbia’s words. 19 See Plautus, Epid. 7 (ia8 in a mutatis modis canticum) quod eo adsolet (what’s normally added to this), and Persa 759 (cr4) ponite hic quae adsolent (put here what one usually does). 20 See LHS II, 345 for the construction. One might contemplate reading biber, on the model of Fannius apud Charisius p. 158.1 Barwick iubebat biber dari ([s/he] ordered to be given a drink) and Titinius 78: date illi biber, iracunda haec est (give her a drink; she is growing angry). Given the linguistic patterns observable when Terence reworks a scene (see above, p. 61 n. 11), it is worth mentioning that Menander’s Andria probably had the midwife prescribe four egg-yolks (see Menander fr. 40 K-A țĮ੿ IJİIJIJȐȡȦȞ | ધ૵Ȟ ȝİIJ੹ IJȠ૨IJȠ, ijȚȜIJȐIJȘ, IJઁ ȞİȠIJIJȓȠȞ, and then the yolk of four eggs, dear); since Lesbia prescribes instead a drink, her language might be expected to show elements of the traditional comic style independent of its status as a song. 21 See Engelbrecht (1883) 72-3; Questa (2007) 439. Such liberties are perhaps to be connected with differences in the manner of delivery of comic songs, as

Singing the Sermo Comicus with Terence


In lexical choice, meter and prosodic license Lesbia’s song thus has much that evokes a traditional comic style, different in some significant ways from what can, in retrospect, be recognised as Terence’s usual linguistic style. Although to some members of the audience Lesbia’s song might simply have sounded old-fashioned, or like a ditty appropriate to an old drunk midwife, it seems equally possible that comic aficionados in the audience would recognise in her language the words and sounds of a longstanding comic style.22 Some support for such an inference comes from the broader dramatic context of this passage. For Simo suspects that he is witnessing some comic flim-flammery orchestrated by Davus, and orchestrated with rather poor timing at that.23 Simo’s error in thinking that he is watching a comic deception mimics and guides, in a way, the response of the informed spectator, who may recognise in Lesbia’s language traces of another kind of comic performance. Although Lesbia and the events she has been summoned to superintend are fully a part of Terence’s comic plot, Simo and the audience can also see in them a performance drawn from and evoking the traditional style of the Roman comic stage. A second lyric passage in the same play similarly, albeit less overtly, makes use of that traditional style. The aim in this instance would seem to be less the insertion of an obvious reminiscence of comic performance, as was the case with Lesbia’s bacchiacs, and instead a general continuity with the style of comic song. Here Charinus returns to the stage after learning from Byrrhia that Pamphilus has evidently, despite his promises, agreed to marry Charinus’ own beloved Philumena. When Charinus sings to himself compared to stichic iambo-trochaics. If, however, one prefers the disyllabic scansion of deinde otherwise normal in comic verse and with it Fleckeisen’s conjecture post [cf. Lindsay’s apparatus criticus ad loc.], the result is an even stronger echo of a Plautine style; see Karakasis (2005) 138. 22 See Barsby [(2001) 1. 102 n. 30] for the possibility that Lesbia’s song suggests she has been drinking, and Moore [(2012) 198] for the connection of Lesbia’s bacchiacs with the self-important ‘good slave’ monodies. 23 See An. 488-94. Lesbia’s performance has merely convinced Simo that his earlier suspicions were correct: see An. 469-77. With regard to the competing possible interpretations of this scene, many of which may have been activated at once in different audience members, it is worth pointing out that although Simo immediately considers Lesbia’s song to reveal itself as a fictional performance, Donatus (ad Terence, An. 481.1) rather praises the verisimilitude of having Lesbia speak in a fashion suited to a physician departing a patient’s home (quam scite expressa sit consuetudo medici vel medicae egredientis ex aegri domo, how cleverly the typical conversation of the doctor as he or she departs from a patient’s home has been expressed).


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in dactyls and cretics at Andria 625-38, his language jingles with patterns of sound, diction and imagery redolent of that traditional style: hoccinest credibile aut memorabile, 625 tanta vecordia innata quoiquam ut siet ut malis gaudeant atque ex incommodis alterius sua ut comparent commoda? ah idnest verum? immo id est genus hominum pessumum in denegando modo quis pudor paullum adest; 630 post ubi tempus promissa iam perfici, tum coacti necessario se aperiunt, et timent et tamen res premit denegare; ibi tum eorum inpudentissuma oratiost “quis tu es? quis mihi es? quor meam tibi? heus 635 proxumus sum egomet mihi.” at tamen “ubi fides?” si roges, nil pudet hic, ubi opus [est]; illi ubi nil opust, ibi verentur. (It’s unbelievable, unimaginable! That a man can be so morally deranged As to delight in another man’s misfortunes And seek his own gain from another’s loss! Oh! Can it be true? It’s the worst kind of men Who for a while feel shame to go back on their word But, when the time comes to make good their promises, Reveal their true selves as needs they must, Afraid to prove false but they have no option. Then their impudence knows no bounds: “Who are you? What are you to me? Why give you my girl? I come first with me.” Yet, if you ask “What about your word?” They’ve no shame then, when shame is wanted. It’s when you don’t want it, they have their scruples.)

In the echoing sounds of credibile aut memorabile (625), and et timent et tamen (633), in the language of tanta vecordia innata… siet (so great moral derangement may be innate [sc. to someone]),24 in the use of the emphatic verb denegare, ‘refuse’, ‘deny’ (630 and 633),25 Charinus’ 24

Cf. Plautus, Mil. 1063 (avaritia), Poen. 300 (invidia). In early Latin the verb occurs seven times in Plautus (Am. 850, Curc. 350, Men. 582, Poen. 736, St. 558, Trin. 1171, Truc. 8); after these and two other instances in An. (158, 241), the verb occurs in Terence only at Heaut. 486-7, in the alliterative lines tu rem perire et ipsum non poteris pati. / dare denegaris, ibit ad illud ilico… 25

Singing the Sermo Comicus with Terence


language displays features that, although individually perhaps rather slight, collectively go some way toward calling to mind a traditional comic style. More generally, the banal content of Charinus’ song and the entirely credible and indeed unsurprising paradoxes that he reports with such surprise and outrage could be illustrated with reference to the malicious and perjurous characters who inhabit certain palliatae. One need not look very far there to find individuals who rejoice in the misfortune of others, who go back on their promises, or who generally exhibit a lack of pudor.26 Some further indication that these resonances were available for comic cognoscenti to recognise comes when Charinus changes his meter from cretics to trochaic septenarii and iambic octonarii. Despite that shift, signalled also by his abrupt question sed quid agam? (but what shall I do?, An. 639), Charinus’ words still sound somewhat like that traditional style; his deliberative question ingeram mala multa (heap abuse [on him], An. 640) calls to mind the kind of verbal abuse mentioned often in Plautus but not otherwise by Terence.27 Though Charinus’ song has trailed off, his

(You won’t be able to endure the loss of your money and your son. But if you refuse to give him it, he’ll immediately go where…), suggesting that after Andria Terence generally abandoned the use of that verb except where it contributed to the alliterative effect [the similarity to Plautus, Men. 582: datum denegant quod datum est (they deny that what’s been given has been given), and St. 558: denegavit dare (he would refuse to give), is worth noting]. 26 For the first, cf. Plautus, Cas. 568: quem hercle ego litem adeo perdidisse gaudeo, ne me nequiquam sibi hodie advocaverit (I’m happy he lost the case, so that he didn’t ask me to be his advocate without any effect today); Rud. 1285: ita omnes mortales, si quid est mali lenoni, gaudent (how all people rejoice if anything bad happens to a pimp); St. 207-8: dicam auctionis causam, ut damno gaudeant; | nam curiosus nemo est quin sit malivolus (I’ll state the reasons for the auction so that they may be happy about my loss; there’s no meddler who isn’t malevolent); St. 394: ilicet, iam meo malost quod malevolentes gaudeant (It’s all up; now because of my misfortune there’s something malevolent people can rejoice over); Trin. 53: credo hercle te gaudere, si quid mihi mali est (I do believe that you are happy if I have some misfortune). Cf. Terence, Eun. 998-9, 1041. The second is best illustrated by the perjury of certain agelast types like the lenones, even though their promises are of a different kind than the promises of friends at issue for Charinus. For the last, the wide range of characters and their behaviours that are labelled impudens in Plautus will illustrate the kinds of things Charinus’ words might call to mind. 27 Cf. Plautus, As. 927: modo, cum dicta in me ingerebas, odium, non uxor eram (just before, when you were throwing bad words against me, I was your abomination, not your wife); Bacch. 875: atque ut tibi mala multa ingeram? (and on condition that I can heap many insults onto you?); Men. 717: omnia mala


Chapter Two

words perhaps prompt a retrospective assessment of the song itself, giving members of the audience yet another chance to recognise its affiliations. The effect of these evocations of a traditional style and tone is different in kind from Lesbia’s earlier song, inasmuch as Terence does not seem to try to recreate a moment from the established style of light drama, but rather simply to call to the audience’s attention, within the context of the unfolding plot of Andria, that style and its implications. Charinus’ song, then, does not so much create a ‘metatheatrical’ moment in the drama as imbue its conflict, and his mistaken belief about Pamphilus’ intentions, with resonances of that style. For those members of the audience prepared to think about Terence’s comedies against the backdrop of the established style of Roman light drama, Charinus’ song and the language used to express it push his incorrect belief, and his reaction to it, nearer to the jocular tone and almost farcical quality that so often prevails when characters make mistakes in the palliatae. Charinus’ error thus becomes more humorous, and his anger less threatening, for those members of the audience who catch the comic thread. The kinds of effects that I have described from the lyric passages of Andria can also be observed in certain mixed-meter (iambo-trochaic) cantica, which occur with greater frequency in Terence’s scripts and which therefore might be regarded as more fertile ground in which to search for such rapprochement. A particularly fine example occurs in Heautontimorumenos, in the scene in which Chremes pulls his son Clitipho out into the street to berate him for some immodest behaviour with Bacchis, whom Chremes wrongly believes to be Clinia’s love (56290). Although Chremes’ first questions are delivered in a manner typical of Terence’s style and even with a certain chastity of expression, his responses to his son’s denials take on an increasingly outraged and increasingly (traditional) comic tone (Heaut. 562-70): CH. quid istuc quaeso? qui istic mos est, Clitipho? itane fieri oportet? CL. quid ego feci? CH. vidin ego te modo manum in sinum huic meretrici inserere? SY. acta haec res est: perii. CL. mene? CH. hisce oculis, ne nega. facis adeo indigne iniuriam illi qui non abstineas manum. 565 nam istaec quidem contumeliast, hominem amicum recipere ad te atque eius amicam subigitare. vel here in vino quam inmodestus fuisti… SY. factum. CH. quam molestus!

ingerebat (she heaped all sorts of insults); Ps. 359: ingere mala multa (to heap up all sorts of insults) [in advance of the famous flagitatio; cf. Ps. 369].

Singing the Sermo Comicus with Terence ut equidem, ita me di ament, metui quid futurum denique esset! novi ego amantium animum: advortunt graviter quae non censeas.



(CH. Tell me, what are you up to? What sort of behaviour’s this, Clitipho? Is this the proper way to act? CL. What have I done? CH. Didn’t I see you just now putting your hand inside that woman’s bosom? SY. (aside) It’s all over! I’m lost! CL. Me? CH. With my own eyes, so don’t deny it. You’re doing Clinia a terrible injustice in not keeping your hands to yourself. It really is outrageous to invite a friend to your house and then fondle his mistress. For instance, yesterday when you were drunk how shameless you were— SY. (aside) It’s true. CH. —and how disagreeable. Heaven knows how afraid I was of what would happen in the end! I understand how lovers feel. They get very upset at things you wouldn’t imagine.)

Chremes’ initial questions are hardly distinctive, and his accusing question about the behaviour that he has observed is framed through the dainty periphrasis manum in sinum… inserere (put [your] hand inside [that woman’s] bosom), where the distribution of the thought across two verses and the delay of the verb inserere, ‘put inside’, (akin to enjambment) suggests that Chremes is grasping for a polite and innocuous way to describe what he has just seen. After Clitipho’s denial, however, Chremes becomes rather more forceful and direct in his manner of expression. More specifically, Chremes takes up the traditional language and style of light drama to make his point in a less delicate way. He first replaces the ginger expression manum in sinum… inserere with the more direct phrasing evident in qui non abstineas manum (in not keeping your hands to yourself), paralleled by, for example, the Plautine abi atque abstine manum (go away and keep your hands off me), spoken by Cleostrata to her husband at Casina 229a, or Ampelisca’s potin ut me abstineas manum, (can’t you keep your hands away from me?), spoken to the leering and invasive Sceparnio at Rudens 424.28 Then he becomes even more overt, describing the insult of treating someone as a friend and then fondling his girlfriend, as he believes Clitipho has done, with the verb subigitare. The 28 Cf. also Lucilius 901 Marx. The expression does recur at Ad. 781: non manum abstines, mastigia (take your hands off me, you whipping post), but Demea’s language there is so full of traditional comic insults (note mastigia) and threats that it may be taken as further confirmation of the traditional comic resonance of Heaut. 565.


Chapter Two

verb is both strikingly comic, for it is otherwise confined in republican Latin to Plautus, and strikingly blunt, for it otherwise describes such erotic actions in unambiguous terms. Yet there is more to the issue, for Plautus uses the verb not simply to describe the act of fondling, but more specifically such erotic acts with another man’s girlfriend or wife. Thus Demipho in Plautus’ Mercator is said to fondle the woman his son Charinus has purchased for himself;29 in a comic deception in the Miles Gloriosus Periplectomenus accuses Pyrgopolynices of fondling his fictive wife;30 and even Chalinus, after the sham wedding in which he, disguised as Casina, is married to Olympio, invites the old senex to come back to the bedroom to fondle his now barely disguised self: for Chalinus has within that comic deception technically been married to another man.31 When Chremes disdainfully describes what he saw Clitipho doing with the verb subigitare, to fondle, then, he is at least generally evoking that kind of comic misbehaviour and is perhaps more specifically using the verb in the technical sense in which it is used by Plautus. Within this song, Chremes momentarily lapses into singing in a traditional comic language, aiming to present his son’s actions in an even more ridiculous and farcical way and thereby, from his perspective at least, to criticise them all the more. The success of that criticism depends, of course, on the sympathies and predilections of the individual audience members. A further example where Terence may exploit a traditional style comes in Chaerea’s exultation over the rape that he has committed in Eunuchus (549-61). Here a claim for the influence of song as a factor in such language will necessarily be more tentative, owing to the fact that Terence in Eunuchus often appropriated the traditional style. Nevertheless Chaerea’s exultation makes use of comic style to such a degree that it would be legitimate to recognise it, whatever the precise combination of factors that brought about its existence. In this case it is less the presence of demonstrably Plautine (or traditional) and un-Terentian linguistic features, of the sort with which I have been concerned thus far, and rather 29

Plautus, Merc. 203: sed scelestus subigitare occepit (but the criminal began to bestow his caresses). Acanthio’s response at Merc. 204: mirum quin me subigitaret (strange that he didn’t caress me!), makes the point even more obvious. 30 Plautus, Mil. 1402: Quor es ausus subigitare alienam uxorem, impudens? (Why did you care to make a move on another’s wife, you shameless creature?). Cf. Mil. 652: neque ego umquam alienum scortum subigito in convivio (I never make a move on another’s prostitute at a banquet), where he satirises the customary, ungentlemanlike behaviour of the Roman gentlemen at the symposia. 31 Plautus, Cas. 964: nunc tu si vis subigitare me, probast occasion (If you want to get me into bed now, you have a decent opportunity).

Singing the Sermo Comicus with Terence


the accumulation of stylistic touches that suggests a significant connection. As Chaerea emerges from Thais’ house, his language becomes increasingly more enthusiastic in its redundancy: numquis hic est? nemost. numquis hinc me sequitur? nemo homost (Is there anyone here? Nobody. Anyone following me? Not a soul, 549). These questions are followed by a vivid image of joy bursting forth, iamne erumpere hoc licet mi gaudium? (Can this joy of mine now burst forth?, 550),32 matched soon by another vivid expression about life spoiling one’s joy with sorrow: ne hoc gaudium contaminet vita aegritudine aliqua (than have this joy spoiled by any of life’s sorrows, 552).33 In lexical choice, too, the song is bold, with words like interfici (get killed, 551), obtundat (batter, 554), and enicet (kill to death, 554), which, if not un-Terentian, are still markedly characteristic of comic diction. Chaerea’s lines rise in their enthusiasm to the jingling alliterative conclusion quid mi quaeram, sanus sim anne insaniam (what I’m up to, whether I’m sane or insane), the sound effects of which are further augmented by elisions. After Antipho helps his friend by asking the questions he desires to be asked, Chaerea greets his friend with an enthusiastic o festus dies (Oh glorious day),34 a periphrasis redolent of comic style. These features and the general exuberance of the passage, again, are not marked by the kind of clear divisions between ‘Plautine’ (traditional) and ‘Terentian’ style, but the accumulation of such features suggest, ultimately, that Terence is seeking to recreate the hallmarks of the traditional comic style. Yet the use of such a style in this song is ultimately somewhat subversive, for Chaerea’s song and the rape, within the action of the play itself, that prompts it cannot be taken as a simple evocation of the tradition style of the sermo comicus as a means to imbue the scene with the aura of the palliatae. Unlike Chremes’ use of subigitare in Heautontimorumenos or even Charinus’ belated ingeram mala multa (heap abuse), in Andria, which, I argued, aim specifically at importing the style and atmosphere of comic traditions into those plays, in this instance the mismatch of language 32 Thus I prefer to interpret the language, although erumpere may instead be transitive; see Barsby (1999) 189 ad loc.; Barsby [(2001) 375] translates: “Can I now let my joy burst out?” 33 For the vibrancy of the expression compare Plautus, Merc. 73: postquam recesset vita patrio corpore (after life had left his father’s body). Both expressions seem to be comic play on the type of expression represented by Ennius, Ann. 1.37 Skutsch: vires vitaque corpus meum nunc deserit omne (now strength and life leave my whole body). 34 And perhaps o festus dies hominis, an even more Plautine expression, but the text is uncertain; see Barsby (1999) 191-2 ad loc.


Chapter Two

and content proves, for the spectator familiar with Roman comedy, rather more jarring. While the language feels traditional, the scene in which it is deployed is without parallel. That subversion is perhaps to be understood as the goal of the language of the scene. Chaerea sounds like a traditional comic schemer celebrating the success of his ruse, but the very act he exults over is apparently hardly known to that tradition. To turn from these tentative explorations of individual scenes and songs to the more general question about their implications for Terence’s interpretation of comic language, a few features seem to emerge as significant. There is, to be sure, some inevitable circularity in such an argument: for what crops up only rarely in Terence but is found with greater frequency in the traditional style of light drama would seem to demand attention, and so we run the risk of enshrining what we can sift out of Terence as his interpretation of that style, such that his version of the traditional style ends up necessarily distanced from what we believe to be his normal style. The principal feature of Terence’s version of the traditional style will thus be its difference from Terence. However the reading of the traditional comic style to be gathered from such explorations as these is perhaps consistent enough to merit putting forward all the same. For this interpretation of a traditional style embraces not just the obvious, and easily imitated, verbal exuberance of a Plautus, but also finer details of lexical choice, as with verbs like adsoleo (I am used to), and denego (I deny). It takes up nuances like prosodic liberties in lyric passages and syntactic variations, as well as jingling sound effects, personifications, paradoxes and alliterations. On the level of content, Terence’s interpretation of a traditional style puts to use coarse verbs for sexual acts, a drunken midwife and the thwarted promise of a scene of flagitatio. Despite the problem of circularity, then, there are some good reasons to believe that Terence’s sense of the traditional style of light drama would mirror fairly closely our own. One further implication of Terence’s use of songs merits mention, as a means to explore his understanding of the nuances of comic style. Not every Terentian song makes use of aspects of the traditional linguistic style to evoke or subvert that dramatic atmosphere; the presence of such mechanical uniformity in the corpus of a dramatist as skilled as Terence would indeed be rather more surprising than its absence. But even when no obvious irruptions of that traditional linguistic style may be identified or when such irruptions as occur are insufficiently concentrated to be regarded as significant echoes of that style, there are still dramatic continuities that are worth considering as representative of Terence’s skill in interpreting the language of the palliatae and other light drama. Thus

Singing the Sermo Comicus with Terence


even where Terence seems not to have aimed at the specific effects I have here sought to describe, there is still a kind of continuity, in dramatic effect, between Terentian comedy and the traditional light style in the usage of song. Here we turn from specific points of linguistic contact to a more general effect. That effect is the simple but ultimately significant point that the polymetric passages coincide, to a remarkable degree, with moments of high tension within the plays and present emotional reactions to those moments. The continuity of Terence’s practice in this respect with what is observable in the case of Plautus’ songs35 would thus seem to present another instance where Terence’s scripts afford us some insight into how he approached a project of innovation, through interpretation, within the traditions of Roman light drama. The connection of emotion and song was to a certain degree predictable, inasmuch as the lyric and mixed-meter passages deviate from comedy’s representation, in senarii and even to a certain extent in the stichic recitative passages, of more normal patterns of speech. Yet when we seek to examine Terence’s interpretation of that established and traditional style, the continuities matter as much as the discontinuities. When Terence deploys lyric meters to elevate the emotional tenor of the dramatic moment, as is the case with Charinus’ cretics in Andria and Aeschinus’ polymetric song in Adelphoe (610-7), or when Terence casts scenes like Chaerea’s exultation in Eunuchus or even Charinus’ frantic conversation with Byrrhia about Philumena (An. 301-8) in mixed-meter cantica, we have access to how he understood the traditional effects of comic song. From these moments of emotional elevation we can discern a continuity with a traditional style, and come closer to glimpsing a practitioner’s sense of the sermo comicus. Terence was undoubtedly a skilled reader and viewer of Roman drama, and had a finely honed sense of its style. Although the reasons for his reactions against the traditional style that had been established some three generations earlier are quite beyond recovery, many points of detail in his language and style suggests that he did, indeed, react against that style. The experiment would be short-lived, for even a dramatist like Afranius, who apparently claimed to hold Terence in highest regard (Afranius fr. 29), still did not follow Terence’s linguistic model, but instead adhered to a style that was buttressed by a generations-long tradition. Yet Terence’s experiment was not entirely exclusive, for at many moments within his scripts the hallmarks of the traditional comic style irrupt. The songs that Terence scripted are sometimes particularly rich with such hallmarks, and 35

See, e.g., Law (1922) 27-39.


Chapter Two

in many cases it seems possible to trace in those comic moments the dramatist’s own interpretation of the sermo comicus. Terence’s version of that style seems to have hit quite close to the truth, in terms of fine detail and broad significance alike. That he had such a sensitive feel for the distinctive features of that style is perhaps owed in no small part to his skill at reading, viewing and interpreting it.


Early Latin poetry consists mainly of three major literary genres; epic, tragedy and comedy, with some poets delving into all three (Livius Andronicus, Ennius, Naevius). By the time of Plautus and Terence, and under the influence of the Greek literary tradition, these three generic formations developed their distinctive markers in terms of themes and language/style; ‘generic interaction’ between them seems to have been operating from the very early years of Latin literature, especially in the case of comedy as a host genre. Comedy either fully assimilates tragic/epic features to the point of absorbing the hard edge of their non comic tone or, alternatively, nods to their ‘generic otherness’ which the comic genre variously exploits to different effects. Within this general perspective, the present chapter looks into the way Terentian comedy interacts with the tragic and the epic ‘generic mode’ of the Early Latin genus grande, through direct quotations, with a threefold aim: first, to survey the way in which this practice adds to the unfolding of the comic plot and the production of (generic) meaning both in terms of a specific scene/dramatic act and within the whole of a comic drama; second, to examine this Terentian practice in the backdrop of the comic tradition, as exemplified mainly by Plautus; and third, to explore the means by which such a technique may be used for character delineation and individualisation. Instances of such ‘generic interaction’ between tragedy and comedy contribute to the understanding of Terence’s techniques of ‘generic contact’, his ‘meta-generic poetics’, as well as his way of reading and, accordingly, interpreting earlier literature, which often functions as a Terentian intertext.1 1 For an innovative approach of Roman Comedy through the lens of intertextuality see Sharrock (2009).


Chapter Three

I. Tragic Intertexts Aristophanes, as well as Greek and Roman New Comedy poets, occasionally indulge in ‘tragic allusion’, frequently but not exclusively for parodic reasons.2 Comedy’s tragic reminiscences may take several forms: quotation of a passage, imitation of tragic style in general (e.g. highly stylised language) and metrical units favoured by tragic plays, allusion to a tragic theme (e.g. refuge at altar) or a typical tragic ‘narrative sequence’ (e.g. ‘recognition scenes’,3 for which see further below pp. 79f., ‘madness settings’), ‘tragic staging’ (e.g. the use of ਥțțȪțȜȘȝĮ) or even a combination thereof. However, in the case of Roman Comedy, Terence included, it is not always easy to spot references to Roman tragic dramas; this is mostly due to the fact that a large part of ancient Roman tragic output is unfortunately lost. Despite the lack of sufficient data, it seems that Terence is more reserved than other comic authors of the palliata in introducing clearly tragic material into his comedies; this is borne out, for example, by 6-8 of the prologue to Phormio, where, according to both ancient (Donatus prol. 5.1, 2; 6.1, 4; 7.1; 8; cf. also Evanthius, Fab. 3.5, Maltby in this volume) and modern critical tradition,4 the poet objects to an exaggerated tragic theme; in all probability an instance of a frenzied adulescens, viewing his sweetheart as a hind chased by dogs and begging for the young man’s assistance. Nonetheless, it is also incontestable that Terence time and again resorts to tragic allusions, especially in terms of language and style. This has been already pointed out by ancient and modern criticism through a variety of (occasionally impressionistic) remarks concerning tragic style on Terence’s part. For example, in his comment on the reduplicated perfect pepulisti uttered by Micio at Ad. 638 (tune has pepulisti fores? Was it you who banged on the door?’), Donatus (ad loc.) expresses the view that this form befits tragedy rather comedy, without giving any justification. Remarks of this kind may be multiplied (cf. e.g. ad Ph. 201,


For tragedy in New Comedy, cf. esp. Sedgwick (1927) 88-9; Thierfelder (1939) 155-66; Katsouris (1975a); Sheets (1983) 195-209; Hunter (1985) 114-36; Goldberg (1986) 204-11; Hurst (1990) 93-122; Prinzen (1998) 21-7; Fantuzzi/Hunter (2004) 426-30; Karakasis (2005) 90-100; Petrone/Bianco (2006); Bianco (2007); Fraenkel (2007) esp. 49-51, 140-1; see also Sharrock (2009) esp. 204-19, and Manuwald (2014) 580-98 with the bibliography cited there. 3 Regarded as ‘tragic’ both by meta-dramatic comments of poets and ancient theoretical discussion [Hunter (1985) 130]. 4 Cf. Maltby (2012) 130; see also Sharrock (2009) 82.

Tragic and Epic Interactions in Terentian Comedy


ad Ad. 731);5 but they are usually passing and devoid of meticulous methodological principles and scholarly systematisation. Terentian diction is, beyond any doubt, a literary construction, a Kunstsprache, and, therefore, can by no means be considered as a pure reflection of every day colloquialism; it is a rhetorically embellished sermo, often stylised and made up (fraught with inflated/padded style, a range of figures of speech, etc.), which occasionally makes use of several means to further distance itself from common linguistic habits. In this endeavour, the comic dramatist draws not only on his archaising register but also on the diction of higher poetic registers (epic, tragedy), and specialised registers as is the sacral language, the legal and the formalofficial sermo in general, all associated with forms of elevated discourse. This practice, therefore, also involves (mock) epic and tragic speech. Both Greek and Roman literature—to a lesser extent the latter though—often make a clear-cut distinction between the two literary genera (not only in terms of themes, but also as far as language and metre are concerned).6 Through a systematic comparative analysis of comic and tragic diction, I have elsewhere examined [Karakasis (2005) 90-100] Terence’s use of linguistic means associated with tragic speech, mainly for elevating the linguistic colouring of certain, often emotionally charged, passages, as well as for imparting, in terms of the well-known Terentian linguistic realism, an impression of high-flown diction appropriate to highborn citizens (senes, matronae, adulescentes, etc.) as opposed to comic figures belonging to the social group of low characters (slaves, parasites, pimps, etc.). It has been demonstrated that elevated diction in Terentian drama includes the use of particular morphological options (e.g. grandiose compounds [in –dicus, –ficus, etc.]), specific words or phrases (e.g. flamma vs. ignis, pedem efferre vs. domo abire), as well as lofty stylistic combinations (e.g. perfect or present + future of the same verb in paratactic construction within a verse, dicam construed with an accusative + infinitive syntagms in direct or indirect questions).7 The discussion now turns to quotes drawn from tragedy. In terms of tragic citations, and for the reasons already mentioned above, only three conclusive instances of tragic quotations occur in the Terentian corpus. 5

For Donatus’ comments on ‘tragic Terence’, cf. the thorough discussion by Maltby in this volume (chapter 8). 6 Cf. Hunter (1985) 114; see also Manuwald (2014) 580-1. 7 For tragic stylistic colouring in Terence, especially in the pathetic diction of his adulescentes in love, cf. also Lefèvre (2013) 630-9.


Chapter Three

1.1 Demea’s Conversion in Adelphoe A major issue in Terentian scholarship has to do with the meaning of Adelphoe’s ending8 and the significant change of Demea’s behaviour, after the latter finds out the truth regarding his sons. Up to the end of the fourth act of the play, Demea, i.e., the senex durus, mainly thanks to the trickery of the smart slave of the play, Syrus, remains fully unaware of the situation concerning Ctesipho, i.e., the son he supposedly moulded after the principles of a hard and parsimonious life in the countryside. However, during the fifth act (763-86), through the fault of a peripheral slave character, Dromo, Demea rushes into Micio’s house, where Ctesipho is enjoying his love with his sweetheart Bacchis, a slave girl owned by the pimp Sannio, whom Demea thought his other son, Aeschinus, was having an affair with; this is the son who, as the audience finds out through an exposition scene at the outset of the play, Demea, due to his small means, had entrusted, in the past, to the care of his bachelor brother Micio (cf. 449), the senex lenis of the comedy, the representative of liberal manners, the urban way of life and moderate pedagogical views. As a result of the revealed truth and a conversation Demea has with his brother Micio on the personality and the characters of Aeschinus and Ctesipho (787-854), the irate senex decides to modify his demeanour. In his monologue (855-81), Demea rationalises his resolution to alter his attitude, later exemplified by his manners towards the members of his family and the people of his immediate environment; Micio’s generosity accounts for the fact that both his sons are in perfectly good terms with their uncle, whereas his sternness results in Aeschinus’ and Ctesipho’s lack of fondness for their natural father. He thus firstly tests these new manners of his on Syrus as well as on Geta, the slave of Sostrata’s household; both slave figures experience surprise and wonder at Demea’s novel manners [882-98; cf. also Barsby (1991) 190]. He also behaves with consideration towards Aeschinus, urging him to speed up his wedding and, what is more, also advises for the union of Sostrata’s household with Micio’s oikos, through the demolition of the wall dividing the two houses, the hurried transfer of Pamphila to Micio’s premises and by means of Micio’s marriage to Sostrata (899-946). Demea’s suggestion that Hegio, the poor old friend of Simulus, Sostrata’s late husband and defender of the orphan Pamphila and her mother, should be offered a farm land as well as his proposal that Syrus and his partner, Phrygia, are given their freedom 8

For an illuminating account of the relevant criticism, cf. the excellent discussion of Traill [(2013) 326-7] with a useful and concise literature of the status quaestionis.

Tragic and Epic Interactions in Terentian Comedy


along with a sum of money (957-83) constitute further signs of Demea’s ‘change’, to Micio’s wonder and, up to a point, dismay. Traill [(2013) 328] has compellingly associated this change of Demea with the Aristotelian notion of ‘recognition’ (ਕȞĮȖȞȫȡȚıȚȢ). For Aristotle (Poet. 1452a29-31), whose influence on Terence, through the medium of Greek New Comedy as well (Menander, in particular, allegedly Theophrastus’ friend and pupil, i.e., Aristotle’s successor), is omnipresent, especially in this play,9 there exists a clear pattern associated with the notion of ਕȞĮȖȞȫȡȚıȚȢ (cf. 787-854); this evidently involves a change from ignorance to knowledge with an ensuing alteration of the alliances and the hostilities of a particular person: ਕȞĮȖȞȫȡȚıȚȢ įȑ, ੮ıʌİȡ țĮ੿ IJȠ੡ȞȠȝĮ ıȘȝĮȓȞİȚ, ਥȟ ਕȖȞȠȓĮȢ İੁȢ ȖȞ૵ıȚȞ ȝİIJĮȕȠȜȒ, ਲ਼ İੁȢ ijȚȜȓĮȞ ਲ਼ İੁȢ ਩ȤșȡĮȞ, IJ૵Ȟ ʌȡઁȢ İ੝IJȣȤȓĮȞ ਲ਼ įȣıIJȣȤȓĮȞ ੪ȡȚıȝȑȞȦȞ. (Recognition, as the very name indicates, is a change from ignorance to knowledge, leading to friendship or to enmity, and involving matters which bear on prosperity or adversity; trnsl. Halliwell [1995] 65).

Traill is absolutely convincing when associating Demea’s altered behaviour with a ‘recognition narrative’ [term of Traill (2013) 328]: Demea obviously is in a state of ‘ignorance’ (ਙȖȞȠȚĮ), before finding out Ctesipho’s love affair and spendthrift conduct, ‘recognises’ this failing of his (ਕȞĮȖȞȫȡȚıȚȢ) and acquires ‘knowledge’ (ȖȞ૵ıȚȢ) which leads him to his decision to modify his behaviour; this also entails a quite explicit change in his relationship with the rest of the dramatic characters, as feelings of fear or even enmity are now changed into affection and gratification. Crucially, as Traill herself (loc. cit.) acknowledges, the passage from the poetics refers to the way tragedy functions, although various forms of the ‘recognition sequence’ frequently occur in Menandrian comedy as well; it is thus not a coincidence that, when functioning as a hero of the tragic genus, according to Aristotelian criticism in any case, and the moment he realises his tragic ignorance which makes him revise his way of living, Demea quotes, in all probability, a tragic line, thus also acknowledging, in all likelihood, the ‘tragic generic descent’ of his situation. Thus in 789-90, Demea learns the truth about Ctesipho and makes use of tragic diction: 9

Cf. e.g. Rieth (1964); Fantuzzi/Hunter (2004) 419-25; for the influence of Aristotelian poetics on early Roman drama, cf. esp. Fantham (2001) 109-25.


Chapter Three ei mihi! quid faciam? quid agam? quid clamem aut querar? o caelum, o terra, o maria Neptuni! (Oh dear! What am I to do? How am I to act? What cry or lamentation can I utter? Oh heaven, oh earth, oh seas of Neptune’s realm!)

Although not identified as a faithful quotation from a surviving tragedy, the line may be considered, as Sharrock [(2013) 56-7] has rightly surmised, as a citation from an unknown tragedy, since both its formalistic structure and the elements of the appeal constitute common tragic features [cf. also Karakasis (2005) 99]; namely the tricolon of o with vocative syntagms occurs not only in Roman tragedy (cf. Enn. trag. 81 R3 = Andromacha fr. 27 (l. 87) Jocelyn: o pater o patria o Priami domus (O father, O fatherland, O house of Priam)10 but is also exploited in the paratragic contexts of Plautine Comedy (cf. e.g. Bacch. 933 in the Troy ‘canticum’).11 What is more, the triple apostrophe to natural elements is also typical of tragedy (cf. Men. Sam. 325-6: ੯ ʌȩȜȚıȝĮ ȀİțȡȠʌȓĮȢ ȤșȠȞȩȢ, ੯ IJĮȞĮઁȢ ĮੁșȒȡ, ੯ (O Citadel of Kekrop’s land! O thin–spread aithƝr! O– ),12 modelled, in its turn, on Euripides and his lost Oedipus; the line imparts a paratragic colouring to Demeas’ misconception of Chrysis as the lover of his son13; see also the tricolon quique tuo lumine mare terram caelum contines, ([you] who hold together, with your light, sea, land and sky), in Enn. trag. 238 R3 = Medea fr. 110 (l. 235) Jocelyn.14 Thus the comic character, when experiencing a situation associated by Aristotle with the tragic genre, highlights the ‘generic intrusion’ of the tragic mode by means of tragic diction. What are the implications of this tragic instance into the ‘generic world’ of Terentian comedy? As mentioned above, Demea reveals his decision to change in a soliloquy (855-81), which, by convention, is considered, within the stereotypical world of New Comedy, to convey the real thoughts, the authentic self of a dramatic character. Here the stern old man delivers a ‘conversion speech’ [term as used by Barsby (1991) 188], in which he ‘communicates’ his resolution to alter his ways towards sociability and gentleness as a true lesson of life. However, it soon becomes evident that 10

Translated by Warmington (1935) 251. Cf. also Scafoglio (2005) 636. 12 Translated by Bain (1985) 41. 13 Cf. Gomme/Sandbach (1973) 577; Bain (1985) 119; Hunter (1985) 124; Ireland (1992) 48; Zagagi (1994) 52; Traill (2008) 100. 14 Cf. also Duckworth (1952) 335 and n. 16; Martin (1976) 212-3; Barsby (1991) 184. 11

Tragic and Epic Interactions in Terentian Comedy


this is not a real change of character, a serious and a conscious amendment of manners but only a means used by Demea in order to get back at Micio. No real and significant change takes place15 and this is evidenced both by the denouement of the comic plot16 as well as by the comic intertexts of the Terentian monologue in question. Demea occasionally underscores the hypocritical character of his reformed attitude [Traill (2013) 326, 336], and this is especially the case with the eighth scene of the last act of the play, when in l. 958, through a gladiatorial image in his aside, Demea presents himself as cutting the gullet of his brother with the latter’s own blade, suo sibi gladio hunc iugulo (I’m cutting his throat with his own sword). The highly vindictive tone of the utterance strongly points to Demea’s real motives, also highlighted by the colloquial syntagm suo sibi [Martin (1976) 235] which betrays the agitated emotional state of the old man. His intention to give his brother a lesson is also revealed by his lines to Micio at the end of the play, when Demea openly justifies his novel behaviour as a way to show to Micio that it is his easy manners that endeared him to the young men and not a sense of aptness or proportion (985-9). The immediate Menandrian intertext of Demea’s ‘conversion speech’ also underlines the superficial character of his transformation. Knemon in Menander’s Dyskolos undergoes a similar ‘switch of character’,17 when, after falling into a well, he eventually realises that his misanthropic way of life is not to be followed any longer. Just like the Terentian Demea, the Menandrian Knemon presents his change of mind as a lesson of life through a ‘conversion speech’ (cf. 708-47). However, for all his ‘good will’, Menander’s rural character also remains, self-admittedly, almost unaltered (747) and betrays his grimness by his denial to attend the party closing the comic plot as well as by his hostile attitude towards the characters who come across him at the end of the play [Traill (2013) 329; 15

Cf. Rieth (1964) 111; Hunter (1985) 108; Lieberg (1989) 363; Barsby (1991) 193; Traill (2013) 335-9; also Victor (2012) esp. 686-8. 16 Cf. also Donat. ad Ad. 992: hic ostendit Terentius magis Demeam simulasse mutatos mores quam mutavisse (here Terence shows that Demea pretended to have changed his character but did not actually change it). For a concise account of the relevant criticism concerning the sincerity of Demea’s ‘conversion soliloquy’, cf. Goldberg (1986) 23-8 and n. 28 on p. 28 with the works cited there. As to the various readings that see here (and in the final scene) the result of a Terentian reworking of material not found in the main Menandrian model, cf. Perutelli (2002-3) 172-3 with the literature review offered there; see also Victor (2012) 6867. 17 Cf. Barsby (1991) 188; for the frequent association of Demea with Knemon, cf. Gratwick (1999) 40 and n. 63; see also Grant (1975) 57-8; Goldberg (1986) 23.


Chapter Three

see also 332-6). It thus becomes clear that in the case of Demea one cannot speak of a real change of character but of a kind of vengeful tactics;18 this artificial reformation of Demea’s character is evidenced not only through specific details of the comic plot but also, as suggested above, on the intertextual level, at least for an informed spectator or reader. Terentian comedy, after all, is composed for a more sophisticated audience, whether or not one views the very Scipionic circle to which Terence may have belonged as a fiction (for the term as a ‘romanticized notion’, cf. Hanchey (2013) 117).19 Be that as it may, Knorr [(2013) 305] is absolutely right in claiming that “by Terence’s time […] audiences were thoroughly familiar with the conventions of Greek and Roman Comedy” and I would also add with the plot of particular plays. An intertextual viewing of Terence’s Demea as a Menandrian Knemon may, therefore, not be a mere scholarly assumption. Tragic seriousness is thus here substituted by comic farce. No real transformation comes about but, instead, one enters the realm of farcical humour. This is how comedy accommodates tragic means, characters and situations. Demea as a dramatic character appears to display noticeable meta-dramatic consciousness of his function as a comic characterperformer. In l. 880 Demea acknowledges his status as a theatrical persona by means of a meta-dramatic comment: non posteriores (partes) feram (I won’t be left behind) where partes may also refer to his function as a comic actor and suggests theatrical awareness.20 He also acknowledges his occasional function as a performer of the tragic mode within a comic ‘generic framing’; this is achieved by means of the farcical outcome of the ‘character conversion’ theme with its tragic associations. This inter‘generic standing’ of the Terentian Demea seems to be further stressed by his intertextual association with the Menandrian Knemon, who also exhibits clear signs of the ‘tragic mode’ within comedy as the ‘hostgenre’; Knemon too occasionally appears as a tragic character, not only in going through the pattern of the Aristotelian tragic ਕȞĮȖȞȫȡȚıȚȢ as Demea did [Traill (2013) 329-30) but also when adopting tragic diction, just like Demea again, as well as through his stage presentation, i.e., when brought on scene with the aid of a kind of ‘paratragic’ trolley/ਥțțȪțȜȘȝĮ [Hunter (1985) 127; Fantuzzi/Hunter (2004) 428].


Cf. Barsby (1991) 190. Cf., however, Beacham (1991) 46-8; for the most recent concise overview of the subject, cf. Hanchey (2013) 113-31 with the bibliography offered there. 20 For the term belonging to the theatrical jargon, cf. Barsby (1999) 112; Maltby (2007b) 150, 158. 19

Tragic and Epic Interactions in Terentian Comedy


1.2 Chaerea as a Rapist in Eunuchus A further comic character of the Terentian corpus who exhibits notable markers of meta-dramatic consciousness is the adulescens/ephebe Chaerea in Eunuchus. A metatheatrical remark, similar to the one uttered by Demea with reference to his brother Micio (see above p. 81), appears in the speech of the soldier Chaerea when, in a dialogue with his slave Parmeno, he stresses the meta-dramatic function of his sibling, Phaedria; the latter is metatheatrically acknowledged as an adulescens in amore with a typical comic rival, a wealthier soldier, in the case of the Eunuchus, the braggart warrior Thraso: 354: duras fratris partis praedicas (This means my brother will have a hard part to play). What is more, Chaerea ‘performs’ within a play of unusual theatrical self-consciousness and self-reflexivity, as evidenced, among other things (such as the prominence of costume, the ‘plot into plot’ technique), by the frequent use of technical terms of the theatrical production with obvious meta-dramatic load [cf. ornare, 377; fabula, 689; palmarium, 930, etc.; Frangoulidis (1993) 146-51; (1994b) 121-30; Christenson (2013) 269-73]; this overall metatheatrical discourse bolsters, I believe, a metatheatrical generic reading of Eun. 590.21 When reporting Pamphila’s rape to his fellow ephebe, Antipho, in a typical ‘messenger’s speech’ [Christenson (2013) 263], inherited from tragedy [cf. Hunter (1985) 129; see also Sharrock (2009) 224], Chaerea presents himself as being instigated towards sexual consummation by a picture of Jupiter in his function as a lover, which acts as an aphrodisiac on the young man (Eun. 583-91): dum adparatur, virgo in conclavi sedet suspectans tabulam quandam pictam: ibi inerat pictura haec, Iovem quo pacto Danaae misisse aiunt quondam in gremium imbrem aureum. 585 egomet quoque id spectare coepi, et quia consimilem luserat iam olim ille ludum, inpendio magis animus gaudebat mihi, deum sese in hominem convortisse atque in alienas tegulas venisse clanculum per inpluvium fucum factum mulieri. at quem deum! “qui templa caeli summa sonitu concutit.” 590 ego homuncio hoc non facerem? ego illud vero ita feci ac lubens. (While things were being got ready, the girl sat in the room, looking up at a painting; it depicted the story of how Jupiter sent a shower of gold into 21

For the significant metatheatrical dimension of the play, cf. also Dessen (1995) 123-39; Knorr (2007) 172-3; see also Sharrock (2009) 226; Dufallo (2013) 33 and n. 65 (with bibliography).


Chapter Three Danae’s bosom. I began to look at it myself, and the fact that he had played a similar game long ago made me all the more excited: a god had turned himself into human shape, made his way by stealth on to another man’s roof, and come through the skylight to play a trick on a woman. And what a god! The one who shakes the lofty vaults of heaven with his thunder! Was I, a mere mortal, not to do the same? I did just that–and gladly.)

Infatuated with Pamphila, whom he meets by chance on the street, Chaerea decides, at his slave’s initial suggestion, to perform transvestism and, accordingly, to impersonate Dorus, namely the eunuch his brother Phaedria bestows as a present upon his sweetheart, the courtesan Thais (cf. 369-90). Thus, the ephebe gets access to Thais’ house where Pamphila dwells, being Thraso’s gift to the meretrix. Upon looking at the picture of Zeus impregnating Danae,22 the adulescens decides to rape Pamphila and reveals his resolution through a line (l. 590) drawn from Ennius (372 R3 = fr. 161 Jocelyn), also alluding, in all probability, to Naevius’ Danae, trag. 11 R3: suo sonitu claro fulgorivit Iuppiter23 (lightened Jupiter with his own loud din);24 cf. 590-1: qui caeli templa summa sonitu concutit! ego homuncio hoc non facerem? (The one who shakes the lofty vaults of heaven with his thunder! Was I, a mere mortal, not to do the same?) Donatus as well (ad Eun. 590) remarks that the line comes from tragedy (‘sonitu concutit’ parodia de Ennio. ‘templa caeli summa’ tragice, sed de industria, non errore, (‘sonitu concutit’ parodies Ennius. ‘templa caeli summa’ in the tragic manner; however, intentionally, not by mistake); the lofty character of the expression is further enhanced by its Greek counterpart IJȑȝİȞȠȢ ĮੁșȑȡȠȢ in Aesch. Pers. 365 as well as by the presence of the syntagm templa caeli at Enn. Ann. 1.48, 54-5 Sk.25 What are again the ‘generic implications’ of such a tragic instance? Rape belongs, of course, to the ‘generic repertoire’ of stock comic motifs; yet, as often pointed out,26 comic rape functions in the background or the pre-history of the comic plot and is, usually, the outcome of moral looseness pardoned by the fact that the young rapist is under the combined influence of wine, the fervour of his youth and the festive environment [Duckworth (1952) 291-2; see Plaut. Aul. 745, 794-5, Ter. Ad. 470-1]. Yet 22

Cf. Tromaras (1985) 268-77. Cf. Sharrock (2009) 222-3; (2013) 56; see also Jocelyn (1967) 137; Goldberg (1986) 209; Brothers (2000) 187; Manuwald (2014) 589-90; Papaioannou, this volume (chapter 4). 24 Translated by Warmington (1936) 115. 25 Cf. Barsby (1999) 198. 26 Cf. Christenson (2013) 264; see also Leisner-Jensen (2002) 173-96. 23

Tragic and Epic Interactions in Terentian Comedy


this is not the case here.27 Chaerea, thus, cannot appeal to the stock comic excuse and, accordingly, his act of rape hardly fits into the comic routine, for it displays a sense of ‘seriousness’ not endorsed in the comic world. Chaerea notably marks this ‘aberration’ of his from the ‘generic beaten track’ of comedy by means of a non-comic/tragic ‘modal’ intrusion, the tragic line he is presented to be uttering. What is more, by means of this tragic verse, as Sharrock [(2013) 56] compellingly remarks, Chaerea ‘plays himself into the role of a god who can get away with anything’. Nonetheless, the theme of a god performing rape outside the context of festive looseness again chiefly belongs to the ‘generic realm’ of tragedy, where one often comes across references to or reported actions of rape by the gods (cf. Euripides’ Ion and the rape of Creusa by Apollo, Euripides’ Antiope with Zeus as the rapist of Antiope, the sexual violation of Io by Zeus in Aeschylus’ Suppliants, the molested Europe and Thetis in Aeschylus’ Europa and Prometheus Unbound respectively as well as the Roman adaptation of similar tragic myths; one should also mention here the tragicomedia as Plautus’ Amphitruo which also presents similar material).28 The mythological exemplum of Danae, in particular, seduced by Zeus in her imprisonment also appears in Menander’s Samia, again as an excuse and justification for a rape (589-98)29; it appears as part of Demeas’ rhetoric to calm down Nikeratos, i.e., the father of the young lady whom Moschion raped (Plangon). In this case, Moschion, just as Chaerea in Terence, is also associated with the god par excellence. Demeas, once more here, meta-dramatically points to the tragic ‘generic colouring’ of the motif, by presenting the story as belonging to the repertoire of the tragedians (IJ૵Ȟ IJȡĮȖ૳į૵Ȟ, 590); both Sophocles and Euripides had written a drama on Danae, but the theme was, in any case, also brought up in other tragic plays as well, cf. Soph. Ant. 944 [Bain (1985) 126]. Ƞ੝ț ਕțȒțȠĮȢ ȜİȖȩȞIJȦȞ, İੁʌȑ ȝȠȚ, ȃȚțȒȡĮIJİ, IJ૵Ȟ IJȡĮȖ૳į૵Ȟ, ੪Ȣ ȖİȞȩȝİȞȠȢ ȤȡȣıઁȢ ੒ ǽİઃȢ ਥȡȡȪȘ įȚ੹ IJȑȖȠȣȢ, țĮșİȚȡȖȝȑȞȘȞ IJİ ʌĮ૙į’ ਥȝȠȓȤİȣıȑȞ ʌȠIJİ;


(Tell me, Nikeratos, haven’t you heard the tragic actor saying how Zeus became gold and flowed through the roof and debauched a girl who had been shut in? trnsl. Bain [1985] 585). 27

Cf. James (1998) 40; (2013) 187; see also also Rosivach (1998) 49. Cf. Christenson (2000) 50-5. 29 Cf. also Papaioannou, this volume (chapter 4); see also Ireland (1992) 56; Fantuzzi/Hunter (2004) 430. 28


Chapter Three

What is more, the main motives here are transvestism with effeminate garments and impersonation, i.e., themes which, along with several verbal parallels (e.g. Eur. Bacch. 824 = Ter. Eun. 376), connect the scene, as Sharrock [(2009) 219-26; (2013) 57] has again persuasively argued, with the famous tragic narrative of Euripides’ Bacchae, where Pentheus, just like Chaerea, is convinced by Dionysus to disguise himself as a woman in order to get into the circle of the Bacchic women. Thus Terence’s Eunuchus and Euripides’ Bacchae share a significant, common narrative sequence: a character persuaded by another dramatic person to dress up with feminine garments with a view to securing his way into a group of women. The tragic colouring of the situation may account, as previously in the case of Demea in Adelphoe, for Chaerea’s tragic quotation. But, whereas in Euripides’ tragedy one may read Pentheus’ revisiting of his infancy as negatively focalised, leading as it does to his death, in Terence the tragic scheme positively affirms and signals initiation to maturity and fatherhood [cf. Sharrock (2009), 226; (2013) 57]. This is how the ‘comic twist’ of this modal intrusion of tragedy within the comic hosting genre is achieved. This ‘comic turn’ is also secured through the rather paratragic character of themes like (effeminate) cross-dressing and impersonation, which belong to the very tools Aristophanic comedy resorts to for tragic parody and comic effect; in Aristophanes’ Thesmophoriazusae, the transvestism of Euripides’ relative (Mnesilochus in all probability) into a woman in order to creep into the Thesmophoria30 and his subsequent exposure is a parody of the Euripidean Telephus.31 Tragic diction, as in the Terentian instance in question, as well as the use of distinctive tragic motifs (e.g. the image of a helpless character finding refuge on a sacred altar) complement the paratragic picture.32 This particular Terentian instance of the sequence effeminate transvestism, impersonation, exposure may also be read as constituting a further illustration of a paratragic comic colouring, secured, in the case of the ‘traditional’ Eunuchus, by means of old tried comic tricks. A display of elevated discourse within a scene based on impersonation and effeminate masquerade also occurs in the Eunuchus’ main Plautine


For Terence’s Eunuchus recalling Aristophanes’ Thesmophoriazusae, see Sharrock (2009) 223-4; cf. also Whitehorne (1993) 128. 31 This is also the case with Acharnians where, in parodying Telelphus again, Dikaiopolis too considers dressing up as a beggar/Telephus to secure Chorus’ compassion. 32 See further Karamanou (2011) 688-99; cf. also Arnott (2003) 36.

Tragic and Epic Interactions in Terentian Comedy


model, namely Casina.33 Following the scheme of Cleostrata and Myrrhina, the matronae of the play, to have revenge on the old lecher (senex amator) Lysidamus who lusts after the young slave Casina, Chalinus, i.e., the slave of the play’s adulescens, Euthynicus, dresses up as a bride Casina, to be married off to Lysidamus’ farm overseer Olympio; but this marriage is nothing but a ‘wedding-pretence’ devised by Lysidamus as way to enjoy Casina’s favours. Crucially, this patently farcical scene incorporates elevated diction, as evidenced by the sacral combination sospes and superstes in Cas. 817-8, having its parallel in Enn. trag. 249-50 R3 = Melanippa fr. 119 (246) Jocelyn: regnumque nostrum ut sospitent superstitentque (and that they may save and keep alive our realm),34 as well as by syntagms of the type tuaque ut potior pollentia sit vincasque virum victrixque sies, tua vox superet tuomque imperium (and so that your power will be greater and you will have the upper hand over your husband and be victorious, and so that your voice and your command will be stronger, Cas. 819-21), doubling the notion expressed, which are favoured by tragic diction [Fraenkel (2007) 244].35 Thus, this Plautine model of the Terentian rape scene may also be read as a further feature accumulatively strengthening the traditional comic character of Eunuchus in relation to Terence’s other comedies; for Terence resorts here quite frequently to traditional, especially Plautine, comic techniques.36

1.3 An Ill–treated Wife; Philumena in Hecyra In the second scene of the first act of Terence’s Hecyra, the main slave of the comedy, Parmeno, gives the audience and his interlocutor, the protatic meretrix Philotis, an account of the backdrop of the comic plot. For all his amorous sentiments for Bacchis, the main courtesan of the play, Pamphilus is eventually ‘persuaded’ by his father, Laches, to marry Philumena, a young lady of Athenian citizenship, thus abiding to the social norm often celebrated by New Comedy plots.37 Despite the fact that the young man eventually consummates his marriage with Philumena, Parmeno reports Pamphilus’ initial improper behaviour to his wife (cf. ll. 164–6), who, upon Pamphilus’ departure to Imbros for a legacy issue, invents a pretence to leave her husband’s house. There starts a series of 33

Cf. Whitehorne (1993) 123; for disguise in Plautus, cf. esp. Muecke (1986) 21629. 34 Translated by Warmington (1935) 327. 35 Cf. also MacCary/Willcock (1976) 190; Moore (1998) 175-6. 36 Cf. Karakasis (2005) 121-43. 37 Cf. Konstan (1983); see also Penwill (2004) 131-2.


Chapter Three

misunderstandings and misconceptions constructing the plot of the comedy, according to the ‘generic standards’ of the Hellenistic and Roman comic genre; some of the characters in the play are of the view that Sostrata’s bad manners towards her daughter-in-law may account for Philumena’s going away, although the real reason is Philumena’s pregnancy which she wants to conceal, for it is the outcome of a rape, also belonging to the prehistory of the drama. The whole situation with Philumena’s return to her parental house again opposes civic ideology as promoted by the social outlook of New Comedy, namely the propagation of the oikos through a functional marriage. As Sharrock [(2013) 58] convincingly observes: “The bride Philumena’s return to her natal family is a move away from comedy, with its structures of society-building interaction between families, and into tragedy, with its self-destructive, quasi incestuous families”. Thus Philumena’s departure constitutes not only a moving away from standard comic ‘generic rules’38 but also a kind of ‘generic transposition’ towards the tragic mode, which operates here through the image of a destroyed oikos and a ‘selfdestructive’ family. Thus Parmeno utters a tragic line, significantly within the scene in which the audience listens to the exposition of this rather tragic situation and, what is more, upon describing Philumena’s initial ill treatment by her husband, who, therefore, also deviates from comic ‘generic rules’; neither is Philumena an uxor dotata nor has she committed a fault (as perceived by Charisios concerning his wife’s pregnancy in Menander’s Epitrepontes,39 also considered as a model of the present Terentian comedy through Apollodorus [cf. Duckworth (1952) 149]), nor is in the couple involved a senex and a matrona, something which could justify a problematic marriage.40 What is in fact developed here is an adulescens-virgo liaison which, however, has achieved its dramatic closure (marriage) at the outset of the play [Slater (1988) 251]. One should contrast here the wretchedness Antipho of Phormio experiences at the prospect of losing his wife (cf. 156-61).41 Under this viewpoint, Pamphilus, up to a point, deviates from the comic norm of an adulescens. tundendo atque odio denique effecit senex: despondit ei gnatam huius vicini proxumi. usque illud visum est Pamphilo ne utiquam grave 38


Cf. also Traill (2008) 258-9. For Terence’s Hecyra in its relation to Menander’s Epitrepontes, cf. esp. Penwill (2004) 146 and n. 45. 40 Cf. James (1998) 45. 41 Cf. Duckworth (1952) 282-3. 39

Tragic and Epic Interactions in Terentian Comedy


donec iam in ipsis nuptiis, postquam videt paratas nec moram ullam quin ducat dari, ibi demum ita aegre tulit ut ipsam Bacchidem, si adesset, credo ibi eius commiseresceret. (In the end his father was so insistent and tiresome that he prevailed, and he arranged for Pamphilus to marry the daughter of our next–door neighbour here. This didn’t seem particularly serious to Pamphilus right up to the actual time of the wedding. But when he saw everything was ready and that there was no reason now to postpone the marriage, then finally he was so upset that I believe even Bacchis herself would have pitied him, had she been present.)

Lines 128-9: ut ipsam Bacchidem, si adesset, credo ibi eius commiseresceret have been, most probably, fashioned after Pacuvius, trag. 391 R3 = 213 D’Anna = 294 Schierl: Priamus, si adesset, ipse eius commiseresceret (if Priam were here, even he would pity him)42 [Carney (1963) 43; Schierl (2006) 562; Goldberg (2013) 106-7], where, yet again, one comes across the notion of the compassion felt by someone who is, purportedly, on bad terms with the object of his consideration. In Pacuvius the person in question is Priam, the king of the Troians, who may feel pity for the troubles of a homecoming Greek, as in Verg. Aen. 11.259 [cf. Schierl (2006) 561]; in a similar vein, the Terentian instance is about the sympathy a betrayed Bacchis would have felt for a despaired Pamphilus, who, however, abandons her for a lawful wife.43 The untypically comic and rather tragic overall situation seems to be yet again marked out here by this tragic allusion, which may be read as a meta-dramatic comment on the tragic intrusion within the comic whole. However, once again this tragic note is eventually well accommodated within the overall comic framing. The opening misconduct of Pamphilus, largely unbefitting the standard manners of a young New Comedy adulescens, as well as the tragic colouring discernible in the departure of Philumena’s from Laches’ house, lead to the misunderstandings upon which the comic plot is largely built. Pamphilus proves at the end to be the one who had raped Philumena, i.e., the natural father of her baby, and thus the happy end once again reestablishes, as in the case of Chaerea in Eunuchus, the social principles promoted by New Comedy.44


Translated by Warmington (1936) 309. Cf. also Ireland (1990) 114. 44 Cf. also Sharrock (2013) 57. 43


Chapter Three

2. Epic Intertexts Epic and tragedy, both belonging to an elevated poetic discourse in comparison to comedy, share, in some instances, common thematic (e.g. battle accounts) and stylistic favourites (see below). As in the case of tragic diction, I have elsewhere shown [Karakasis (2005) 90-100] that Terence occasionally makes use of epic linguistic options, which function, in some cases, as part of the stylistic ‘generic repertoire’ of Early Latin tragic genus as well (e.g. genitives in –ai for first declension nouns, poetic compound adjectives, specific lexical choices as quadrupes in the sense of animal45). As with tragic lines, the fragmentary status of Early Latin epic production makes it quite difficult to make out epic citations or allusions to specific epic lines. As an exception, it seems that, in Phormio, one may detect a modified epic line in the speech of the slave Geta.

2.1 Geta, An Epic ‘Hero’ in Comic Phormio At the opening of the comedy, through his dialogue with the protatic Davus, Geta, as is also the case with Parmeno in Hecyra (see above p. 87), informs both his interlocutor and the spectators (for Terence does not make use of expository prologues) of the drama’s pre-history; namely that after the senes of the play (Demipho and Chremes) went abroad, Geta was entrusted with the care of their sons (Antipho and Pheadria respectively, cf. 71-2). Davus and the audience is informed of a typical Terentian dual love story with Phaedria falling for a lute girl owned by a pimp (Dorio) and Antipho for a young Athenian of exceedingly small means; both young men are, therefore, involved in relationships which could not have had the approval of their fathers but would, instead, cause their animosity. What is more, Geta’s interlocutor is also informed of Antipho’s marriage to the young girl (Phanium), through the scheme of a trickster parasite, Phormio, who presented Antipho as the young orphan lady’s next-of-kin at the court and thus secured her wedding to the adulescens by means of the epiklƝros law. After listening to all that and, consequently, realising the very thorny situation in which Geta finds himself, Davus expresses his concern for Geta’s troubles and this leads to the latter’s expressions of ostentatious heroism and grandiose self-assurance:


Cf. Karakasis (2005) 92, 94, 96-7.

Tragic and Epic Interactions in Terentian Comedy


Da. o Geta, quid te futurumst? Ge. nescio hercle. unum hoc scio: quod fors feret feremus aequo animo. Da. placet: em istuc virist officium. Ge. in me omnis spes mihist. Da. laudo. Ph. 136-40 (Dav. Geta, what will become of you? Get. I don’t know, for god’s sake. But one thing I do know, whatever fortune brings I will bear it with equanimity. Dav. Quite right. That’s how a man should behave. Get. My only hope is myself.)

Davus detects heroism in Geta’s remarks in 139: em istuc virist officium [there’s true heroism for you, trnsl. Maltby (2012) 45, or: ‘That’s the way for a man to behave!’, according to Brown’s translation (2006) 213]; he notices signs of a true man, evidence of virtus and virilitas. Is that only a comment on the remarkable heroic courage Geta displays at this difficult time for him or could one also detect here a meta-dramatic comment regarding the modal intrusion of the heroic world and its poetry (epos) into the main ‘generic body’ of Terentian comedy? As Martin [(1959) [2002] 98; cf. also Maltby (2012) 141] has plausibly remarked, the highly alliterative line 138: quod fors feret feremus aequo animo, notwithstanding its proverbial character, may recall 6.186-7 (Skutsch) in Ennius’ Annales: quidve ferat Fors / virtute experiamur (To see what Mistress Chance may bring, let it be by bravery that we make the test).46 If so, Davus’ remarks regarding the heroic character of Geta’s stance, substantiating his virtus, may also constitute a meta-dramatic comment on the use of a line drawn from the heroic world, the realm of force of character and manhood, i.e., epic poetry. Donatus (ad Ph. 138) as well felt the grandiloquent character of the utterance and points to its comic inappropriateness, for it appears in the speech of a slave, hae graves sententiae ex persona servorum cum dicuntur, ridiculae sunt (these highsounding sayings are ridiculous, when they are uttered by slaves). High-flown epic (and tragic) language in the speech of low characters, especially slaves, is, however, chiefly a feature of the Plautine slave callidus/fallax, since in Terence stylistic options of such colouring mainly characterise the speech of people of a higher social standing (old men, matrons, young lovers, virgins, etc.).47 In the case of servile speech epic (as well as tragic) allusion and/or quotation, moreover, seems to constitute 46 47

Translated by Warmington (1935) 73. Cf. Karakasis (2005) 90-100.


Chapter Three

a further characteristic feature of the Plautine smart slave, as it appears in the diction of the two most representative slaves of the kind, Chrysalus in the Bacchides (cf. the Troy ‘canticum’ (925-78)48) as well as Pseudolus in the comedy of the same name [cf. e.g. Ps. 702-3 = Enn. Ann. 1.104 Skutsch, with Erasmo (2004) 30 and Sharrock (2009) 169 and n. 18].49 By means of this epic citation and his mock-elevated style in general,50 Geta seems to be measuring up with his Plautine predecessors; however, before too long, he proves to be a shadowy counterpart of the Plautine cunning slave, as his role is mainly taken over by the parasite Phormio, who assimilates, in turn, several of the features characterising Plautus’ shrewd slave.51 Geta thus gives the impression of a scheming slave of Plautine calibre, only to dismiss it later in the play, defying the informed spectator’s/reader’s ‘horizon of expectations’; Terence thus makes use of the comic tradition in order to invert it—and this significantly adds up to his originality. Geta proves to be an ‘ambivalent’ smart servus, and this ambiguity of his, his meta-dramatic ambivalence, is also suggested by his intertextual model, namely the also ‘ambivalent’ figure of a ‘victorious’ Pyrrhus; the line in the Ennian epic to which Geta’s utterance alludes is spoken by Pyrrhus, after his ‘victory’ at Heraclea, in front of an embassy, headed in all probability by Fabricius, whose goal was to release Rome’s war prisoners [Skutsch (1985) 348-9]. The ‘ambivalence’ of Pyrrhus as a victor (Pyrrhic victory) may also stress the ‘ambivalence’ of Geta as a slave fallax, i.e., the eventual champion of the main Plautine comic plot. From this perspective, Parmeno’s use of tragic language in Hecyra, as earlier documented (p. 88), may also be read as challenging, up to a point at least, the comic tradition of the Plautine smart slave and his tragic discourse; for Parmeno too, just like Geta in Phormio, eventually fails to play out the role of the traditional servus fallax,52 despite an initial anticipation for the opposite.53


Cf. Sheets (1983) 200-1; Hunter (1985) 125; Barsby (1986) esp. 118, 151-3, 170–1; Anderson (1993) 24-5; Scafoglio (2005) 632-8; Manuwald (2014) 591. 49 Cf. also Sheets (1983) 198-200; Moore (1998) 97-8; Slater (2000) 104 and n. 14, 110, 188-9 and n. 18; Manuwald (2014) 589. 50 Cf. Karakasis (2005) 100; Maltby (2012) 135; see also Barsby (1991) 88. 51 Cf. Frangoulidis (1995) 397-425. 52 Cf. Penwill (2004) 132; Karakasis (2013) 213; Knorr (2013) 314-5 (with further bibliography). 53 Cf. Sharrock (2009) 156.

Tragic and Epic Interactions in Terentian Comedy


3. Conclusions Tragic/epic quotations or allusions to specific tragic/epic lines are in Terence generically motivated; a comic character goes through a series of events which bring him close to a situation mainly known from the epic/tragic genre or the critical tradition on the latter (Aristotle’s discussion of tragedy). Demea faces a tragic ਕȞĮȖȞȫȡȚıȚȢ with its consequences; Chaerea commits a kind of rape, characteristic of divinities of the genus grande, ‘performing’ outside the ‘generic precincts’ of comedy; Pamphilus in Hecyra displays an initial mind–set with reference to his wife, which, yet once again, is not the ‘generic rule’ in Roman Comedy, whereas Philumena’s return to her parents also bears undertones of the tragic genre; Geta exhibits a form of self-sacrifice and determinism associated mainly with the epic code. Thus the quotations/allusions in question come about as a linguistic marker of a thematic ‘generic transposition’ and, therefore, also constitute meta-dramatic comments on the ‘generic intrusion’ of the epic/tragic mode into the comic hosting genre. In all instances, however, there occurs a comic twist undermining the ‘generic intrusion’ away from epic/tragedy towards comic standards. Demea’s tragic ‘recognition’ is far from real, but a farcical facade; Chaerea’s transvestism and impersonation seem to parallel the Aristophanic paratragic function of Euripidean tragic discourse and stress Chaerea’s escape from the tragic outcome of deceitful cross-dressing, performed by his earlier counterparts of the tragic genre, for Chaerea eventually integrates himself into the ‘generic routine’ of New Comedy by entering adulthood and reproducing his oikos; this is also the case with Pamphilus in Hecyra. Geta’s heroic stance recalls the Plautine servus callidus and his epicising penchant; such an initial association is, however, later, comically dropped, when Geta fails to live up to the expectations of his Plautine forerunner. For all the scanty evidence, the present paper hopes to have suggested that Terence exploits tragic/epic references as ‘generic means’ for interacting with the earlier comic tradition, which he either reaffirms (Aristophanic paratragedy consisting in masquerade combined with imposture) or, up to a point, inverts and modifies in his drive for innovation (epic/tragic penchant of a shadowy smart slave, defying his Plautine prototypes).


Menander furnished the leading model for Terence. Four of Terence’s plays were modelled on Menander’s works, while Apollodorus of Carystus, the second Greek comic author to have inspired Terence by providing the models for the remaining two plays (Hecyra and Phormio), has been characterised as “Menander’s closest disciple in New Comedy’s second generation”,1 or, one might argue, Terence’s predecessor in identifying in Menander the model par excellence of comic penmanship.2 Terence’s decision to adopt Menander’s comic style was dictated by Menander’s popularity that was established after the dramatist’s own lifetime.3 This popularity resulted from the internationalisation of Comedy 1

N.J. Lowe (2008) 119. On Apollodorus Carystius and Terence see J.C.B. Lowe (1983) 437-52; Apollodorus who flourished in Athens between 300 and 260 BCE, is included in the two canons of the most celebrated New Comedy poets, along with Menander, Diphilos, Philemon and Philippides (PCG 2 p. 485, test. 2 and 3); he belonged to the generation of comic writers after Menander; it has long been taken for granted that the reason Terence modelled two of his plays on Apollodorus’ works is probably the fact that Apollodorus followed Menander’s language and style very closely; admittedly, though, there is no independent evidence to substantiate the closeness of the two authors. 3 On Menander’s success during his lifetime see Konstantakos (2008) with bibliography; an alternative, or rather complementary interpretation of why Terence was inspired by Menander, rather than any other author of New Comedy, is offered by Fontaine (2014b). Fontaine argues that Terence singled out Menander for two reasons: the first reason was the considerable intertextual selfconsciousness of his characters’ roles (“Terence makes his characters self2


Chapter Four

and its professionalisation in the course of the fourth and mainly the third century, for Menander’s language was easier to comprehend and therefore more appealing to non-Athenian, Hellenophone audiences. PseudoDemetrius, On Style, 193, describes Menander’s style as disjointed and thus better for immediate comprehension and direct rapport through oral exchange. Demetrius notably calls Menander’s style (Gk. ȜȑȟȚȢ), ‘the actor’s style’ (ਫ਼ʌȠțȡȚIJȚțȒ), for the įȚĮȜİȜȣȝȑȞȘ ȜȑȟȚȢ produced by the lack of conjunctions enhances the dramatic character of the delivery; Philemon’s ȜȑȟȚȢ which is ‘safely secured by connectives’ (਱ıijĮȜȚıȝȑȞȘ IJȠ૙Ȣ ıȣȞįȑıȝȠȚȢ) is called the ‘writing style’ (ȖȡĮijȚțȒ). Hellenistic audiences, who were not native speakers of Attic Greek, found Menander’s style, being closer to the oral speech of their daily experience, far easier to understand and enjoy.4 To embrace for the composition of his plays Menander’s philosophy of comic style, then, was for Terence a political decision. He could develop a distinct style of comic speech as close to everyday speech as possible, without extreme colloquialisms, in an effort to reproduce the effect that Menander, the most widely recognised Greek model, had upon his own audience. The establishment of this close and inventive intertextual kinship was serving primarily antagonistic purposes: it invited the audience to compare Terence’s works with Menander’s own and assess the ingenuity of Terence’s interpretation of his models against the artistry of Menander. Especially instructive are those occasions on which it is possible to observe Terence’s reflection on the way Menander is inspired creatively either by his literary predecessors or by contemporary society and ideology.

consciously reflect earlier incarnations of themselves in a manner reminiscent of mythologically based poetry”, p. 542), and in doing so, he acknowledges the poetical charge of self-consciousness as a quality at the core of the erudite Alexandrian poetry. The second reason was the fact that Menander from Hellenistic times onwards was considered the second most important Greek author after Homer. In addition, Terence’s ambition to pose as the Roman Menander had been nurtured by Ennius’ own self-proclamation as the reincarnation of Homer at Rome. 4 On the pan-Hellenisation of Athenian comedy in the fourth century see Körte (1905) 431-3; Pickard-Cambridge (1968) 279-80; Blume (1978) 29-30, 109-10; Handley (1985) 398-9; Taplin (1993) 1-6, 89-99ǜ Green (1994) 67-9, 106-8; Csapo/Slater (1994) 3-4, 16-17, 223-4; Slater (1995) 31-4; Konstantakos (2000) 185-6; (2008).

Terence’s Literary Self-Consciousness


1. Self-Referentiality in a New Context The anxiety of influence weighs upon Terence more heavily than upon Plautus—to a considerable extent also because of Plautus—and it reveals itself in full force at the close of Hecyra, the most experimental of Terence’s plays. The speaker is Pamphilus, the adulescens amans of the play, and in the preceding scene he has received proof that he is actually the father of his wife’s baby. Until the last scenes of the play Pamphilus believed that the baby was not, in fact, his because he abstained from consummating his marriage for several months after the wedding. At the time, he was in love with a courtesan and had conceded to the marriage under his father’s pressure. In the course of the play, however, it is revealed that Pamphilus had raped the girl who would later become his wife, and the pregnancy was the result of this rape. Thus Pamphilus is now eager to reconcile with his wife. However, he has no desire to tell his parents because earlier he upset both of them: he enraged his father who in turn wrongly blamed his wife and Pamphilus’ mother for the estrangement between the newlyweds: neque opus est adeo muttito. non placet fieri hoc item ut in comediis, omnia omnes ubi resciscunt. hic quos fuerat par resciscere, sciunt; quos autem non scire aequomst, neque resciscent neque scient Hec. 866-9 (There’s no need to, not even a whisper. I don’t want what happens in comedies to happen here, where everybody finds out everything. In this case those who need to know, know already: those who don’t must not find out or ever know.)

For Sharrock (this volume, 127) Pamphilus’ statement constitutes “[Terence’s] most elegant metatheatrical comment, his only explicit reference to comedy outside prologues”.5 This metatheatricality in Pamphilus’ declaration may be read in two ways. It acknowledges Terence’s self-awareness of the uniqueness of the Hecyra plotline, compared to the comedies produced thus far in the New Comedy and 5

The theatrical self-referentiality of this passage has been noted as early as Norwood (1923) 105 (“a charming feat of artistry”); see nowadays the discussions in Duckworth (1952) 138; Perelli (1973) 173; Goldberg (1986) 152 and 166; Slater (1988) 259; Ireland (1990) 156; Anderson (2000) 316-23; (2002) 6-7; Knorr (2007) 168; Fontaine (2014a).


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palliata traditions.6 And it asserts that a given character in a palliata has the ability to control his own characterisation,7 to move beyond tradition, defy stereotypes, and, as a result, contribute to the evolution of his role type. Read in this second way, Pamphilus’ words express the character’s eagerness to enact a role more complex, realistic and active in terms of controlling the direction of the plot, compared to the role of a typical adulescens amans. His decision to withhold crucial information from the other leading characters in the play, namely, his father and mother, his father-in-law and his slave Parmeno—the only two characters, apart from Pamphilus himself, who know the truth about Philumena’s rape and the identity of the rapist are his mother-in-law, Myrrhina, and the meretrix Bacchis, Pamphilus’ former paramour turned best-friend and confidante— is unique in the comedy tradition.8 Scholars have long frowned upon Pamphilus’ decision at 866ff. to withhold the news of his premarital error from becoming common property on stage, thus acting in pure selfishness, mindful as he is to preserve, untarnished, the perfect image of the wronged but magnanimous husband (for his father-in-law) and the pious son (for his mother, and to some extent also for his father) he has built for himself in the course of the play.9 Still, the unorthodox portrayal of a non-sympathetic adulescens amans who, further, demands that he maintain until the end control of the plot development, bespeaks the complexity behind the construction of Terence’s literarily self-conscious Pamphilus. Also, it is telling of the dramatist’s desire to step away from comic tradition by emphasising a leading innovation in his work: the progressive deflation of the role of the servus callidus,10 Plautus’ most important contribution to the evolution of 6

Thus Sharrock, this volume (chapter 5); Knorr (2007); Fontaine (2014a). The character-drawing in Terence’s plays is noted in the ancient commentaries as the most celebrated feature of Terence’s artistry; cf. Varro Sat. Menipp. 399: in argumentis Caecilius poscit palmam, in ethesin Terentius, in sermonibus Plautus (in plot-making Caecilius demands first prize, in characterisation Terence, and in colloquial speech Plautus). Commenting on Terence’s treatment of comic stock characters Goldberg [(2013), 20] notes that “[o]riginality ... was measured less by a playright’s powers of inventing than by his gift for elaboration”. 8 Anderson (2002) 4-5, defines this selective disclosure of the anagnorisis information ‘privileged recognition’, and discusses its uniqueness in the context of the New Comedy genre. 9 Anderson (2002) 6-7, and others opine that on account of this selfishness Pamphilus fails to win the sympathy of his audience. 10 More on this in chapter 6 below; on the role of the slave in Terence see in general Amerasinghe (1950); Duckworth (1952) 249-53 and passim; Spranger (1984); Dragonetti/Prestipino (1988); and most recently Karakasis (2013). 7

Terence’s Literary Self-Consciousness


the genre, as the main agent of self-referential theatricality,11 in conjunction with the emergence of other characters with dramaturgical ambitions. Terence already breaks away from Plautus’ servus-centred plot-making politics in Andria, where the play’s ‘wily slave’ faces fierce competition from at least three different characters who have developed their own agendas (subplots) and, in their efforts to realise them, direct the main plot line accordingly. As a result, the Andria plot development is essentially an experiment in ‘meta-plotting’. Andria’s main narrative line is the competition between Demea (the senex who wishes that his son marry Philumena, the daughter of his neighbour), Davus (the slave of the senex’s son, who knows that his master has promised to stay loyal for life to the young Glycerium, with whom he has actually fathered a child), and to a lesser extent Pamphilus (Demea’s son, who has promised fidelity to Glycerium, but does not have the courage to face his father, hence initially he does not refuse to marry Philumena because he expects that this marriage will not be realised once Philumena’s father finds out his affair with Glycerium); Pamphilus’ oath of fidelity to Glycerium has been the outcome of a fourth subplot, that of the courtesan Chrysis (Glycerium’s patroness and self-projected sister, who makes Pamphilus promise that he will never abandon Glycerium). The play’s main plot in light of these four simultaneously developing and antagonistic subplots, records the efforts of the four aforementioned aspiring plot directors to advance their individual scenarios and prevail over their rivals.12 Terence’s metatheatical humour has only recently been properly appreciated.13 In fact, self-awareness of theatricality is quite pervasive in the six-play corpus, but it is expressed in a different, more subtle and more sophisticated way when compared to what literary criticism came to define as ‘metatheatricality’ on the basis of Plautus’ (and earlier, Aristophanes’) artistry.14 Terence’s dramatic self-awareness is at its most brilliant on 11

On the ‘wily slave’ as Plautus’ contribution to Roman Comedy see foremost Fraenkel (2007) 159-72. Segal (1987) 99-136; Anderson (1993) 88-106; on the servus callidus as self-projection of Plautus see, for example, Slater (2000); also Muecke (1986) 216-29. 12 Sharrock (2009) acknowledges two antagonists, Demea and Davus. 13 Representative views on the alleged absence of literarily self-conscious references in Terence’s plays include McCarthy (2000); Slater (2000); Moore (1998). 14 Slater [(2000) 10] referring to Plautus’ drama, records the various uses of the term ‘metatheatre’ and traces its evolution; Taplin [(1986) 164] in a study of Aristophanes, defines metatheatre as “the ways in which plays may, or may not,


Chapter Four

those occasions when the poet antagonises his predecessors, obviously desiring, often quite strongly, to stress the ingenuity of his own dramaturgy against the well-established conventions of a long and very successful tradition. Very interesting are those occasions when it is possible to identify in Terence’s text an antagonistic dialogue with Menander and the Menandrian tradition. The antagonism aims not merely to demonstrate Terence’s improvement over, and independence from, Menander, but, more importantly, to instruct the Roman audience—the elite among whom were able to engage in comparative study of the Terentian play unfolding before them and the Menandrian model already known to them—in the process of the ‘romanisation’ of New Comedy. The present chapter is devoted to the discussion of two such cases. The first concerns the much discussed interaction between Terence’s Eunuchus and Menander’s Kolax. This interaction is acknowledged already in the prologue to Eunuchus (whose primary model is Menander’s Eunouchos); Terence discloses that the characters of the parasite and the soldier in his Eunuchus come from Menander’s Kolax—and only from that play. Critics, however, have denied that there is any obvious connection between the action of the braggart soldier and the parasite in Terence’s play, and the surviving text of the ca. 130 scanty lines of Kolax.15 Still, Terence’s disclosure is quite firm: ȀંȜĮȟ Menandrist: in east parasitus colax et miles gloriosus. eas se non negat personas transtulisse in Eunuchum suam ex Graeca. sed eas fabulas factas prius Latinas scisse sese, id vero pernegat. Eun. 30-4 (There is a ȀંȜĮȟ of Menander, in which there is a flattering parasite and a swaggering soldier. The playwright does not deny that he has imported

draw attention to their own ‘playness’, to the fact that they are artifices being performed under special controlled circumstances”. Fontaine (2014a) refuses to call this manifestation of theatrical awareness ‘metatheatre’ “as it is conventionally understood and keeps being applied to (especially) Plautine and (occasionally, and lately) Terentian criticism. It is closer to ‘neotericism’ or ‘Augustanism’…”. 15 Barsby (1999) 19; on Menander’s Kolax and its Latin adaptations, including Eunuch, see Brown (1990a); Barsby (1993); (1999) 13-19; Arnott (1996) 155-60; Pernerstorfer (2009) 25-30, esp. 25-7. All critics agree on the fact that the interpolated material is to be identified in those scenes that require more than three speakers (the rule in Menander’s staging).

Terence’s Literary Self-Consciousness


these characters into his Eunuchus from the Greek play. But he does most definitely deny any knowledge of the prior existence of the Latin versions.)

This assertiveness is underscored by his explicit denial, in the lines immediately prior, that he modelled his work after two earlier Latin adaptations of the same Menandrian play, composed respectively by Naevius and Plautus. This was exactly what Terence’s rival had claimed, along with the accusation that Terence deliberately left Naevius and Plautus unmentioned,16 in order to appropriate and present as his own his predecessors’ treatments of the characters of the parasite and the soldier: exclamat furem non poetam fabulam dedisse, et nil dedisse verborum tamen. Colacem esse Naevi et Plauti veterem fabulam: parasiti personam inde ablatam et militis. Eun. 23-6 (He shouted that the play was the work of a thief, not a playwright, but that the attempt to deceive had not worked. There was, he claimed, a Colax of Naevius, and one old play by Plautus, and the character of the parasite and the soldier had been stolen from these.)

In defending himself against the accusations of plagiarism,17 defined evidently as adapting anew a Greek comedy or parts of a Greek comedy (which nonetheless had already received an earlier Latin adaptation), Terence argues that he did not copy any Latin play, for he did not know that two of his predecessors, first Naevius and then Plautus, had already adapted the Menandrian Kolax for the Roman stage, and that both titled their respective compositions Colax. Now, in order for Terence to have drawn the ire of his rivals, he must have adapted the characters of the parasite and the soldier very similarly to Plautus and Naevius. Unfortunately neither of these earlier Latin adaptations of Kolax have survived to clarify the matter, but a different palliata treatment of the soldier/parasite duet very similar to the one in Eunuch is readily available and conspicuously set in the opening Act of Plautus’ Miles Gloriosus. This play opens with a dialogue between the braggart soldier Pyrgopolynices and his parasite Artotrogus (Pl. Mil. 1-78), which exhibits striking similarities to the dialogue between Thraso and Gnatho at Eun. 391ff.18 16

See Pernerstorfer [(2009) 24-5] on Naevius’ and Plautus’ homonymous plays and their relationship to the Menandrian model. 17 See full discussion on the issue in chapter 1. 18 The close resemblance is noted in Barsby (1999) 131 ad Eun. 247.


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The proximity of the Terentian to the Plautine parasite (and their respective soldiers) has recently piqued the interest of Michael Fontaine, for it undermines seriously, what in his view must be, a self-conscious proclamation on Terence’s part that his Gnatho is a ‘pioneer’ parasite of sorts, in that he steps away from an earlier model, that of the entertaining jester and the buffoon, and introduces a new type, that of the fawning companion of a vainglorious wealthy patron.19 For Fontaine, Terence’s assertion that he was the first to design this new-type parasite20 is communicated through Gnatho’s own words at Eun. 246-53, a passage that includes the signature phrase ego… hanc primus inveni viam (247): olim isti fuit generi quondam quaestus apud saeclum prius. hoc novomst aucupium; ego adeo hanc primus inveni viam. est genus hominum qui esse primos se omnium rerum volunt nec sunt. hos consector; hisce ego non paro me ut rideant, sed eis ultro adrideo et eorum ingenia admiror simul. quidquid dicunt laudo; id rursum si negant, laudo id quoque; negat quis, nego; ait, aio. postremo imperavi egomet mihi omnia adsentari. is quaestus nunc est multo uberrimus.


(Once upon a time, long ago, in the prior generation that was the way our type earned a living. There’s this new snare; and what’s more, I’m the one who first discovered this way: There’s a class of men who want to be excellent in everything, but aren’t; they’re the ones I go after. I don’t make myself the entertainment for them; I’m the one who laughs at their jokes, and I praise their wit, too. Whatever they say, I applaud; or if they say the opposite, I applaud that too. If someone says no, I say no; if yes, I say yes. In short, I’ve ordered myself to agree to everything. It’s the job with by far the biggest money nowadays.)

The ‘primus ego’ formula is recurrent in Latin literature in a variety of genres, and even in other cultural expressions of notable accomplishment by the Romans, and next to marking the original contribution of the Roman self-proclaimed primus to a genre with a long Greek tradition, it also underscores the authenticity of this primus and his independence from 19

Fontaine (2014a); my discussion on the literary self-consciousness of Terence’s Gnatho hopes to engage in fruitful critical exchange with Fontaine’s inventive arguments. 20 A strong indication of the Roman origin of the fawning parasite may be Donatus’ comments on Ph. 339-41; these lines extol the life of a fawning parasite, and Donatus tells us that they were not taken by Apollodorus of Carystus, Terence’s model according to the prologue, but from another Roman author, whose name, unfortunately, is very hard to read.

Terence’s Literary Self-Consciousness


other Roman representatives of the same genre, both contemporary and earlier ones. Now, the domain of Gnatho’s ‘primacy’ is not really obvious. The Artotrogus precedent suggests that the introduction of the character of the flattering parasite in the palliata was not Terence’s invention, and the fame of Miles Gloriosus guarantees that Terence was not likely to appear convincing.21 Then, why did Terence make this patently false primusclaim? Fontaine answers this question with the following: “[Gnatho’s] claim to be first is in a sense authorised by allusions to a prior text that strictly invalidates it, and that text is not Menander’s (Greek) Kolax but the opening scene of Plautus’ Roman Miles Gloriosus. In other words, Terence’s Gnatho adapts a primus inventor claim to make a primus ego claim, but to do so he alludes to […] the character Artotrogus in Plautus’ Miles Gloriosus. Gnatho thereby intends to stake a supersessionist claim on being the parasitus colax par excellence. […] [Gnatho] is aware that he is a literary character. … Terence has encoded the primus ego claim … and has made Gnatho ‘annotate’ it self-reflexively. […]”

Fontaine’s reading of Gnatho’s annotation to his earlier appearance in the character of the Plautine Artotrogus and the flatterer of Menander’s Kolax endorses the reading in the previous chapter of the Terentian prologues as pieces informed deeply by Hellenistic poetics, ever mindful of the anxiety of influence.22 In staging his Gnatho as recalling his earlier comic selves, Terence dramatises the way in which he reads his predecessors, both Greek and Latin, and in this dramatisation he follows the principles to be observed a century later in the poetry of the ‘neoterics’ and the Augustans: he does not see himself as yet another palliata author who has a long tradition behind him and needs to abide by a set of modeladaptation rules, but, rather, he self-confidently emphasises the originality of the adaptation over a long series of well-known models.23


See also Maltby (1999) online publication: “The irony is of course that what Gnatho refers to as a new type of parasite is in fact the traditional old flatterer, as found in Terence’s Greek model, Menander’s Kolax, and in such figures as Artotrogus, the soldier’s flatterer, in Plautus’s Miles Gloriosus”. 22 Fontaine’s argument of the self-reflexive annotation of Terence’s Gnatho, and his ‘Alexandrian’ reading of the Terentian parasite/soldier performance is informed by Hinds (1998). 23 This metaliterary antagonistic character of Gnatho’s speech is nicely captured in the use of the term consector at Eun. 429, which does not mean only ‘I pursue’, as Barsby (2001) translates it, but also ‘I emulate’ (OLD s.v. consector 3); observation made in Fontaine (2014a).


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The ‘supersessionist’ attitude of Terence over his models explains his decision to infuse his primary plot model, Menander’s Eunouchos, with the characters of the braggart soldier and the parasite from Menander’s Kolax, a play so popular that it had already received, prior to Terence, two Latin adaptations, by Naevius and Plautus in plays of the same title, while the Pyrgopolinices/Artotrogus pair in Plautus’ Miles Gloriosus should be considered as yet another adaptation of the soldier/parasite motif (and its Greek literary history—certainly Menander’s Kolax and probably earlier comedies featuring a parasite). All these plays featuring a fawning parasite Terence tendentiously proclaimed to have superseded. In light of the above, Gnatho, we should argue, offers a response to Terence’s accusers and exonerates Terence from the accusation of literary theft (furtum) expressly brought against him and deliberately recorded in the prologue: exclamat furem non poetam fabulam / dedisse (He shouted that the play was the work of a thief, not a playwright, Eun. 23f.). His antagonists, Terence implies, accuse him of literary theft because they are not knowledgeable readers or sufficiently experienced theatre-goers to distinguish between close reproduction and inventive improvement aiming at superseding the model.24 Probably one of the many reasons Eunuch was held to be Terence’s most successful play in antiquity is the fact that it is the most complex in terms of conscious metapoetics: on more than one occasion it alludes to multiple and well-known plays, and it does so conspicuously—indeed it so much as reveals this to the audience and invites them to identify the references to other texts. A second prominent example of a sophisticated intertextual dialogue is found in the painting that motivated the young Chaerea to rape the young Pamphila (Eun. 578-603, esp. 583ff.). The painting depicted the rape of imprisoned (i.e. well-guarded) Danae by

24 On the basis of this argument I cannot accept Fontaine’s conclusion that Terence’s ‘ego primus’ assertion is ultimately disproven once the audience realises upon watching the performance of the parasite and the soldier that they have seen the same characters twice already on the Latin stage—quite the contrary: Terence expects his audience to know the two Latin ‘Colaces’ as well as Miles Gloriosus, and after watching Eunuch, judge his own reproduction of the motif as superior. Besides it would be improbable for our poet to expect that his audience would identify the intertextual dialogue between Eunuch and Menander’s Kolax (and even specific textual loans from Livius Andronicus), but ignore the Colax-plays of Naevius and Plautus, or the quite famous Miles Gloriosus; Fontaine discusses the strong possibility of conscious similarities among Miles, Eunuchus and Menander’s Kolax in Fontaine (2010b): his review of Pernerstorfer (2009).

Terence’s Literary Self-Consciousness


Jupiter who stealthily entered the maiden’s prison after he transformed (disguised) himself into golden shower. dum adparatur, virgo in conclavi sedet suspectans tabulam quandam pictam: ibi inerat pictura haec, Iovem quo pacto Danaae misisse aiunt quondam in gremium imbrem aureum. 585 egomet quoque id spectare coepi, et quia consimilem luserat iam olim ille ludum, inpendio magis animu’ gaudebat mihi, deum sese in hominem convortisse atque in alienas tegulas venisse clanculum per inpluvium fucum factum mulieri. at quem deum! “qui templa caeli summa sonitu concutit”. 590 ego homuncio hoc non facerem? ego illud vero ita feci ac lubens. dum haec mecum reputo, accersitur lavatum interea virgo: iit lavit rediit; .... foras simul omnes proruont se, abeunt lavatum, perstrepunt, ita ut fit domini ubi absunt. 600 interea somnu’ virginem opprimit. ego limis specto sic per flabellum clanculum; simul alia circumspecto, satin explorata sint. video esse. pessulum ostio obdo. ([Chaerea] ... While things were getting ready, the girl sat in the room, looking up at a painting; it depicted the story of how Jupiter sent a shower of gold into Danae’s bosom. I began to look at myself, and the fact that he had played a similar game long ago made me all the more excited: a god had turned himself into human shape, made his way by stealth on to another man’s roof, and had come through the skylight to play a trick on a woman. And what a god! “The one who shakes the lofty vaults of heaven with his thunder!” Was I, a mere mortal, not to do the same? I did just that—and gladly. While I was thinking over all this, the girl was summoned to take her bath. She went, bathed, returned. ..... Then [the maids] all rushed out of the room to take their baths, chattering away, as happens when the master is absent. Meanwhile the girl fell asleep. I looked at her sideways through the fan, like this (posturing), and at the same time had a good look round to make sure that the coast was clear. I saw it was; I bolted the door.)

As I have argued in detail elsewhere,25 the depiction of Danae’s rape operates on two different levels, both of them decidedly informed by Hellenistic poetics. On one level, it stands as a proto-ekphrasis, which anticipates, even points towards, the development of the narrative; on a second level, it constitutes a ‘window reference’ to a series of intertexts— earlier dramatic versions of the Danae rape. The most prominent intertext 25

Papaioannou (2010) 151-62.


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is Menander’s Samia 589-600, where the rape of Danae by the transformed Jupiter is employed similarly to justify a rape: ǻǾȂ. Ƞ੝ț ਕțȒțȠĮȢ ȜİȖȩȞIJȦȞ, İੁʌȑ ȝȠȚ, ȃȚțȒȡĮIJİ, IJ૵Ȟ IJȡĮȖ૳į૵Ȟ, ੪Ȣ ȖİȞȩȝİȞȠȢ ȤȡȣıઁȢ ੒ ǽİઃȢ ਥȡȡȪȘ 590 įȚ੹ IJȑȖȠȣȢ, țĮșİȚȡȖȝȑȞȘȞ IJİ ʌĮ૙į’ ਥȝȠȓȤİȣıȑȞ ʌȠIJİ; ȃǿȀ. İੇIJĮ į੽ IJȓ IJȠ૨IJ’; ǻǾȂ. ੅ıȦȢ įİ૙ ʌȐȞIJĮ ʌȡȠıįȠț઼Ȟ. ıțȩʌİȚ, IJȠ૨ IJȑȖȠȣȢ İ੅ ıȠȚ ȝȑȡȠȢ IJȚ ૧İ૙. ȃǿȀ. IJઁ ʌȜİ૙ıIJȠȞ. ਕȜȜ੹ IJȓ IJȠ૨IJȠ ʌȡઁȢ ਥțİ૙Ȟ’ ਥıIJȓ; ǻǾȂ. IJȩIJİ ȝ‫ޡ‬Ȟ ȖȓȞİș’ ‫ ݸ‬ǽİީȢ ȤȡȣıȓȠȞ, IJȩIJİ į’ ‫ވ‬įȦȡ. ੒ȡ઼ȚȢ; ਥțİȓȞȠȣ IJȠ੡ȡȖȠȞ ਥıIJȓȞ. ੪Ȣ IJĮȤઃ 595 İ੢ȡȠȝİȞ. ȃǿȀ. țĮ੿ ȕȠȣțȠȜİ૙Ȣ ȝİ. ǻǾȂ. ȝ੹ IJઁȞ ਝʌȩȜȜȦ, ’ȖȦ ȝ੻Ȟ Ƞ੡. ਕȜȜ੹ ȤİȓȡȦȞ Ƞ੝į੻ ȝȚțȡઁȞ ਝțȡȚıȓȠȣ įȒʌȠȣșİȞ İੇ. İੁ į’ ਥțİȓȞȘȞ ਱ȟȓȦıİ, IJȒȞ Ȗİ ı੽Ȟ – (DEM. Now tell me, Nikeratos, haven’t you heard the tragedians, who tell us that once upon a time Zeus turned into gold and sneaked through the roof and seduced a girl who was kept imprisoned? NIK. Indeed I have; so what? DEM. We must perhaps be prepared for everything. Think hard: perhaps (whether) in your own roof there is an area that is leaking. ȃǿȀ. Most of it is, but what is that to do with it? DEM. Jupiter sometimes makes his appearance in the form of gold, and at other times in the form of a shower… do you get it? This rape is his job! How quickly did we find it (sc. the end to this mystery)! ȃǿȀ. You are making fun of me! DEM. No, by Apollo! Not in the least are you worse than Acrisius, that’s for sure! If the god honoured that man’s daughter, then yours as well.)

With the assistance of Donatus, who points out that a number of phrases in Chaerea’s narrative echo tragic vocabulary and style, more intertexts may be identified, including Naevius26 and Livius Andronicus, both of whom wrote plays with the title Danae. Menander’s text, further, bears a specific marker, the phrase Ƞ੝ț ਕțȒțȠĮȢ ȜİȖȩȞIJȦȞ… IJ૵Ȟ IJȡĮȖ૳į૵Ȟ, which refers to prior literary treatments,27 most likely Euripides’ 26 Notice the close echo between sonitu concutit from Eun. 590 and Naevius, Danae fr. 11 (= Non. 110.17), suo sonitu claro fulgorivit Iuppiter (Jupiter flashed with his own loud thunder). 27 Cf. TrGF 5.1, fr. 372: Sophoclis vel Euripidis fabulam ܻȞĮįİįȚįĮȖȝȑȞȘȞ respicere videtur Demeas Menandri Sam. 589ff. For Menander’s appropriation of tragedy see Petrides (2010) along with Katsouris (1975a) and (1975b); Hurst (1990) 93-122; Cusset (2003); Blanchard (2007) 63-70. On Menander’s employment of tragic material for playful purposes, including a reading of the Danae-exemplum in Samia, see Konstantakos (2003-4) 40-7; also Gutzwiller (2000) 110-1; and Karakasis, this volume (chapter 3).

Terence’s Literary Self-Consciousness


famous Danae,28 but possibly other tragedies similarly titled (including Aeschylus’ Danaids or Sophocles’ Danae).29 Still, more Greek comic intertexts might be involved as well. The Danae legend evokes the mythological comedies—a genre very popular in the fourth century and influential with the Roman comic authors as Plautus’ Amphitruo attests— and leaves open the possibility that Terence had knowledge of such a comedy with the same subject. The story of Danae (along with those of Leda, Callisto and Europa) was a prime candidate for such a comedy; at least three authors of the Middle and New Comedy, Sannyrion, Apollophanes and Euboulos, had each written a comedy titled Danae, which related the rape of Danae by Zeus metamorphosed into a shower of gold.30 Plautus’ only mythological comedy, Amphitruo, most likely draws on some Greek model that belongs to this tradition.31 Chaerea’s ‘interpretation’ of the painting of Danae’s seduction by Zeus, in short, echoes the manipulation of the same myth for similar purposes in Menander’s Samia. In turn, the markers of literary selfreflexivity identified therein bring to the surface further traces of a binary literary tradition, tragic and comic, Latin and Greek, that treated Danae’s erotic encounter with Zeus not as a rape but either as a meretricious affair (if the tradition that inspired Terence was primarily tragic) or as an incident of comic deception (if the pseudo-eunuch saw himself as an alternative version of a tricky Zeus in disguise in the pattern of a comic lover). The ekphrastic painting in Eunuch is truly a rich case of ever evolving interpretative intertextuality in Terence’s work.

28 On the fragments of Euripides’ Danae see Kannicht (2004) [= TGrF 5.1, for Danae’s surviving text], and Jouan/van Looy (2000) 49-72, for the Danae fragments); also Karamanou (2006). 29 Aeschylus, Danaids, frr. 43-6 TrGF 3; Sophocles, Danae, frr. 165-70 TrGF 4. 30 Sannyrion, PCG 7, fr. 8; Euboulos, PCG 5, fr. 22; cf. Jouan/van Looy (2000) 52, n. 20. On the tradition of these mythological love comedies about Zeus’ erotic adventures, including their repertoire and chronology, see Konstantakos (2002) 156-67; also Brown (1990b). 31 Thus proposed in Christenson (2000). Pages 45-55 record the rich literary background and the multiple possible dramatic sources, tragic and comic, Greek and Italian, behind Plautus’ dramatic version of the Amphitruo myth, including the critical theories that have been advancing each of the different sources; the view that Amphitruo is indebted to some of the mythological Middle Comedies about Zeus’ erotic adventures is proposed on p. 55.


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2. Athenian Politics on Stage: Political Self-Referentiality in Phormio Next to the use of the Attic koine, the universal appeal Menander’s plays gained through the groups of travelling actors was further enhanced by the seemingly apolitical character of Menander’s plays. Their plots revolve around the affairs of the oikos and so, they supposedly dramatise situations that might happen anywhere. In reality, this is not the case: admittedly, Menander’s plays do not engage with contemporary politics as directly as Aristophanes’ comedies, but this hardly means that they are not deeply political. In recent years several studies have shown that Menander’s comedy was closely associated with contemporary Athenian civic life, including politics,32 yet this association must have gone unnoticed or been of little interest to the non-Athenian audiences, and attracted attention only to the extent it became the centre of some clever joke. At least this philosophy directs the reception of Menander (and the other Greek New Comedies) in Plautine drama. In Plautus, Athens is the name of a Greek city, while several of his plays are set in other Greek cities of the Hellenistic world (Epidamnus, Ephesus, Corinth), and beyond (the setting of Rudens is the coast of North Africa near Carthage), and no significant difference between Athenian and non-Athenian settings is noted. In Terence, all plays are set in Athens, a detail dictated by his models, Menander and Apollodorus. What is more, Terence seems to be aware of Attic New Comedy using comic speech to comment upon the intersection of politics and society—upon specific legislation regulating family and citizenship rights.33 Menander’s commentary on civic law in the late 400s inspires the construction of a full plot in Terence’s Phormio. I shall presently argue that Terence in Phormio interprets for the Roman audience the political motives behind the dramatisation in New Comedy of situations informed by Athenian family legislation. Phormio develops around the Athenian law of the epiklƝros and comments upon a series of important issues on citizenship identity. The emphasis on the law discloses self-consciousness 32

Important recent studies on Menander as commentary of contemporary Athenian city state ideology and social tensions include Lape (2004) (2010a) and (2010b); Konstan (1995) and (2010); Scafuro (1997); on the political dimension of Menander’s seemingly apolitical plays see Major (1997); McGlew (2002) esp. 125-32; Owens (2011); the pioneering study on the political relevance of Menander is Wiles (1991). 33 Konstan (2010) 34: “Contemporary culture is not so much the backdrop of Menandrian comedy as it is the material from which it is constructed”.

Terence’s Literary Self-Consciousness


of the decidedly Athenian character of Menandrian comedy—a challenge for Terence who undertakes to transform Menander’s thoughtful treatment of contemporary politics into a source of witty, layered meta-dramatic commentary. Phormio, staged in September 161 BCE at the Roman Games, is the fourth of Terence’s six plays (or the fifth, should one count the first unsuccessful staging of Hecyra). It is the only one of the six plays that bears a title different (Phormio) from the title of its primary Greek model (Epidikazomenos, ‘the Claimant’). The generally accepted view regarding this change has been that Terence’s Roman audience would not have been familiar with the Greek law of epidikasia to which the title alludes, thus Terence named the play Phormio; that was the name of the claimant in the play of Apollodorus. In justification of this choice, Phormio holds the central role in the play—a role compared by critics to that of the Plautine servus callidus.34 Terence’s protagonist, however, is not the auctor’s selfprojection in the plot,35 because Terence’s intention here is not to break the fourth wall, or create self-conscious drama, but rather the assessment via dramatisation, of earlier dramaturgy, and the promotion as a result of Terence’s own contribution to the genre.36 In the case of Phormio, Terence’s goal is to successfully transfer to the comic stage New Comedy’s judicious 34

See, for example, recently Maltby (2012) 132 ad Ph. 25-6: “By using Phormio as the title Terence stresses the importance of the central figure and draws a parallel between him and such eponymous Plautine schemers as the parasite Curculio and the slaves Epidicus and Pseudolus”. This is the most logical argument; otherwise Terence might well have produced a Latin translation of the Greek work, as Plautus did with Diphilus’ SynapothnƝskontes, which became Commorientes in the Latin adaptation. 35 Even though the character is first introduced in the play as ‘parasitus Phormio’, the hero is hardly the fawning parasite seen in Plautus’ Miles Gloriosus or Terence’s Eunuchus—the latter having been performed only five months prior to Phormio—or the callidus servus-stand-in observed in Curculio. Barsby (2001) translates parasitus with ‘trickster’, while Maltby (2012) prefers to translate ‘scrounger’, and elaborate (p. 132 ad Ph. 28n.): “technically a free man without means who wins invitations to meals by doing services and providing good company by his witticisms”; Frangoulidis (1995), and now (2013), sees in Phormio a Terentian version of the Plautine servus callidus; see also Flaucher (2003) and Lofberg (1920). 36 On Terence’s treatment of tradition see also Sharrock, this volume (chapter 5). Sharrock’s paper focuses mainly on “conventional” motifs, whereas here the discussion focuses on law matters (thus causing another aspect of Terentian innovation to surface).


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interaction with Athenian social and political reality. This may explain the emphasis on the legal expertise of Phormio as much as on his intelligence.37 The Athenian laws and norms pertaining to marriage, legitimate children and citizenship serve as comedy’s basic generic conventions.38 Athenian law forbade marriages between Athenians and non-Athenians: obedient to this reality, Menander’s citizen heroes always marry female citizens, even if all plays begin with some problematic situation in which the relationship of the young couple seems doomed because it appears to contravene Athenian law, for the girl is believed not to be an Athenian citizen.39 Young Athenian males were at liberty to have sexual relationships with female non-citizens, who could be slaves or free prostitutes and courtesans, but they could never marry them. On the New Comedy stage these non-marriageable sexual partners of the Athenian citizens are indiscriminately the courtesans, or heterai (lat. meretrices), who may be free or owned by some pimp, and appear to be uniformly foreigners. Comic plots, however, tend to disprove appearances and remake some of these women as lost female citizens, so that the young men who are truly in love with them may marry them legally and father legitimate citizens. The foundation of the New Comedy plot around the citizenship status of the young Athenian’s object of love becomes the target of an intelligent intertextual critique in Terence, and in Phormio a plot develops that pokes fun at it. In the brief summary of the plot below I stress those points where it is possible to observe Terence’s conscious reading of the Greek model. The older and wealthy brothers from Athens, Demipho and Chremes (the senes of the play), are the fathers of two youths, Antipho and Phaedria, respectively. Chremes is married to Nausistrata, but only his brother Demipho knows that he has married a second wife in Lemnos, whom he visits regularly while travelling on account of his business (he is a merchant). Chremes has a daughter, Phanium, by this second wife. When the play begins, Chremes and Demipho are away on business to Lemnos. During their absence, Chremes’ Lemnian wife and daughter travel to Athens, but the mother falls ill and dies. At the funeral, Antipho 37 Segal and Moulton (1978) at Ph. 276: “[T]he hero is a lawyer”; also at Ph. 278: “He is an expert advocate in a play which abounds in legalistic maneuvers, legal language both straightforward and metaphorical, and which culminates in a transformation of the entire stage into a courtroom”. 38 See Ogden (1996) and Lape (2004) with additional references cited. 39 For New Comedy’s stereotypical uniting of Athenian citizens in marriage see Konstan (1983), (1995); Ogden (1996) 174-80; Lape (2001), (2004).

Terence’s Literary Self-Consciousness


accidentally sees the mourning Phanium and instantly falls in love with her, but when he tries to approach her, he is informed by Phanium’s nurse that, illam civem esse Atticam, bonam bonis prognatam. si uxorem velit, lege id licere facere. Ph. 114-6 (The girl was an Athenian citizen, a respectable girl from a respectable family. If he wanted to marry her, he could do so legally.)

If we assume that this part closely reproduces the Greek model, it is certain that the Greek audience would have reacted upon hearing this: Phanium may be the daughter of an Athenian father but she is not an Athenian citizen because her mother is from Lemnos.40 According to the famous citizenship law promulgated by Pericles in 451 BCE, which was valid in the day of Apollodorus, only those who descended from citizens on both the father’s and the mother’s side had Athenian citizen status, whereas the offspring of an Athenian citizen father and a foreign mother were ȞȩșȠȚ, and they were deprived of the right to own or inherit property. This law stands behind an important convention of the New Comedy plot, the anagnorismos, the production of proof near the end of the play that identifies the true parents of a woman who, until that moment, is believed to be a foreigner, and establishes her Athenian citizenship. In Phormio, however (and presumably in Epidikazomenos, too), even though an anagnorismos will take place in the end, for Chremes will discover that Phanium is his daughter, there is never any doubt in the course of the play about the girl’s non-Athenian citizenship. Konstan’s interpretation of this inconsistency has gained common acceptance: the citizenship status of the girl is a catachresis, for the plot dictates so, in order for Phormio’s plan (he wishes to force Phanium’s marriage to Antipho) to materialise.41 The situation, however, becomes more problematic because the non-citizenship status of Phanium is undermined, hence emphasised further, once the audience realises that on the basis of Athenian family law she is the offspring of a non-marital union: Chremes was already married in Athens


Martin [(1959) [2002] 96] commenting on Ph. 114, tries to amend the legal discrepancy as he implicitly suggests to assume that Phanium’s mother must have been Athenian, albeit resident in Lemnos. 41 Konstan (1983) 122-3; cf. Maltby (2012) 140 ad Ph. 114.


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when he met Phanium’s mother in Lemnos.42 Under no circumstances, then, could Phanium be a citizen.43 The legal discrepancies in the plot do not stop here.44 Antipho wishes to marry the girl under any circumstances, but he knows that his father will never allow him to marry a penniless wife (Athenian citizen though she may be). This is where the play’s protagonist, Phormio, enters the action. And he finds a way to get Antipho married to his sweetheart legally and instantly: (Geta) hoc consilum quod dicam dedit: “lex est ut orbae, qui sint genere proxumi, eis nubant, et illos ducere eadem haec lex iubet. ego te cognatum dicam et tibi scribam dicam. paternum amicum me adsimulabo virginis. ad iudices veniemu’: qui fuerit pater, quae mater, qui cognata tibi sit, omnia haec confingam, quod erit mihi bonum atque commodum. quom tu horum nil refelles, vincam scilicet: pater aderit, mihi paratae lites: quid mea? illa quidem nostra erit.” Ph. 124-34



([Geta]: He (Phormio) worked out a plan, which I’ll explain. “There is a law” he said “that orphan girls shall marry their next-of-kin, and this same law compels the next-of-kin to marry them. I’ll say that you are related to her and bring a case against you, pretending that I’m a friend of the girl’s father. We’ll go to court. As for her father’s identity and her mother’s and 42

Geta is clear at Ph. 72 when he describes the relationship between Chremes and Phanium’s mother as an ‘affair’ (Cum eius consuevit olim matre in Lemno clanculum, he had once a secret affair in Lemnos with her [Phanium’s] mother). 43 Interestingly, Plautus takes a completely different approach to the issue of the legally impossible marriage of an Athenian citizen male to a non-citizen female. The issue appears prominently only once in the Plautine corpus, in Epidicus: the senex Periphanes has had an affair in his youth with a Theban woman, named Philippa; from this liaison, Periphanes, similarly to the Terentian Chremes, became the father of a daughter. In the end of the play, however, Periphanes reportedly marries Philippa, something that could not really happen according to Athenian law. Evidently Plautus believes that his spectators have no knowledge of Athenian law or would pay no attention to this inconsistency; the issue is discussed in Keys (1940). 44 The considerable legal background of this comedy, that includes reference to both Greek and Roman law, has been studied in Versteeg (2008); on pp. 157-64 Versteeg discusses Terence’s exploration of Greek marriage and family law.

Terence’s Literary Self-Consciousness


her precise relationship to you, I’ll invent the details to suit my interest and advantage. Since you won’t deny any of it, I’ll win the case, obviously. Your father will return and it’s trouble for me, but I don’t care: the girl will be ours.”)

Phormio proposes to act on behalf of young Antipho in an epidikasia or a trial. According to Phormio, the law, which “Terence has no doubt spelled it out for the sake of the Roman audience”,45 clearly states that Phanium is an orphan on both sides, on the assumption that her father is missing. Still, no one in the play admits so. More surprising yet, the commentators also have failed to acknowledge this discrepancy.46 In any case, being declared an orphan Phanium is required by ‘the law’ (lex), according to Phormio’s plan which is reported verbatim for emphasis, to marry her closest male relative. This law is the Athenian law of the epiklƝros,47 and Phormio manipulates it in order to enable Antipho to marry Phanium. He brings Antipho with him to court, testifies that Antipho is Phanium’s nearest male relative, and is thus required by the law of the epiklƝros to marry her. Antipho’s (instructed) silence is taken for acquiescence to the accuracy of Phormio’s testimony, and consequently the judges accept Phormio’s claim and allow Antipho to marry the girl. In reality, however, the case of the pseudo-epiklƝros is more complex than the interpretation produced here by Phormio. This complexity surfaces when Demipho, Antipho’s father, returns home and discovers that his son has married without his permission and against his wishes. What is more, Demipho seems to know the law well enough to realise that his son’s marriage has been the outcome of legal manoeuvring, when he tells Geta at 295-8, that ‘even if she were our closest kin, it would not be necessary that he marry her. You could have supplied the dowry the law demands and looked for another husband for her’ (verum si cognata est maxume, / non fuit necessum habere; sed id quod lex iubet, / dotem dareti’, quaereret alium virum).48 By Athenian law an orphaned daughter of an Athenian male citizen who died without any sons was required to marry the nearest male kinsman to her father. She (and mainly her father’s oikos) was transferred 45

Thus Barsby (2001) 25 n. 21; also Maltby (2012) 140 ad Ph. 125-6. Verstaeeg (2008) 160. 47 On the law of the epiklƝros in fifth and fourth century Athens see e.g. Harrison (1968) 9-12, 132-8; Karnezis (1977); MacDowell (1978) 103; Schaps (1979) 2547; Just [(1989) 83-9, 95-8] on Isaeus 11.1-2, and Demosthenes 51.54; Cox (1998) 94-9; Cudjoe (2000) and (2006). 48 Cf. Duckworth (1952) 274. 46


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to his tutelage by law, but the oldest blood relative and nearest heir had the right to refuse the marriage, and then pass the girl and the property on to the next heir.49 But this is not all: the same law also stated that if the nearest of kin did not wish to marry the epiklƝros, he ought to give her in marriage (presumably to the next of kin) with a dowry, in addition to what the woman had inherited from her father. On the basis of the available evidence, the marriage of an epiklƝros with property did not require further legal intervention. It was the marriage of an orphaned daughter of the poorest classes with no male siblings that posed a problem in need of legal attention. The lower the class of the epiklƝros, the higher the sum of the dowry to be supplied by the successful claimant; and the higher the class of the nearest of kin who did not wish to marry her, the higher the sum he had to pay. If the epiklƝros was of the lowest social class, the class of the ThƝtes, then the nearest of kin who did not wish to marry her ought to give her in marriage with a dowry of five hundred drachmae, if he was a member of the Pentakosiomedimnoi; a dowry of three hundred drachmae, if he was of the Hippeis; and a dowry of one hundred and fifty, if he was of the Zeugitai.50 The characters in Phormio seem aware of the ramifications in the epiklƝros law noted above: Demipho notes that even if the girl is an epiklƝros and properly married to his son, his son can divorce her and marry her off to another man, provided he gives to the new groom a sufficient dowry (Ph. 409-10): itidem ut cognata si sit, id quod lex iubet dotis dare, abduce hanc, minas quinque accipe. (I’ll assume that she is my relative and I give her the very dowry the law prescribes. Get her away from here and receive five hundred minas.)

This phrase is more humorous than it appears at first reading: if it is presumed that the girl is an orphan (which she isn’t), then the nearest blood relative to her is Demipho himself, who being married might potentially face the dilemma to divorce his (wealthy) wife and marry the (penniless) girl. All the same, being the paternal uncle he is also 49

Cudjoe (2006) 76, with Ath. Pol. 56.6. The law is quoted verbatim and in detail in Dem. 43.54; other attestations of epiklƝros law include Is. 3.64, 74; 6.14; Dem. 43.16, 51; 46.18, 22, 23; 57.41; [Arist.] Ath. Pol. 43.4; Andok. 1.117-21; cf. Cudjoe (2006) 59; notably, Dem. 43.54 records “the only public law that carefully monitored the marriage of the poor epiklƝros” [Cudjoe (2006) 60].


Terence’s Literary Self-Consciousness


responsible for finding a husband for her along with the dowry of five hundred drachmae ordered by the law. The amount of money, five hundred minae, reminds one of the five hundred drachmae required to be offered as a dowry to the epiklƝros by her nearest of kin who did not wish to marry her. Thus, Antipho, Demipho’s son and next in line to marry the girl, would receive both her and the five hundred drachmae as dowry— which is exactly what happens in the course of the play! Even so, Demipho seems that he cannot impose the divorce upon his son or dissolve the marriage in any way by his own initiative alone. When he threatens to throw the girl out of the house, Phormio threatens back that in that case he would bring an action against him (Ph. 438-9). Unlike the wealthy epiklƝroi who may even cause a married kinsman to divorce his wife and marry them,51 the epiklƝroi of the thetic class had difficulty finding husbands. The serious monitoring of the marriage of these epiklƝroi by the law so that their father’s lineage may not become extinct,52 Phormio, probably following after the Greek model, comments on with wit because Terence’s purpose was not to take on Athenian family law, an issue of little concern to his audience, but to add his own comical twist to a theme that inspired one too many plots on the New Comedy stage. In the end, what underscores the comic spirit in Phormio is the fact that “no legal foundation exists for Antipho to marry Phanium, although all of the play’s characters seem to believe that there is”;53 and also the realisation that Demipho, the groom’s father, is ignorant about his legal rights, for he is not quite sure if he does have the legal authority to annul, or otherwise dissolve, the marriage of his son, while his three presumed legal experts consulted on this particular matter seem equally perplexed, if not outright ignorant. This clever and humorous over-interpretation of the Athenian law of the epiklƝros, conditioned by a series of inconsistencies and problems meant to turn the popularity of family law and civilian life into a cause for laughter, is precisely what makes Phormio a comedy that is particularly appealing for the informed Roman audience,54 who would have enjoyed such an intelligent undercutting of the emphasis on the subtle legal commentary that made New Comedy Menander-style such an


See Dem. 57.41; cf. Lacey (1968) 139-45. For Cudjoe (2006) 63, “an intolerable situation in Athenian society”. 53 Versteeg (2008) 160. 54 For the majority of the audience, Phormio is probably too reminiscent of Attic New Comedy; to many of them, the slyness of Phormio may evoke strong Plautine associations, on which see most recently Frangoulidis (2013). 52


Chapter Four

inextricable part of contemporary Athenian society.55 The comic element culminates with Demipho’s change of heart towards the end of the play, when he finds out the real identity of the girl, as a result of which he agrees to preserve her marriage to his son. He claims that he does not wish to hand the girl over to Phormio and uses, at Ph. 911-4, the same argument Phormio had used earlier (at 414-7) to prevent him from expelling the girl from the house.56 At that moment Demipho realises and embraces the reversal of reality that underlies Roman Comedy. The singling-out of the law of the epiklƝros is not a random choice for Terence as he sets out to experiment with Athenian law and civic norms as a source for laughter. Plots developing around an epiklƝros seem to have been popular with Menandrian comedy: among the surviving plays the very theme is the generating force of comic laughter in Aspis, with the older uncle of a young heiress striving to marry her for her money by claiming to be her oldest and nearest blood relative, and then abandoning her for her first cousin who allegedly is an heiress to a much larger inheritance.57 As Lape has argued, the treatment of the heiress-institution in Menander’s Aspis underlines the emphasis of the epiklƝros law on reproduction which would secure the preservation of the oikos of the epiklƝros’ late father, by replacing it with the accumulation of wealth on the part of the prospective husband of the heiress.58 More importantly for the proper assessment of the legal information in the Phormio plot, the treatment of the epiklƝros law in Aspis is subject to a series of unanswered and unanswerable questions closely tied to it, such as whether an unmarried sister was/could be the epiklƝros to the property of her unmarried brother, or whether the epiklƝros in Aspis actually belongs to the thetic class.59 Menander evidently identified in the institution of the epiklƝros and the frequency with which cases revolving around it appeared 55 “The Phormio, if we consider it from the view point of artistic originality, is the least interesting of all Terence’s works, because more than any other it approximates to the conventional type of New Comedy. Although it is characterised by a very complicated intrigue full of vivacity and animation, it lacks any particular delicacy in the psychological delineation of the characters”. Thus Posani (1941) 29. 56 Scafuro (1997) 299-300, while pages 292-304 discuss all the disputes over an epiklƝros on the comic stage of Menander and Terence. 57 The legal issues in Aspis have been discussed in Karabelias (1970); Gomme/Sandbach (1973); Karnezis (1977); MacDowell (1982) and Brown (1983). 58 On the comic dimensions of the treatment of the Athenian epiklƝros see Lape (2004) 106-9. 59 See a full register of legal questions tied to the epiklƝros case in Aspis in Ireland (2010) 8-11.

Terence’s Literary Self-Consciousness


before the Athenian courts, considerable potential for producing laughter on stage; Apollodorus himself is known, in fact, to have written two different plays titled EpiklƝros, one of which was later translated into Latin.60 Terence eagerly ‘interpreted’ the reality dramatised in the Menandrian New Comedy as a serious commentary on the historical social and political circumstances in fourth-century Athens, and he was aware, too, of the fact that extending the inversion of the conventions of reality to include the sacrosanct domain of the law may enhance the comic effect on his own audience.


Fantham (1984) 305-6 n. 27.


Coming at the end of the first great flowering of Roman literature, Terence was acutely conscious of his place within a dramatic and literary tradition. As Stephen Hinds reminds us,1 all poets are from their own point of view both ‘late’ as well as ‘new’, even those who from the point of view of posterity appear to stand at the beginning of traditions or at major changes in traditions. In the case of Terence, modern readers have viewed him as more ‘late’ than ‘new’, in that he inherits a tradition which has already produced a poetic strong father and a paradigm for the genre in later histories of Roman literature, while after the production of Terence’s last play not only palliata comedy but soon all poetic genres appear to go quiet for over a century, until the late Republican poets such as Catullus and Lucretius open things up again.2 Moreover, much modern criticism, especially before the last few years, would be inclined to see the work of Terence as something of a return to Menander, and thus as a correction of the innovations of Plautus and others in the Roman tradition.3 Although parody of other literature, particularly comic parody of tragedy, had played a role in Greek and Roman drama for centuries, Terence was remarkable in the extent to which he applied careful and critical reading of earlier texts in the production of his own, producing pointed re-readings which we may see as a early precursors of the Augustan method of intertextuality and poetic correction. This paper will argue that Terence is as much a corrector of Menander, and an innovator, as well as a combative but 1

Hinds (1998). For the role of Terence in improving our understanding of the place of Catullus and Lucretius in Roman literary history see Sharrock (2013). On Terence and the ‘anxiety of influence’ see Papaioannou, this volume (chapter 4). 3 J. Wright (1974). 2


Chapter Five

genetically tied son of Plautus.4 I have explored a number of aspects of this Terentian method previously, including consideration of non-dramatic intertexts;5 in this chapter, I focus explicitly on Terence’s reading of his closest intertexts, Greek and Roman New Comedy, as contribution towards his innovations in narrative technique, the presentation of character, and the manipulation of the audience and reader.

I. Terence reading Menander Overheard scenes, whether deliberate eavesdropping or fortuitous accident, are extremely common in Greek and Roman Comedy, providing opportunities for confusion and misunderstanding, and for the spread of compromising information, working into the heart of the complexities which make up the plot. They are, moreover, as is well known, special moments of metatheatrical force, creating plays within plays and intense perspectival direction for the audience.6 Although Terence is not the most extreme or elaborate manipulator of the motif (that’s Plautus), he uses it already from his first play, when the slave of the young man in the second love-strand accidentally overhears what he mistakes as his master’s friend’s treacherous agreement to marry the master’s own beloved (An. 412-31), or when Parmeno watches the exchanges between Thraso the soldier and Gnatho the parasite, interjecting ironic comments for the benefit of the audience (Eun. 418-9, 431, 457-8, 461). A little-noted but particularly powerful, if subtle, example of the overheard scene occurs in that most challenging of plays, Hecyra. I am going to suggest that Terence is alluding here to the overheard scene from Menander’s Epitrepontes, a play which is closely intertextually involved with Hecyra, although not, of course, its ‘Greek original’.7 Before doing so, however, I should acknowledge that the still-parlous nature of our extant texts of Menander creates a great difficulty in arguing for direct and exclusive allusion


For Terence as a Plautine author see Sharrock (2009). Sharrock (2009) and (2013). Further on intertexts other than comedy, see Karakasis, this volume (chapter 3). 6 See Blänsdorf (1982); Petrone (1983); Muecke (1986); Benz, Stärk and VogtSpira (1995); Moore (1998); Slater (2000). 7 All quotations from the text and translation of Epitrepontes are from Furley (2009). Other Latin and Greek texts are from the relevant OCT, and translations my own, unless otherwise stated. 5

Terence, the Corrective Reader and Innovator


between his work and that of any later author.8 Whether a passage can be held explicitly to evoke an earlier passage, especially in the absence of very clear verbal clues, depends in part on the uniqueness or otherwise of the motives under consideration. Although we can make meaningful claims about the uniqueness of a situation in Terence, whose work we have in full, we can only say that a situation is unique within Menander as we have it. I contend that the overheard scenes with which I am concerned are the only examples in extant Greek and Roman Comedy where a man reverses his earlier unkind judgment of his wife and changes his actions accordingly. They are also, perhaps, the only or almost the only overheard scenes which contribute to the loosening rather than the tightening of the plot, but since the definition of what would be loosening or what would be tightening is not fixed this would not be a matter to pursue further. Happily, however, the argument does not depend only on the uniqueness or otherwise of this particular kind of overheard scene in Menander. While, as mentioned, Epitrepontes is in no direct sense the model for Hecyra, elements in the plot are so close as to render it a clear intertext: both plays involve a premarital rape by a young man who later unknowingly marries his victim, but then abandons her when she produces a child too early, but is reconciled to her when it transpires that he is himself responsible for the child. The two plays are not the only examples in extant comedy of premarital rape followed by unknowing marriage, but they are much closer in plot and theme to each other than to any other extant play.9 Here is the case: in each play, a scene between a parent and child is overheard by the estranged husband of one of the participants, as a result of which the couple are reconciled; in each case, it is a woman who makes 8

Handley [(2011) 146] estimates that we have about 5% of Menander. This paper is being written just as the news comes of the death of this great scholar. I would like to offer it as a small and humble dedication in his memory. 9 As far as I am aware, the only other example is Menander’s Heros, where in the older generation a premarital rape had produced twins who were given by the mother to a poor foster-father before she (presumably unknowingly) married the father. The twins then came into their parents’ house unknowingly, in order to pay off a loan taken out by their late foster-father. It appears that during the play the parents discover that they had together unknowingly produced the children before the marriage. From the scraps available to us, I think we can see that Epitrepontes and Hecyra are far more like each other than either of them is like Heros. It must be very likely that there were other plays (perhaps including the direct model for Terence’s play) that used this motif, which is after all a fairly obvious one in a world of premarital rapes and remarkable coincidences which put families back in their proper places.


Chapter Five

the impressive speech, who stands up for what she believes to be right, in the face of opposition from her menfolk, and it is the man who has misjudged her who changes his mind when overhearing. A crucial difference is that in Menander’s case the audience already knows that the woman has been misjudged,10 whereas Terence brilliantly and cruelly keeps it secret from them. Terence transfers Menander’s scene from the more predictable young husband overhearing his wife talking to her father onto an older husband overhearing his wife talking to her son. This is a remarkable change, which moves the focus, albeit only for a moment, away from the play’s natural drive towards the successful marriage of young lovers, and towards a reflection on development in an older and long-established but somewhat dysfunctional relationship. In Hecyra, the eponymous mother-in-law, Sostrata, informs her son that she will go and live in the countryside with his father (whom we have seen roundly abusing her at the opening of the play, and whose last words that we have heard were the intention to go and vomit forth all his anger onto her), in order to leave space for the young couple to live together happily, it being believed that the estrangement between them has been caused by the young wife, Philumena, taking a dislike to her mother-inlaw. Mother and son break down in tears, at which point the father, Laches, steps forth and proclaims himself as an eavesdropper who has been inordinately impressed by what he has heard: LA. Quem cum istoc sermonem habueris procul hinc stans accepi, uxor. istuc est sapere, qui ubiquomque opu’ sit animum possis flectere; quod sit faciundum fortasse post, idem hoc nunc si feceris. SO. fors fuat pol. LA. abi rus ergo hinc: ibi ego te et tu me feres. SO. spero ecastor. LA. i ergo intro et compone quae tecum simul ferantur: dixi. SO. ita ut iubes faciam. Hec. 607-12 (Laches: Standing at a distance, wife, I heard from here the conversation that you just had with that one. This is wisdom, to be able to direct your mind where there is a need, to do now this same thing which afterwards perhaps would have to be done. 10 So we must presume, in accordance with new comic norms. No prologue has been transmitted in the extant fragments, but scholars agree that there must have been one, quite possibly delayed, as in Aspis. See Furley (2009) 8-10, who argues, surely rightly, that the prologue must have been spoken by an omniscient deity, since the slave Onesimos does not know the gruesome information that Charisios is the father of his wife’s baby. He suggests ‘Reconciliation’, DiallagƝ. The more common suggestion is Tyche, chance or luck, as in Aspis.

Terence, the Corrective Reader and Innovator


Sostrata: Indeed may it so chance. Laches: So go from here to the countryside: there I’ll bear with you and you with me. Sostrata: I hope so indeed. Laches: Go inside therefore and get everything ready to take with you. I’ve spoken. Sostrata: I’ll do as you instruct.)

Donatus may well be right to note that Sostrata’s expressions are somewhat lacking in confidence about the future happiness of the old couple (spero…, 611), but I suspect that we should rather see her reply as modest and submissive, as clearly is her final comment before going into the house (ita ut iubes faciam, 612). Laches is still pontificating and is making very clear his status as paterfamilias (dixi: I have spoken, so there’s nothing more to be said, 612). The point, however, is that he really has changed his mind. He was standing there at a distance (procul, 607, noted by Donatus), which reflects his emotional distance from his wife, but while there he ‘received’ her words. The woman who was previously described sarcastically as the magistra of a school for quarrelsome mothers-in-law (Hec. 204) now has the virtue of wisdom attributed to her (sapere, 608), most unusually among older women in comedy, especially by their own closest menfolk. Still more important is the understated acknowledgement of his own foibles, together with the balanced equality implied in the promise: ego te et tu me feres (610). After Sostrata leaves (even Laches’ invitation to her to pack her bags suggests a greater thoughtfulness than he had previously shown), Pamphilus continues the argument with his father about whether his mother should leave (because at the moment he believes that an illegitimate child is the reason for his wife’s departure, and the idea of bringing up a bastard is, of course, anathema to him). Laches now, as Donatus tactfully notices, puts the blame for the supposed argument between mother-in-law and daughter-inlaw not onto his wife but onto a generalising and indulgent comment about young people. He then turns the focus away from the young couple in town to the old couple in the countryside: e medio aequom excedere est: postremo nos iam fabulae sumu’, Pamphile, “senex atque anus.” Hec. 620-1 (It is fair that we step back from the heat of action: Finally, we’ll be the ‘old man and old woman’ in the story, Pamphilus.)


Chapter Five

As Donatus notes, this looks like the opening of a traditional story. The point is that Laches is envisaging himself and his wife as a comfortable old couple, and sees this as an argument which should make Pamphilus happy about the idea of his mother leaving. The situation in Menander’s play is quite different. Despite the fragmentary state of the scene, it seems fairly clear that the girl’s father, Smikrines, is trying to persuade his daughter Pamphile to leave her estranged husband Charisios and return to him. Although commentators have tended to think the worst of the father, this scene does seem to present him as concerned for his daughter’s well-being with an errant husband, even if he is also excessively bothered about the money.11 Be that as it may, Pamphile stands up for herself effectively, expressing her determination to stick with her husband, come what may. More of the debate is available in Furley’s (2009) text than in Sandbach’s OCT (revised edition: 1990), enough for my purposes if not quite enough to satisfy those who want to know whether a father had the legal right to make his daughter return, nor what exactly Pamphile says about any future marriage. In Furley’s reconstruction, Act IV opens with the debate between father and daughter, beginning, as he notes, with quick-fire interaction and followed by a set-piece speech from each contender. Smikrines tries to persuade his daughter to leave her husband, on the grounds that the situation is irretrievable, that Charisios is wasting money, and that Pamphile will be at a huge disadvantage if she tries to compete with a prostitute. Although Pamphile’s reply is fragmentary, we can tell that she spoke powerfully, indeed rhetorically,12 about her understanding of marriage as a lifelong partnership, for better for worse, and her determination to stay with her husband, whatever he has done or suffered. Menander is clearly determined that we should pay attention to what this young woman says. Not only is she given the substantial speech, but also we catch a further echo of her words soon afterwards. At the end of the interaction between father and daughter, it is clear Smikrines must exit, leaving his daughter alone and despairing, to be met by Habrotonon and so to conclude the first recognition. Thereafter, Pamphile’s speech is reprised, reported first through Onesimos and next through Charisios’ recollection —for he, we learn, has overheard the interaction between father and daughter, and been drawn by the experience to realise the injustice of his behaviour. He had just discovered, in Act III, that, before his marriage, he fathered an illegitimate child through rape, whereas he had abandoned his 11

A balanced account of this is given at Furley (2009) 21. See also Blanchard (2007) 114. 12 Furley (2009) 218-9.

Terence, the Corrective Reader and Innovator


wife on discovering that she had produced a five-months child, who could only be the result of rape. We know, of course, that there has been only one rape and only one child. Modern readers are so delighted by Charisios’ change of heart—even before he discovers that the child is his own, in contrast to the situation in Terence—that they generally fail to notice the subtlety with which Terence has corrected the dramatic and narrative technique of his intertext. It is surprising that in Menander’s play we, in a sense, see the same scene twice, or even three times—once directly, once in Onesimos’ account of his young master’s onstage behaviour, and finally again when the repentant husband himself comes onstage to tell us about it. The direct scene, we now know, contained a substantial speech from Pamphile. We cannot tell for certain whether Charisios’ eavesdropping presence is directly represented, but it seems extremely unlikely, since we also have Onesimos’ account of it: ʌȡઁȢ IJĮ૙Ȣ șȪȡĮȚȢ Ȗ੹ȡ ਩ȞįȠȞ ਕȡҕIJҕȓҕ[ȦȢ ʌȠȜઃȞ ȤȡȩȞȠȞ įȚĮțȪʌIJȦȞ ਥȞįҕ[ȚȑIJȡȚȥ’ ਕțȡȠȫȝİȞȠȢ. ੒ ʌĮIJ੽ȡ į੻ IJોȢ ȞȪȝijȘȢ IJȚ ʌİȡ੿ [IJȠ૨ ʌȡȐȖȝĮIJȠȢ ਥȜȐȜİȚ ʌȡઁȢ ਥțİȓȞȘȞ, ੪Ȣ ਩ȠȚȤ’, ੒ į’ ȠੈĮ ȝ੻Ȟ ਵȜȜĮIJIJİ ȤȡȫȝĮIJ’, ਙȞįȡİȢ, Ƞ੝į’ İੁʌİ૙Ȟ țĮȜȩȞ. Epit. 883-7 (He was standing by the halldoor inside just now, craning his neck out, oh, for ages [... The father of the bride was going on about this thing to her, as well he might, while he was turning all colours of the rainbow!)

It is odd that we get this account when we have already experienced the scene itself, but it would be even more odd if we had actually already seen the eavesdropping happening. The slave goes on with his narrative report of offstage action for almost another twenty lines before his master enters the scene. It is within Onesimos’ account of Charisios’ reaction that we first get his confession of double standards: “ਥȖઅ” Ȗ੹ȡ “ਖȜȚIJȒȡȚȠȢ” ʌȣțȞઁȞ ʌȐȞȣ ਩ȜİȖİȞ “IJȠȚȠ૨IJȠȞ ਩ȡȖȠȞ ਥȟİȚȡȖĮıȝȑȞȠȢ Į੝IJઁȢ ȖİȖȠȞȫȢ IJİ ʌĮȚįȓȠȣ ȞȩșȠȣ ʌĮIJ੽ȡ Ƞ੝ț ਩ıȤȠȞ Ƞ੝į’ ਩įȦțĮ ıȣȖȖȞȫȝȘȢ ȝȑȡȠȢ Ƞ੝ș੻Ȟ ਕIJȣȤȠȪıȘȚ IJĮ੡IJ’ ਥțİȓȞȘȚ, ȕȐȡȕĮȡȠȢ ਕȞȘȜİȒȢ IJİ.” Epit. 894-9


Chapter Five (“I’m the devil,” he cried over and over again. “I’m guilty of the same crime,” he wailed, “I fathered a bastard child, and then refused to show so much as a mite of understanding to my wife in the same predicament. Savage, heartless man I am!”)

Charisios next comes out to give his own version, quoting himself sarcastically, quoting the divine power which he imagines as having brought his comeuppance on him, and finally, in indirect speech, quoting the words he says he heard from his wife: ੖ȝȠ]ȚҕȐ Ȗ’ İੇʌİȞ ȠੈȢ ıઃ įȚİȞҕȩȠȣ IJȩҕIJİ ʌȡઁȢ] IJઁȞ ʌĮIJȑȡĮ, țȠȚȞȦȞઁȢ ਸ਼țҕİȚȞ IJȠ૨ ȕȓȠȣ, ਩ʌİȚIJĮ į’]Ƞ੝ įİ૙Ȟ IJਕIJȪȤȘȝ’ Į੝IJ੽Ȟ ijȣȖİ૙Ȟ IJઁ ıȣȝȕ]İȕȘҕ[ț]ȩȢ. Epit. 919-22 (The contrast between what she said to her father and my position!—how she’d come as partner for life and shouldn’t run away when some chance mishap struck.)

It is immediately after this scene that Charisios discovers the child’s true parentage and all is resolved. Terence has used this scene in an important Menandrian intertext not only for all the complexities about double standards which are discussed elsewhere, but also for two other purposes. One is to expand the delineation of character and the possibility of changing one’s mind, taking this point away from the obvious principals, who have to change in order for the play to reach its resolution, out into the wider network of characters whom his troubled and challenging play is determined to explore and present, whether we are comfortable with it or not. The second, I suggest, is cheekily to correct Menandrian dramaturgy, translating a rather lax and distinctly uneconomical piece of writing, which mixes staged representation and reported narrative, into a few lines where if you blink you might miss what’s going on, but if you pay attention you will see an important development in characterisation and dramaturgy, as well as being invited to ask questions about the motivations at work in each play. I wonder whether Menander would have allowed the rapist to recognise the injustice of his attitude at this stage, ahead of the final revelation to the character, if he had not already made the audience aware that the child is actually

Terence, the Corrective Reader and Innovator


Charisios’ own.13 Terence’s scene shows us how a deceived audience can be made to experience a change of mind actually alongside a character, rather than just watching the change from the outside. As a small footnote to this argument for Terentian correction of or improvement on Menander, I would like to note also, in brief, the development of realistic metatheatricality.14 A nice case in point comes also from the same two plays. In the eponymous arbitration scene of Epitrepontes, Syros makes an explicit reference to the central role of exposed children and birth tokens within drama when he says: IJİșȑĮıĮȚ IJȡĮȖȦȚįȠȪȢ, Ƞੇį’ ੖IJȚ, ț]Į੿ IJĮ૨IJĮ țĮIJȑȤİȚȢ ʌȐȞIJĮ. ȃȘȜȑĮ IJȚȞ੹ ȆҕİҕȜȓĮȞ IJ’ ਥțİȓȞȠȣȢ İ੤ȡİ ʌȡİıȕȪIJȘȢ ਕȞ੽ȡ ĮੁʌȩȜȠȢ, ਩ȤȦȞ Ƞ੆ĮȞ ਥȖઅ Ȟ૨Ȟ įȚijșȑȡĮȞ, ੪Ȣ į’ ਵȚıșİIJ’ Į੝[IJȠ]ઃȢ ੕ȞIJĮȢ Įਫ਼IJȠ૨ țȡİȓIJIJȠȞĮȢ, ȜȑȖİȚ IJઁ ʌȡ઼Ȗȝ’, ੪Ȣ İ੤ȡİȞ, ੪Ȣ ਕȞİȓȜİIJȠ. Epit. 325-30 (You’ve watched tragedy, I’m sure, and remember all the stories. How an old man, goatherd he was, found Neleus and Pelias, twins; he had on what I have now, a goatskin. When he discovered they were his superiors, he told them all, how he found them, took them in.

13 Although Furley (2009) is relatively circumspect about how impressed we should be by Charisios (Epit. 238), he is, in my opinion, a little too impressed by Menander: “[i]t is interesting that the argument in Epitrep. assumes equal rights for wife and husband. The concept of shared humanity between the sexes represents a major advance on the archaic idea of the fellowship of men governed by a code of honour, and women as passive recipients”. Porter [(1999-2000) 166] is a good example of the standard reaction to this scene: “a quintessentially Menandrian scene of dawning self-awareness and moral reflection”. While there is some truth in this, I repeat my caution that Menander is allowing this to be said at a time when the audience knows that there is in fact no underlying infidelity (forced or otherwise). 14 On metatheatre in Menander see Papaioannou (2010); also Gutzwiller (2000) and especially with regard to Epitrepontes, Stockert (1997). In my opinion, Furley [(2009) 2-7] is unnecessarily cautious about the term ‘metatheatricality’ with regard to the references to tragedy in the arbitration scene. I would say that the description he gives of what is happening in the play here is precisely metatheatrical, while also reflecting what the Athenian in the street might say.


Chapter Five

It is specifically tragedy from which Syros indicates that this lesson is to be learned, followed by hints of other plots which could be tragedy or comedy. The allusion is pointed out quite heavily, so that we cannot miss the fact that a character in a play with tokens is talking about how characters in plays with tokens can bring about recognitions. It is again with a far lighter touch that Terence makes his most elegant metatheatrical comment, his only explicit reference to comedy outside prologues:15 placet non fieri hoc itidem ut in comoediis omnia omnes ubi resciscunt. Hec. 866-7 (It’s pleasing if it doesn’t end up just the same as in the comedies, where everyone knows everything.)

Moreover, the ending of Epitrepontes uses an explicit reference to Euripides’ Auge to bring about its necessary reconciliation, when old father Smikrines is taught a lesson in tragic reference and human life by the slave Onesimus. The plot of Auge reflects the ‘real-life’ situation of Epitrepontes: Hercules had raped the ominous Auge at a night-time festival (as usual), a child was born, and recognition of its father came about by means of a ring.16 So, where Menander’s characters quote bits of tragedy directly, just as any Athenian might, whether he is inside a comedy or not, Terence’s character makes a knowing wink to the audience about this not being a comedy like all the other comedies.17

15 There are several references elsewhere to fabulae, which have metatheatrical implications, but are also interpretable as wholly internal to their contexts. On this passage see Anderson (2002). On this passage as an innovation in the control of knowledge and as a Terentian development in dramatic technique see Papaioannou, this volume (chapter 6), 172. 16 For further discussion of the relationship between Menander’s play and Euripides’ see Furley (2009) 253-4. 17 Knorr (2007) 168. As Blanchard [(2007) 64-5] notes, it seems that even slaves are so well educated as to be in a position to quote tragedy. The point is touched on by Furley (2009) 6-7 and 155, apropos the Arbitration scene, but he fudges slightly, it seems to me, when he calls Syriskos “an average Athenian”. On the Auge quotation (253), Furley follows Sandbach [(1970) 134-5] in the view that his “use of rare words and intellectual vocabulary elsewhere in the play… [indicates] that Onesimos is no run-of-the-mill slave”.

Terence, the Corrective Reader and Innovator


II. Terence reading Plautus (and Menander, and Apollodorus…) Phormio is an unusual play within the corpus. It has the typical double (though unevenly balanced) plot, with one strand directed towards citizen marriage and the other towards a prostitute affair, with doubling in both younger and older generation. It is, however, the only Terentian play featuring an erotic complication in the older generation, the only one with a role for a ‘parasite’, and the only one with a clear change of title from the ‘original’ Greek play. Each of these aspects is itself distinctly unusual. It is a play which appears to be involved in complex intertextual relationships with various elements in the comic koinƝ, as well as with specific plays of Plautus, of Menander, as well as of Apollodorus. The plays which seem to me to have particular resonance within Phormio are as follows: Plautus’ Epidicus, Curculio, and possibly Cistellaria, Menander’s Epitrepontes, Aspis, and the play usually known as fabula incerta, and of course Apollodorus’ Epidicazomenos. No doubt the picture would be changed if more of the lost plays were extant. The last, the ‘Greek original’ of Phormio, is the hardest for us to appreciate, if we are unwilling, as I am, to engage in circular argument.18 What we can say, for what it is worth, is that the absence of early exposition of the plot, generally agreed to be an unthinkable mode of dramatic narrative in a Greek play, means that the news of uncle Chremes’ bigamy and resultant daughter comes as a bombshell (in the scene between the two brothers, beginning at 567), rather than being something we knew but they didn’t. While clever readers of Terence’s other Apollodoran play, Hecyra, might possibly have there seen coming the big news that the 18

Lefèvre (1978) has many interesting ideas, including the suggestion that the marriage did not in fact take place in advance of the play (p. 20), but it is unfortunately marred by circularity. See Braun (1999). For a balanced discussion of the relationship between the two plays see J.C.B. Lowe (1983). Papaioannou, this volume (chapter 6), 157, describes Phormio as “the play [of Terence] most reliant upon its Greek model”. It is important to note that this ‘reliance’ comes from the fact that we, as readers/audience, have to have some knowledge of the Attic epiklƝros legislation in order to follow the play. It does not necessarily mean that Terence’s play has to be closer or more distant in detail from its ‘original’, something which we cannot know. I would note also that we do not need very detailed knowledge of how Attic family law works, only basic familiarity with the epiklerate, as is shown by the difficulties over whether or not Chremes’ second marriage would in fact be valid and what would in reality be the legal constraints on Antipho and later his father.


Chapter Five

premarital rapist was none other than the husband himself, given the parallel with Menander’s Epitrepontes and the comic necessity for the restitution of social harmony, it will have been much harder for any firsttime reader/audience of Phormio to see how that restitution will be resolved in this case. Knowledge of the koinƝ will tell us that Antipho must keep his wife; reasonable guess work will suggest the likelihood of a recognition; but we are not given much help with adding two and two together. Chremes’ role as older lover we will consider further below. Of the six plays of Terence, the other five appear to keep the same name as their ‘Greek original’.19 Three of them, Heautontimorumenos, Hecyra and Adelphoe, have recognisably Greek or minimally Latinised Greek names, while Andria could be Greek or Latin but is presented as the name also of the Menandrian play, and the Latinised Eunuchus is also modestly described as Menandri Eunuchum (20). Phormio, however, is not just a different name from the Apollodoran original, but is not even a translation, unlike, for example, the Commorientes of Plautus, which is described in the prologue to Adelphoe as SynapothnƝscontes Diphili (Ad. 6). Instead, the name has been transferred from the emphasis on the legal transaction (Epidicazomenos) to the name of the Big Character, in the manner of two great Plautine character-plays Pseudolus and Epidicus, with support also from Curculio.20 In addition to the point that Terence is playing with the roles of parasites and especially clever slaves, however, I would offer the following addendum. In its Greek form, Phormiǀn, Phormio is most famously the name of an Athenian general of the fifth century BCE.21 Since the first origins of the Roman comic miles gloriosus are generally agreed to be found in the Lamachus as represented in Aristophanes’ Acharnians, it seems likely that Terence is making a complex allusion to his Phormio’s role among the Big Characters of comedy, offering a hint of the miles just as he also, problematically, plays the parasite and the clever slave. The name, moreover, stands out from all the Demeas, Chremeses and Antiphones of Terentian comedy (and both Menandrian and Apollodoran, as far as we can tell). Donatus (ad Ph. prol. 26) appears to say that the lawyer-parasite of Apollodorus’ Epidicazomenos was also called Phormio, 19

On the title of this play see also Papaioannou, this volume (chapter 1), 38. See also Maltby (2007a). 21 Another Phormion, from the fourth century BCE, was the ‘slave and subsequently freed man of the Athenian banker Pasion’, whose business and wife he inherited after the latter’s death. This Phormion came into legal conflict with his stepson, none other than an Apollodorus. (See OCD article Phormio.) This, however, is probably a coincidence. 20

Terence, the Corrective Reader and Innovator


in that ijިȡȝȚȠȞ tegiculum dicunt Graeci (note the phrasing, alongside Terence’s prologue, 25-6) ...unde ĭȠȡȝȓȦȞ correpta prima syllaba apud Apollodorum est…et inde parasitus, vilissimae condicionis homo, nomen accepit.22 A fragment of (probably) Apollodorus’ Diabolos appears to include the name (Pollux 10.154).23 Athenaeus 244f-45a mentions the name as that of a parasite of Seleucus, in a list of famous parasites. Be that as it may, Terence clearly draws attention to the name of the character and of the play, by this unique example of a completely different title for his Roman play. He says that he has changed the name because of the importance of Phormio’s role: quia primas partis qui aget is erit Phormio parasitu’, Ph. 27-8 (Since the one who plays the primary role will be Phormio the parasite.)

Has he perhaps enhanced that role? But in fact, in terms of time on stage Phormio does not dominate to anything like the same extent as Pseudolus does his play,24 while one could say that the second trick of the play is actually attributable to Geta.25 It seems extremely likely that Terence has changed the name in order to make a point: I broadly agree 22

“The Greeks call a roof tile a formion, ... from which Phormiǀn comes in Apollodoros, with the first syllable correpted… And from there the parasite, a man of the most base condition, takes his name”. 23 Fontaine [(2010a) 19 n. 28] refers to Priscian’s quotation of “a senarius from a Phormio of one Valerius, a writer of uncertain but no doubt Republican date”. He takes the title as “further evidence that the historical parasite’s name came to be accepted as a type name in popular comedy”. I am less confident than some that Donatus is a reliable source for Greek comedy, but it does not make much difference to the main point of what Terence is doing with Phormio and Phormio, whether or not Apollodorus’ play featured a character with the same name. 24 Gilula [(2007) 215] calculates that Geta has the physically largest role in the play, with 688 lines, whereas Phormio himself has only 353. See Papaioannou, this volume (chapter 6) 112-13. Time on stage is not the only factor in the dominance of a play, of course. Several scholars argue that Phormio dominates even when he is not present, for example Segal and Moulton (1978) while Maltby [(2007b) 163] shows Phormio graced with a higher frequency of imagery than his slave coworker, but see Karakasis, this volume (chapter 3), on the epic language of Geta. That Ambivius Turpio played Phormio is a point of some relevance, but not overwhelming: Ballio, rather than Pseudolus, was the part chosen by the actor Roscius according to Cicero [Cic. Q. Rosc. 20.13; see Brown (2002) 234]. 25 For a different view on this point see Frangoulidis (1995).


Chapter Five

with Fontaine that much of the point is to place Phormio in the tradition of Plautine great movers and shakers, usually slaves.26 There is an additional complication over the name of Apollodorus’ play, as to whether it is to be taken as masculine middle, referring to Phormio as the one who contends at law, or feminine passive, referring to the girl Phanium as the one of whom judgement is made.27 Donatus says that Terence has made a mistake, and the participle should be feminine, although, he claims, there was also another play by Apollodorus entitled Epidicazomenos (Don. ad Ph. prol. 25). Fontaine28 argues that Terence has not made the mistake, but rather he is playing a joke with the audience, most of whom, if we believe the prologue to Heautontimorumenos (7-9), would already know the Greek title of the play. The contrary-toexpectation final syllable, according to Fontaine, “invites us to reanalyse the verb epi-dik-azesthai in the facetious sense Epidik-azesthai, ‘to Epidicise oneself, to make oneself into an Epidicus’”. Whatever the truth of the original gender of the participle and title, I am sure that the play with ‘Epidicus’ must be right. This Phormio, who is foregrounded by the change of title, by the prologue, and by what other characters say about him before he appears, must be meant to stand in the tradition of Plautus’ great characters, of whom Epidicus is one of the greatest.29 The jokes on the syllable –dik–/–dic– are not confined to the title. In this play about lawsuits, there are two occurrences of the unusual Latinised Greek word dica,30 the first vowel being short, rather than the long vowel 26

As a footnote to the argument that Epidicus and Pseudolus are important precursors of Phormio, I would note a possible direct allusion, when Phaedria is trying to defend his cousin against his uncle’s complaints by painting Phormio as the villain in the court case: sed siqui’ forte malitia fretus sua / insidias nostrae fecit adulescentiae… (But if someone by chance, relying on his own badness has laid a trap for our youth..., Ter., Ph. 273-4). The two-line epilogue to Epidicus informs the audience that: Hic is homo est qui libertatem malitia invenit sua (This is the man who has found freedom by his own badness, Pl., Epid. 732), while Pseudolus, in one of his celebratory monologues, describes how he has achieved his tricks: maiorum meum fretus virtute dicam, / mea industria et malitia fraudulenta (I shall speak relying on the valour of my ancestors, my own industry and my fraudulent badness, Pl., Ps. 581-2). 27 Kock [(1888) 285] seems to read it as feminine middle, with Phanium as one quae intercedente Phormione cogeret Antiphonem ut se uxorem duceret (who with the help of Phormio forced Antipho to marry her). See also Maltby (2007a) 24. 28 Fontaine (2010a) 16-20. 29 Slater [(2000) 15] takes him as the paradigm, although I would prefer to give that honour to Pseudolus. 30 Petrone (2001).

Terence, the Corrective Reader and Innovator


of the familiar verb for speech (dƯco), with which there is a pun in the first instance: ego te cognatum dicam et tibi scribam dicam; (Ph. 127) (I shall say you are her relative and I shall bring a case against you.) cedo dum, enumquam iniuriarum audisti mihi scriptam dicam? (Ph. 329) (Now, have you ever heard of a case of injury being brought against me?)

The second instance is when Phormio is showing off to Geta about his effectiveness in the lawcourt, effectiveness which is based in part on his poverty, because, he claims, there is not much point in suing him. The boast is developed into a spectacular celebration of the parasitic art of eating, in the manner of Plautine exponents, culminating in a typical Plautine joke sequence: PH. ...dum tibi fit quod placeat, ille ringitur: tu rideas, prior bibas, prior decumbas; cena dubia apponitur. GE. quid istuc verbist? PH. ubi tu dubites quid sumas potissimum. Ph. 341-3 (Phormio: ...While everything is happening just as you like, he is grinding his teeth: you may laugh, drink first, recline first; a doubtful dinner is put before you. Geta: What kind of a word is that? Phormio: One where you doubt which bit you’d most like to take.)

If Terence’s Phormio is not just about an intertextual relationship with Plautine slaves, but also Plautine parasites, we might think about whether there could be a link with Curculio similar to the link which we discussed above, with Epidicus. Whatever one thinks of Fontaine’s argument that the character and play usually known as ‘Curculio’ should actually be identified as ‘Gorgylio’,31 there is no doubt that 586-7 of that play make a joke which associates the name with the weevil. I wonder, then, whether we might see a play between Phormio and formica, an ant. There is not, I admit, very much to go on, but nor is there much justification for the identification with/derivation from formula, which Donatus several times assures us is definitely not right. Formica would at least have a point, both in the connection with Curculio ‘the weevil’ and in the idea of the ant as a 31

Fontaine (2010a) 62-5, especially 64.


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hard worker; I fail to see any point in formula. If Donatus needs to keep reminding us32 that there is nothing to see here, that must surely be because either others claim or even he suspects that there might be something to see. Formica occurs nowhere in Terence. In Plautus, it occurs on three occasions, all of them proverbial, and one of them in Curculio (576), in a conversation between the soldier and the pimp, where the former threatens to punish the latter if his girl is not produced: iam ego te faciam ut hic formicae frustillatim differant (I shall make sure that here the ants carry you off crumb by crumb).33 However much we are, or are not, meant to think of Plautus’ Curculio, the real point that I suggest Terence is making is not just the homage, but also the correction. Our Phormio is a clever lawyer, up against an almost equally clever opponent in Demipho. The point, however, is not just that Phormio is a bit like Peniculus; rather, his characterisation draws on that of the Plautine parasite as well as the Plautine slave-architectus, but is subtly and importantly different from either of them. In Terence’s comic but realist world, it isn’t a slave who is going to have the power to manipulate everyone’s lives, as in the fantasy world of Plautus, nor is it your ordinary day-to-day parasite, whose main skill, flattery, is a very unreliable source of income. Rather, this parasitecum-‘clever slave’ is actually far closer to ‘reality’. As Shakespeare said, ‘let’s kill all the lawyers’ (Henry VI part II, Act IV Scene II).34 One of the recurrent difficulties raised by the play is the question of how we should regard Phormio. It is not just a matter of whether he is a hero or villain (or both), but how he fits into any of the categories which 32

It has to be admitted that some of the repetitions of the point about formula are no doubt later additions to Donatus’ text, itself a composite work. See Maltby (2007a). 33 For what it’s worth, the other two instances are Men. 888 and Trin. 403. 34 Segal and Moulton (1978) argue convincingly that Phormio is a lawyer who, unusually for professionals in the comic tradition, is clever and successful, not a fool, unlike the three friends on whom Demipho calls. Demipho is also skilled in the laws of Athens. Phormio isn’t really much of a parasite, although he does occasionally display those characteristics. They suggest that this setup may be connected with the Scipionic circle, and the rumour that Scipio as a young man was not appropriately interested in the law. The idea would be that Scipio might have suggested to Terence that he use Epidikazomenos, accentuating the legal aspects, in order to refute these claims. It would be somewhat odd as a celebration of Scipio, however, since Phormio is clearly something of a scoundrel—and is also poor. But this may not matter too much. What is interesting is the way that Terence develops the idea of the lawyer in comedy, and how the hints at other types of characterisation work.

Terence, the Corrective Reader and Innovator


tradition and our attempts to make sense of the world might place him.35 As long ago as 1950, I suggest, Amerasinghe was right in his assessment, although for the wrong reasons. He argued that Terence wanted, throughout his corpus, to escape from and undermine the Plautine clever slave as the central controlling character of the drama. Problems with and reductions in the role can be traced throughout the corpus, culminating in Phormio, where the central character only pretends to be a bit like a Plautine clever slave, but is in fact a wily lawyer who bears a little resemblance also to the traditional parasite. According to Amerasinhge, Terence lost his nerve after this play, however, and with Adelphoe he returned to more traditional categories. It is surely right that Terence, throughout the corpus, is playing with the Plautine slave. I have argued elsewhere that in his first play, Andria, the scheming slave Davus is constantly feeling the pressure, metatheatrically, from the great characters of Plautine drama, such as Pseudolus, Epidicus, Palaestrio and Tranio, while movement through the corpus does indeed display various reductions and complications in the role of the clever slave.36 Rather than seeing Phormio and Phormio as the culmination of a move away from Plautine techniques, however, I would suggest that they are better envisaged as a kind of act of homage-cum-correction of the Plautine greats. The character of Phormio is an act of homage not just to Pseudolus and Epidicus, but also to Peniculus and especially Curculio. But it is a correction in the direction of a particular Terentian take on realism – the clever schemer who outwits the old man and produces the comic resolution is not, in Terence’s realist world, either a slave or indeed a free man who behaves like a slave. Phormio may well perform some of the banter of slaves triumphant and parasites gourmet, but there are crucial aspects of his characterisation which mark him out from the tradition, and 35 Frangoulidis (1995) offers an extensive metatheatrical reading of Phormio not only in the role of clever slave, but specifically in the role of clever slave-asplaywright. On the more prosaic question of how to read the character of Phormio, Arnott (1970) gives a good range of reactions. See Godsey (1928) for a nice laudatory response. 36 Sharrock (2009) 143-4. Amerasinghe (1950) takes the view that Terence reduces the role of the slave-architectus because the Plautine convention of a clever slave controlling everything makes serious drama impossible. My nuance to this would be that Terence is more playful with comic roles than Amerasinghe allows, but that it does seem to me to be an important element of Terentian innovation to move towards a certain kind of realism, at the level of plot and character, to which even Menander’s serious drama did not aspire, despite the over-quoted ancient estimation of Menander as the consummate realist. But, I would say, Terence manages to achieve this without loss of comedy.


Chapter Five

put him in the kind of social status that makes his juridical action plausible. Outrageous, yes, but not fantasy. Possibly the clearest sign of this unusual characterisation is a point so small it would easily be missed.37 After the resolution of the music-girl plot, the successful lover and his girl are described by his benefactor as drinking apud me (Ph. 837). Parasites always drink in other people’s homes; they are never the host. This small moment in nuce describes the relationship between Phormio and the young men—he is the patron and they are the clients, contrary to comic norms but in keeping with juridical expectation. In its dependence on a point of law for the construction of the plot, Phormio cannot avoid allusion to an equally legally based play, Menander’s Aspis, where the Athenian epiklƝros law is used first by the wicked uncle in an attempt to marry the orphan girl who has supposedly become an heiress on the (falsely reported) death of her brother, and then as a trick against that wicked uncle by the feigned death of the good uncle, whose own daughter now becomes an heiress and traps the bad guy into seeking marriage with her. Naturally, his plans are foiled when it is exposed that reports of both deaths have been grossly exaggerated, and marriage takes place appropriately between young lovers, without any force of law. Again, it looks to me as though what Terence is doing in his rewriting of Menandrian plot motifs is to make them more realistic, in the sense that they are more integrally tied into what will become the solution to the play. The marriage of young people is the affirmation of real-life societal structures towards which a certain kind of comedy, championed particularly by Terence though also by Menander and occasionally by Plautus, is directed. To use a real-life legal process (a Greek process, it is true, but in a legal context which in its social form, if not its legal form, is clearly also Roman) to create the real-life social outcome of the play is a movement towards a new kind of realism. Another play which looks from the meagre fragments available as though it might contain plot elements to which Terence might be alluding is the Menandrian work usually called fabula incerta.38 There either has been, or possibly there has been a trick claiming, premarital rape leading to marriage of the young couple. Of itself, premarital rape is a sufficiently common motif that we should not think in terms of any specific connection with Hecyra, Eunuchus, or Adelphoe, where it also occurs in 37

It was not missed by Segal and Moulton [(1978) 283] who comment: “uncharacteristically for a so-called parasitus, it is Phormio himself who offers to throw the drinking party: nam potaturus est apud me (837)”. 38 On this play see Arnott (1998).

Terence, the Corrective Reader and Innovator


different guises. More significant, however, is the impression that this is another play dealing with a marriage that has already taken place, but to which the father of the young man concerned is deemed likely to object. It is believed by those supporting the young couple (which appears to include Cleanetus, possibly the bride’s father) that only by a trick will the groom’s father be reconciled to the situation: (ȀȜ.) ਕȜȜ੹ ȝ੽Ȟ ʌȐȜĮȚ ਲȝ૙Ȟ ਩įȠȟ[İ IJȠ૨]IJ’· ਩ȤİȚ IJ੽Ȟ ʌĮȡșȑȞȠȞ ੒ ȂȠıȤȓȦȞ· [਩ȜĮȕ]’ ਥșİȜȠȞIJȒȢ, Ƞ੝ ȕȓĮȚ. ੩ȚȩȝİșĮ ȤĮȜİʌĮȞİ૙Ȟ ıİ IJȠ૨IJȠ ʌȣșȩȝİȞȠȞ. Inc. 45-8 (But this seemed right to us a long time ago. Moschion has married the girl. He took her willingly, not by force. We thought you would be angry when you found out about it.)

‘Not by force’ here, we presume, means that it was not the case that Moschion entered upon the marriage on pain of dire punishment for the supposed rape, rather than referring to the rape itself.39 It would be good to know whether the premarital rape by Moschion was a reality within the play, or part of a trick to reconcile his father to the marriage. If it was a trick, then a link with Phormio is the use of some kind of deceit in order to arrange a proper citizen marriage without the approval of the groom’s father; if it was a reality, then I would suggest that we should see the plot of Phormio as an interesting development against a background in comic koinƝ, and a contribution to what Terence is doing in the point to which I turn next. The marriage of Antipho and Phanium is unusual among marriages between a rich young man and a poor but ‘respectable’ girl, in that no sexual activity, either rape or seduction, takes place before the marriage. Indeed, it is the only case of such in Terence, if we assume that the relationship between Antiphila and Clinia has already been consummated: the point is not made explicit in the play, although Clinia’s anxiety that his 39

See Gomme/Sandbach (1973) 683-4. In the reconstruction following the bibliography cited there, the premarital rape really took place, but the claim that the girl was originally meant to marry the young man’s friend Chaireas, until Moschion took matters into his own hands by raping her, is interpreted as the trick to ensure that Laches will accept the marriage, rather than the rape itself being a fabrication. They say that it is not certain that Cleaenetus was the girl’s father, rather than some other relative or supporter. If the latter, the link with Phormio would be closer.


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beloved’s supposed new-found wealth means that she has taken other lovers, would seem to imply a developed relationship. By contrast, Sophrona, as her name implies, is very clear about the propriety of the matter: postridie ad anum recta pergit: obsecrat ut sibi eiu’ faciat copiam. illa enim se negat neque eum aequom facere ait: illam civem esse Atticam, bonam bonis prognatam: si uxorem velit, lege id licere facere: sin aliter, negat. Ph. 112-6 (The very next day he goes straight to the old woman: he begs her to let him have the girl. She refuses and says that he is doing something unjust: she is an attic citizen, a good girl born from a good family. If he wants her as his wife, he will have to do it legally; otherwise, no.)

And the marriage is duly arranged by a legal trick—a trick of claiming that Phanium is a relative of Antipho (which is true), that her father is dead (which is both true and untrue: Chremes is alive, but Stilpo ‘dies’ during the play40 and in any case is dead to her, as he does not exist in Athens, only on Lemnos) and so her cousin must marry her (which is in fact what both fathers want). As so often in Terence, fiction is very close to reality.41 Whereas most Terentian—indeed, most new comic—citizen marriages involve some sexual bad behaviour on the part of the young man (behaviour which is ‘justified’ by the socially proper outcome, even in its most outrageous form in Eunuchus), in this play it seems as though Terence is correcting not only the comic koinƝ and (perhaps) the situation in Menander’s fabula incerta, but also his own norms, especially that in his most popular and most Plautine work.42 The last innovation-within-tradition I would like to consider in this chapter is Terence’s treatment of the senex amator. Chremes, known father of Phaedria and secret father of Phanium, appears to take erotic complication among the older generation to a level of excess almost unparalleled in Greek and Roman Comedy. Amatory involvement of older men is a standard topos of Plautine comedy, in its most rumbustious and socially fantastical forms such as those displayed in Asinaria, Casina and Mercator, while past erotic 40

Frangoulidis (1995). Sharrock (2009). 42 Whether or not he is also correcting something in Apollodorus, we cannot know. 41

Terence, the Corrective Reader and Innovator


behaviour by men who are senes at the time of the play is prevalent throughout New and Roman Comedy (or at least, extensive in both Menander and Plautus) both for reasons of plot (to provide for the existence of illegitimate citizen children) and for reasons of characterisation (‘didn’t we all behave like that when we were young?’). In Terence, however, there is no other example of a senex who is either currently a lover or has any part of his amatory background contributing to the current state of the plot. What Terence appears to have done for his one exploration of the idea of the senex amator is to transfer the causes of humiliation of the erring elderly in front of their disapproving wives (Asinaria being the supreme example) from straightforward running after prostitutes to fullblown marital infidelity, perhaps even legal bigamy (i.e., two marriages which are each apparently legal within their own contexts). What he has done to the motif of the erotic complication in the previous generation, which sets up the contemporary problem (which it is the goal of the play to resolve), is to extend that relationship almost into the play itself. ChremesStilpo has two wives, both of whom appear to be citizens (of Athens?) who have the ability to present him with children who may be properly married to other citizens.43 Some degree of relationship is ongoing.44 Neither is a harridan.45 Moreover, since we must assume, by comic convention, that Phaedria is more than fifteen years old,46 he must be older than his half-sister (who is that age), and therefore the relationship with 43

Martin [(2002) 96] commenting on Ph. 114, implies that Phanium’s mother must have been Athenian, albeit resident in Lemnos. 44 The claim made by Demipho (Ph. 1018) that his brother never touched Phanium’s mother after the initial encounter is clearly special pleading for the purposes of reducing the defendant’s guilt. Phanium and her nurse know her father perfectly well, regard her parents as married, and expect him periodically to return to them, as it is clear from Nausistrata’s complaints that he does on a regular basis. Whether they also know about his other marriage is never made clear. 45 Nausistrata is presented positively by the poet, despite Chremes’ calumnious suggestion that he has to be terrified of a wife in the worst traditions of uxores dotatae. Bohm [(1976-7) 268] also notes that Nausistrata is more concerned about trust and fidelity than about the money. Moreover, all her interactions with others are pleasant, while even her treatment of her unfaithful husband shows good sense—and wit (Ph. 1040-1). We know almost nothing about the Lemnian wife, but we have no reason to think badly of her, since, despite all temptations to the contrary, Stilpo regularly visits her, while the nurse Sophrona must in some sense stand for her dead mistress, and is a woman who lives up to her name. 46 Although age is not generally made explicit for young men, in Eunuchus, Chaerea, the younger brother, is clearly younger than the norm for adulescentes, and must be somewhere near the 16 to 18 bracket.


Chapter Five

Phanium’s mother must have begun, or at least become fruitful, several years after Chremes’ marriage in Athens. While it must be true that the official Roman position on adultery, in the 160s BCE as in the time of Augustus, is that ‘adultery’ is sexual activity with someone else’s wife (or daughter), rather than sexual activity with a woman other than one’s own wife, it is equally clear from Roman Comedy that citizen women took a moral-emotional rather than a legalistic attitude to such matters—i.e., they don’t like it, nor do their husbands and brothers-in-law expect them to like it. Apart from the maverick Amphitruo, which is a different case in many ways, the situation in Phormio is as close as Roman Comedy, and Greek New Comedy as far as we know, gets to presenting an adulterousbigamous situation in which both halves are broadly equal. The closest parallel as regards plot is none other than Plautus’ Epidicus, a play which has already been linked closely to Phormio. There, a senex plans to marry the woman he raped/seduced in the past. He is not encumbered by the current wife, but he is concerned about the possible reaction of his son to his plans. The captive girl whom the son has bought back from war in Thebes, intending her to be his mistress, turns out to be the result of that earlier liaison, and therefore, at least in Rome, unacceptable as either wife or mistress for the young man, Stratippocles. Since, again, Stratippocles is almost certainly older than his half-sister, we might assume that she was the product of adultery, but we do not know that Stratippocles’ own mother did not die soon after his birth, a common occurrence, of course, in the ancient world, and therefore before the conception of Telestis. Where Plautus keeps the multiple relationships of Periphanes tidily separate, then, Terence daringly plays out the tangled situation in the present time of the play. The father in Plautus’ play, Periphanes, is unusual among senes, not only because he himself is aiming to get married for affective reasons, but also because he has played the role of miles gloriosus in the past, to an extent which impresses the more typical soldier who is a rival for Stratippocles’ original mistress. When Terence comes to portray an older man as an active lover, he draws on this highly complex play of confused identity and unstable stock roles. Now the role of supportive friend (almost ubiquitous in the younger generation) is moved from the helpful but otherwise unconnected Apoecides (in Epidicus) to the more integrated position of brother: Demipho helps Chremes manage his problematic affair, and also smoothes over the latter’s relationship with his wife, in the same way as both men’s sons help each other. Another Plautine parallel for the plot motif is that which pertains in the sadly fragmentary Cistellaria. There too, we have a man who, fifteen or

Terence, the Corrective Reader and Innovator


sixteen years ago (the inevitable time difference when we are talking about the production of girls), was involved in two separate relationships, one of a marriage, the other not, both of which produced a daughter. The daughter of the unmarried mother was exposed, raised by a prostitute, and is now the lover of the young man to whom Demipho senex (the promiscuous young man turned respectable father and husband) has promised the daughter of the original married mother. In this case, the original married mother conveniently died some significant time before the beginning of the play, and the overactive father has now married his original paramour. The play ends, of course, with the recognition of the exposed daughter, for whom a hunt is in any case being made, and therefore the marriage of the lovers.47 Both the parallels and the differences are easy to see. Although Terence has killed off the mother of the second child just before the opening of the play, he has made his plot much more erotically complex, much less respectable, than did Plautus, by bringing it so close to contemporary time. One small aspect should cause us to make the connection between the two plays: Lemnos. In Terence’s play, Lemnos is the site of the bigamous relationship, of Phanium’s upbringing and of Chremes/Stilpo’s whereabouts while his daughter’s marriage takes place to his nephew. In Plautus’ play, it is the oats-sowing old man who is a Lemnian. The island does not occur elsewhere in Terence, and in Plautus only in Truculentus, where (91, 355) it is from Lemnos that the badly behaved adulescens Diniarchus has just arrived back in Athens. Diniarchus is an unusual young man in comedy, because he is the lover of the prostitute Phronesium, who is running the show in this play, but has also fathered a baby on a citizen girl, whom he must eventually marry in accordance with comic convention. Perhaps what he learnt in Lemnos was how to pursue two relationships at once. Perhaps what the astute reader-viewer should remember most about Lemnos is that, in mythology, it was the site of slaughter of husbands by wives, in punishment for adulterous behaviour. Plautus, then, has provided Terence with a number of models for presenting older men as erotic subjects: dirty old men running after prostitutes, or mature men who have the opportunity to play out again the pleasure of marrying, without having any of the financial and domestic difficulties which beset young men. Terence turns these models into something more complex, developing a character who gets himself into an amatory tangle with serious social consequences. Where everything turns 47

Terence would have made sure that Demipho’s other daughter had someone to marry as well, as in Andria. I don’t think we can tell for certain whether Plautus was concerned about this matter or not.


Chapter Five

out easy for Periphanes and the Demipho of Cistellaria, while Demaenetus (Asinaria) and Lysidamus (Casina) suffer only momentary embarrassment which, if we believe the epilogue to Asinaria, need not stop them behaving in the future in the way which is in any case neque novum neque mirum (neither new nor surprising, As. 943), Chremes has to face the consequences of his bigamy and his responsibility to his daughter, his wife, and even, perhaps, his dead mistress/second wife. We may assume that the situation is resolved for him also, in that his daughter turns out to be already married to the man Chremes had chosen for her, while it seems likely, according to comic convention, that his son will encourage Nausistrata to forgive him, although the issue is left hanging at the end of the play. I suggest, then, that what Terence is doing here with the tradition of the older lover is to hold up a mirror to fiction, and to make his characters face the consequences. Not too much, of course, for this is comedy—it would be much worse if Antipho were indeed married to someone else, and if Phanium’s mother were still alive and now in Athens—but as much as comedy will allow. As we see in many plays, from Eunuchus to Hecyra (to take the two extremes of the Terentian corpus as regards Plautine elements in Terence), Terence’s goal throughout is to stretch comedy as far as it will go. In this way, perhaps, his two nearest comparators are Euripides, with his innovative but possibly destructive flexing of classical Athenian tragedy, and Ovid, with his equally innovative but, it may seem, likewise destructive development of the boundaries of Roman love elegy. A final small point on the drive towards realism in this play: when Geta, in good comic tradition, changes the direction of the plot by overhearing the conversation between Phanium and Stilpo/Chremes, he doesn’t manage to get all the details. sed censen me potuisse omnia intellegere extra ostium intu’ quae inter sese ipsi egerint? Ph. 875-6 (But do you really think that from outside the door I would be able to understand everything they were saying inside?)


By the time Terence appeared before the magistrates and asked them to buy his Andria, in 166 BCE, the Romanised transformation of the New Comedy tradition had been firmly established. The genre of the fabula palliata had, by the time it left Plautus’ hands, a set plot structure which nonetheless promoted diversity in the development of the plot, thus establishing a variety of possible plotting patterns; and it was executed by a standard set of acting characters led by the callidus servus. Upon realising the considerable challenge entailed in the effort to outdo Plautus in the composition of plays along the lines of Plautine dramaturgy, Terence likely discerned that he would make a difference and build a reputation for his artistry if he espoused what Ovid would opt to do 160 or so years later, when confronted with the challenge of composing epic in the aftermath of the Aeneid: the technique of referre idem aliter. In Terence’s case, the confrontation with Plautine tradition would centre on the development of plots that, as far their characters were concerned, by and large played out against the background of the social and comic stereotypes established in the theatre of Plautus.1 And so, the audience is confronted with ‘cunning slaves’ that are not so cunning (for example, Parmeno in Eunuch); courtesans who are ashamed to face the young bride of their former lovers (Bacchis in Hecyra); amiable wives and ‘young lovers’ who inspire antipathy (Nausistrata and Pamphilus, respectively, in Hecyra); puzzling, incomplete or unsatisfactory endings (the endings of Andria and Eunuch). The revision of Plautine characterisation and the creation of a distinctly personal dramaturgy via the development of different versions of the 1

See the discussion in Sharrock, this volume (chapter 5), on several instances of Terence’s inventive ‘interpretation’ of Plautus.


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typical palliata agents, express Terence’s strategy of ‘interpretation’. Further, Terence’s characters are often staged to make dismissive comments at ‘conventional’ acting and plotting, which, in my analysis, means the acting that their Plautine counterparts would have performed. This critical commentary on Plautine characterisation, which may be observed in the formation of Terence’s comic characters, including the revision of the metatheatricality tied to it, will be my focus in the present chapter. Several of Terence’s characters are aware that their acting is in discordance with the general expectations raised by the career of the same character on the Plautine stage, but instead of resorting to familiar acting patterns they make unexpected decisions, thus leading to the construction of peripeteia that is distinctly Terentian. On occasion, these decisions are expedited by peculiar narrative development, as the characters are confronted with palliata conventions which seem out of place and therefore deceptive in the expectations they raise. The way Terence’s characters react to these misleading conventions is no less a metaliterary commentary on alternative treatment of standardised plot-making. Such an approach may recall recent work on metatheatre, but it actually differs since I focus on the subversion of stock characters as being the driving force of Terence’s comic plot. Such a technique is both innovative and traditional since it brings about the well-known para prosdokian2 comic effect.

I. Exit the ‘callidus servus’ “The prominence of the fathers’ and the slaves’ roles means that the comedies of Terence are not love but intrigue comedies”.3 Gilula’s comment is interesting in many respects. It rightly identifies the intrigue as the principal narrative element of the Terentian plays, contrary to a long tradition that began with Donatus and emphasised the double love affair as the innovative trademark of a Terentian plot.4 The element of intrigue in Terence is less readily assessed because the language of intrigue as standardised in Plautus, is not as prominently used here5—or rather, it is 2

Demetrius, On Style 153; Hermogenes, On Speaking in Comic Style 34; Tiberius (rhetor), De figuris 16. 3 Gilula (2007) 215. 4 Norwood (1923) 146; Duckworth (1952) 184-90; Levin (1967) 301; more recently Wiles (1991) 31-2. 5 On the frequency and prominence of the employment of a set vocabulary of intrigue (especially the term consilium, ‘plan’, ‘plot’, in a variety of phrases) by Plautus vs. Terence, see Sharrock (2009) 10-17.

Terence’s Stock Characters and Plots: Stereotypes ‘Interpreted’


not monopolised by the ‘cunning slave’. In Terence’s plays the callidus servus faces strong competition from his young master’s father, from the young master himself, or from a third party acting on behalf of the young master, all of whom happen to have their own well-thought-out agenda to advance in terms of narrative development. In his decision to de-emphasise the contribution of the ‘cunning slave’ to the plot of a palliata, Terence may have found a precedent in Menander. The latter had already suggested, and then dismissed, the function of a clever slave in his Dyskolos, where Sostratos thinks of summoning his father’s slave, Geta, to help him deal with Knemon, the old curmudgeon (Dysk. 179-85). The way Sostratos emphasizes Geta’s ability to handle difficult situations leads the audience to believe that they will soon have on stage a ‘cunning slave’ who will take over his young master’s cause and pound down the youth’s opponent: ਩ȤİȚ IJȚ įȚȐʌȣȡȠȞ țĮ੿ ʌȡĮȖȝȐIJȦȞ ਩ȝʌİȚȡȩȢ ਥıIJȚȞ ʌĮȞIJȠįĮʌ૵Ȟǜ IJઁ įȪıțȠȜȠȞ IJઁ IJȠ૨į’ ਥțİ૙ȞȠȢ ʌ઼Ȟ ਕʌȫıİIJ’, Ƞੇį’ ਥȖȫ. Dysk. 183-5 (He’s a ball of fire, experienced in all kinds of things. I’m certain he’ll shake all that dragon’s peevish temper out of him; trnsl. Arnott [1979])

Geta, however, never fulfils that role. He is assigned, instead, the part of the prankster, the purely comical character, who later, in Act III, joins forces with a cook and ventures unsuccessfully to draw Knemon out of his solitude through a series of farcical approaches. Even though it is not possible to argue with certainty that Menander influenced Terence’s decision to communicate false expectations regarding a character’s actual stage conduct, overall, the deposition of the Plautine callidus servus is among Terence’s leading concerns in his effort to revolutionise comic drama along a new, more intellectually determined aesthetic. And it takes place gradually.6 The course of this process is worth observing. Already in the opening of Andria it is clear that the senex of the play, Simo, is himself a skilled plotter, and not an easy rival for the servus 6

Cf. Kruschwitz (2004) who rightly notes that the disempowering follows a chronological progress; Sharrock [(2009) 140] defines this deposition as ‘confusion’ [“one of the games Terence plays with Plautus is to take the earlier playwright’s invention, the controlling clever slave, use him, but then confuse him”]. See also the observations in the most recent commentary on the characterisation of the servi callidi (or fallaces) in Terence by Karakasis (2013), who does not refer to the linearity of the process.

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Davos. The scene features Simo engaging in conversation with his freedman Sosia, a protatic character summoned merely in order to introduce Simo’s skills at effective plot-making through the lens of a different, third perspective. Andria is hardly the first palliata to employ a senex as a plot-maker (lat. architectus doli); there is already the precedent of Hegio in Plautus’ Captivi, but there is a crucial difference between the two: the Plautine senex acts as if dissociated from his identity as father: he is meant to be seen, instead, as someone who has devised a plan and has begun to implement it before Captivi even begins. In the course of the play this senex realises that a set of antagonists, each advancing their own plan, work against him.7 What is more, Captivi is distinguished by the absence of the erotic element, which in every other palliata is present in those plots that involve an active participation of a senex/father. The Terentian Simo, however, is a typical senex iratus in every other sense of the conventional role except in the fact that he is also an architectus doli. What is this dolus? Typically in terms of the palliata plot structure, it has to be the marriage of his son to the daughter of his wealthy neighbour. Why is this considered to be a dolus for Simo? Foremost, because the senex himself describes this as such: rem omnem a principio audies eo pacto et gnati vitam et consilium meum cognosces et quid facere in hac re te velim An. 48-50 (I’ll tell you the whole story from the beginning. That way you’ll understand my son’s behaviour and my own scheme and how I’d like you to help me)

Apart from acknowledging that he is about to implement a consilium, ‘scheme’, a vox propria for the meta-dramaturgical plot, Simo undertakes to report in detail the backstage information required for situating in context the action about to unfold—a narrative usually delivered by an omniscient minor deity in the New Comedy tradition. Furthermore, Simo’s detailed account of his son’s activities bespeaks the tight control he exercises upon the latter—which anticipates his reaction once Pamphilus shows signs of pursuing a lifestyle beyond the ‘moderation’ he is said by his father to have displayed so far (58-9). Simo monitors his son even more closely (83: observabam; 91: spectatum satis) when he finds out that Pamphilus began frequenting the house of a very popular Andrian 7

Sharrock (2009) 134-6.

Terence’s Stock Characters and Plots: Stereotypes ‘Interpreted’


courtesan (76ff.). The language he employs is the one used in metaphors of soldiering, featuring with notable prominence in the language of Plautus’ ‘wily slaves’.8 In any case, Pamphilus’ self-restraint won him a great reputation which was noticed by the wealthy Chremes, their neighbour, who came forth with a marriage proposal to his daughter, accompanied by significant dowry. The proposal was approved by Simo and a wedding day was set. Simo’s plan was seriously impeded, however, when it became publicly known that Pamphilus is madly in love with the young courtesan Glycerium, Chrysis’ so-considered sister. Their affair was soon public, Chremes heard of it, and as a result, withdrew his marriage offer. Thus Simo conceives a plot to remove any obstacles and force the wedding to occur after all. He convinces his son (or so he believes, unaware of the fact that his son has already been advised by Davos to be ‘convinced’ by his father) to agree to the proposed marriage and reassures Chremes that Pamphilus has changed his mind and broken up with Glycerium. Given that the marriage of an adulescens to a freeborn and wealthy bride is the conventional happy ending of a palliata, Simo is very close to writing his own successful plot.9 Self-conscious of his innovative role in a tradition that impedes the senex character from carrying out successful plots, Simo knows that he has an antagonist in the callidus servus. In the case at hand the callidus servus is Pamphilus’ loyal servant, Davos, who is defined as such by Simo himself at 198 (quam sis callidus). In that passage the senex, further, threatens Davos with an assortment of punishments in order to intimidate him from getting involved in Simo’s play/marriage plot (196ff.).10 Davos obviously does not obey his older master’s orders, but when he is called to disentangle his young master from marrying Chremes’ daughter he offers disastrous advice: his urging Pamphilus to go along with his father’s plan and concede to marriage—a curious plan conceived in the aftermath of the observation that, since no wedding preparations were underway in Chremes’ house, the latter must have obviously cancelled the marriage—backfires. Contrary to Davos’ expectations, Chremes does change his mind when he is assured by Simo of Pamphilus’ change of heart, a change that Pamphilus himself is ready to confess (by lying) on Davos’ advice. It should be noted that Davos’ plotting is conditioned by an 8

On military vocabulary as markers of the speech of the ‘cunning slaves’ see Williams (1958) 84 and 97; Fantham (1972) 73 and 107ff. 9 Cf. Sharrock (2009) 142-3. 10 Sharrock [(2009) 140-50] reads Andria as a play of at least four plots unfolding more or less simultaneously.


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additional factor: the pregnancy of Glycerium, Pamphilus’ devotion to her and their joint plan (significantly defined by Davos with the dramatic term inceptio, ‘plot’, 218) to marry and raise the baby together. For Davos this plan is technically unrealistic because a courtesan and a citizen cannot legally marry, but his young master thinks otherwise because he is told that Glycerium is the long-lost daughter of an Athenian citizen. Pamphilus, in other words, has accepted that an anagnorismos, the recognition of true identity for his beloved, is at work, even though he does not have actual proof of this. Yet, the decision to acknowledge the anagnorismos as reality even without solid evidence bolsters the dramatic plot of the young couple; this plot is now proposed as the desired one to be realised by the callidus servus, Davos. These pieces of news, unknown to Simo, are disclosed to the audience in a monologue Davos delivers at 206-27, shortly after his confrontation with his elderly master. In terms of meta-dramaturgy, this speech balances Simo’s informative dialogue at the opening of the play: it is an informative monologue, such as those typically delivered by several Plautine servi callidi, and it communicates to the audience additional new information.11 For the rest of the play Davos strives to undo the initial disaster he caused, though he has no idea how to assist Pamphilus in transforming his amorous relationship into a legal marriage. Fortunately for him, a plan for this is not urgently necessary: the wedding between Pamphilus and Chremes’ daughter (Philumena) is called off again. But this is not the end of the play: Crito, a man from Andros and a friend of Chremes, arrives unforeseen12 in IV.5; he will verify the anagnorismos of Glycerium and fill in the details of the young lovers’ plot which was initially produced at I.3. This Crito reveals that Glycerium is the (long-lost) daughter of Chremes, Pasibula (920ff.).13 Davos, in the meantime, had been apprehended by 11

Interestingly, Davos refers to the lovers’ stories with the term fabulae (224), which elicits a connection to plotlines (earlier there is a reference to fallacia); cf. the discussion in Knorr (2007). 12 The element of the unforeseen in order to provide, like a deus ex machina, the desired happy closure (wedding) to a comedy is pointedly commented upon in the context of the play by Simo: 916-8: hic vir est bonus? / itane attemperate evenit, hodie in ipsis nuptiis / ut venire, antehac numquam? est vero huic credundum, Chreme (Him a good man? Did it just happen that he arrived today in time for the wedding when he’d never been here before? We really should believe him, Chremes!) 13 The toying with the conventional structure of Crito’s disclosure speech is commented upon by Simo, at 925: fabulam inceptat. The way Crito begins to relate the story reminds Simo of the informative prologue of a typical palliata

Terence’s Stock Characters and Plots: Stereotypes ‘Interpreted’


Simo and expelled from the play once the marriage between Pamphilus and Philumena is again broken up. Simo, too, faces a hard time in the course of the play, primarily because his character does not belong in the world of Terence’s drama. Admittedly, throughout the play he refused to accept that the birth of the child and the supposed anagnorismos of Glycerium are facts. A character who behaves according to comic convention, Simo knows that an anagnorismos of a pseudo-meretrix and the birth of a child usually occur near the end of the play, never so early, right after the beginning, and as a result he dismisses both facts as untrue. Still, in the end, Simo’s plot is realised,14 for his son does marry the daughter of wealthy Chremes and receives a hefty dowry of ten talents. Pamphilus’ plot turns out well, too, for he marries Glycerium legally, but Davos, all tied up at Simo’s orders, is excluded from action—he is pointedly absent when Crito provides the resolution to the plot, when he corroborates Glycerium’s true citizenship identity on stage to all leading agents and interested parties involved. Heautontimorumenos features Terence’s most intelligent slave, one patterned after his Plautine counterparts.15 Still, even though Syrus on several occasions in the play says that he has some plan or an explanation towards facilitating a plan, in action he never reveals any plan; rather, he repeatedly excuses himself for having failed to do so, and professes either lack of time or some other pretext (for example, the statements at 335-6, 611-2, 676-8, 787-90). This may be a sample display of “a technique which is used several times in the play … to keep the audience in suspense and to emphasise the cleverness of the scheming slave”,16 but it is more likely to mark the effort of a slave who is cast in the role of the callidus wherein the playwright records for his audience information to come to the fore and bring the happy ending to the play. 14 For Hunter (1985) 79 [cf. Knorr (2007) 169], Simo “is deceived because he refuses to take dramatic convention at their face value”. 15 Sharrock (2009) 150-1: “Plotting the play is dominated by the slave Syrus, who plays a classic architectus role, manipulating truth and falsehood, tricking enemies and even friends… let down by his actors but ultimately triumphant”; at the same time, Sharrock acknowledges that the slave’s act is set in a context (pp. 150-2) that reads Heautontimorumenos as a metatheatrical competition of the senex and the servus callidus over the control of the plot. For Steidle [(1974) 270] Syrus’ failures concern only his pretended schemes (those he directs against Menedemus, not his real ones, those brought against Chremes, which actually the slave never reveals on stage); on Syrus and his intrigues see also J.C.B. Lowe (1998). For Karakasis [(2013) 212], the most Plautine of Terence’s servi callidi is Andria’s Davos. 16 Thus J.C.B. Lowe (1998) 164 following Brothers (1988) 20 with n. 15.


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servus and, while expected by everyone to be so, is in reality not up to the task—and before eventually coming up with a workable deception, has made several wrecked attempts to advance some plot.17 Heautontimorumenos is Terence’s second play, and understandably the young playwright has not yet established a reputation. Rather, in light of the failed first performance of Hecyra, he may well have sensed that his career—which had hardly taken off yet, at the time—was seriously threatened. Hence, he sensibly revives in Heautontimorumenos the same technique that made his Andria a success: the antagonism between the ‘cunning old man’ and the ‘wily slave’ for the control of the plot. And so, Syrus finds himself having to devise wiles in order to prevent Chremes from taking over the control of the play’s plot. Chremes’ description is unmistakably similar to that of a ‘wily slave’: the old man is a meddler whose “long-winded opening speech reveals the gossip’s observant eye and insatiable curiosity”.18 He is the igniting force behind the plot19: in the opening scene he finds out that his neighbour Menedemus is punishing himself because he berated his son, Clinia, so severely when he found out that the youth was in love with a meretrix, that the youth ran away and joined the army. Soon afterwards Chremes receives a prime opportunity to restore Clinia to his father for he finds out that the young man has returned but is still ashamed to confront Menedemus. By taking advantage of this hesitation on Clinia’s part, Chremes devises a plot to delay the reunion of father and son because he wants to rectify Clinia’s moral conduct and make him fear his father (4378; 476-89); and so Chremes goes back to Menedemus the next day and recommends that the latter let himself be cheated by Syrus, Chremes’ slave (470-4), of a certain sum of money, which will be used, supposedly, to cover the considerable expenses of Clinia’s meretrix; Chremes even


On this view see Knorr (2012). Goldberg (1986) 137; on Chremes as a callidus character see also Lefèvre (1994) 161, 184. 19 That Chremes is acting as a clever organiser of the plot is particularly evident at the end of Heautontimorumenos: he sorts everything out with a terribly clever scheme; only an old but unwarranted prejudice against him has caused critics to miss his ingenuity; cf. Brown [(2006) 96] summing up the earlier scholarly consensus on Chremes as “a man presented from the start as a pompous and selfsatisfied busybody, ever ready to tell others how to organise their lives..., ready to preach openness and straight dealing when he lectures others but in practice quite prepared to play devious games if he judges it appropriate”; the characterisation could equally apply to the conduct of a ‘wily slave’. 18

Terence’s Stock Characters and Plots: Stereotypes ‘Interpreted’


professes that he senses Syrus already at work on some plot as one might expect from a callidus servus to do: per alium quemvis ut des, falli te sinas techinis per servolum; etsi subsensi id quoque, illos ibi esse, id agere inter se clanculum. Syru’ cum illo vostro consusurrant, conferunt consilia ad adulescentes; Heaut. 470-4 (Contrive to give it through somebody else; let yourself be deceived by your slave’s wiles. I’ve an inkling, though, that they’re already at it, that they’re plotting secretly among themselves. Syrus is whispering with that slave of yours, and they’re reporting their plans to the young men.)

What is more, Chremes later directs Syrus on how to act as a ‘wily slave’. Syrus’ performance as the ‘wily slave’, however, is far from carefully designed and, as a result, proves a failure that affects seriously the fortunes of his young master, Clinia: without consulting anybody, the slave has already made a move that drastically alters the development of the plot: directed to accompany Clinia’s courtesan, Antiphila, to Chremes’ house, Syrus decides on his own to adjust the initial plot and invite along Bacchis, an extravagant courtesan and beloved of Chremes’ own son, Clitipho (311); this complicates matters. The smooth integration of Bacchis would be realised, Syrus believed, through an association with Antiphila, who in the context of his revised plot would be introduced as a dependent of Bacchis. A little later, pressured by his angry young master to justify his initiative, Syrus says that he brought Bacchis along because ‘this plan [he] conceived is the right one—and it’s safe’ (327: consilium quod cepi rectum esse et tutum scio), in reality he has no idea on how to proceed further with it—actually, Bacchis’ arrival has complicated matters for the worse for Clinia and Clitipho, so instead of helping his master as he original professed, Syrus truly harmed him: Clinia looses Antiphila, who is cut out of the action and led to the women’s quarters of Chremes’ house to keep company with Chremes’ wife Sostrata (335, 604), while Clitipho gets drunk and is seen fondling Bacchis by his father. As a result Chremes gets angry at him and, on the advice of Syrus, orders Clitipho out of the house—and thus the plot (561-90). A few moments later, Syrus betrays expectations about his cunningness when he “fails to devise a single workable plan (fallacia, 596) to trick Menedemus out of the ten minae that Clitipho promised to pay Bacchis”.20 20

Knorr (2012).


Chapter Six

Only the discovery of Antiphila’s true identity, unexpectedly midway and so far from its canonical position at the end of a palliata, awakens the true ‘cunning slave’ in Syrus. This is made evident in the monologue that he delivers: in this monologue Syrus dramatises his mental struggle to devise a plot in a fashion that evokes the Plautine Palaestrio, the architectus doli of Miles Gloriosus, at Mil. 200ff. Interestingly, as soon as he embraces a Plautine model Syrus is inspired to follow the example of his only Terentian predecessor, Davos of Andria: like the latter, Syrus manages to deceive Chremes by telling him the truth (in fact, it is Menedemus who will learn the truth first, from Clinia) (709-11).21 In Eunuch, Terence’s third play, Parmeno, the leading slave character, is less focused, and clearly unwilling to perform the role of callidus servus. Also, he is the servant of two—rather than one—masters, both of whom are in love. The younger of the two adulescentes, Chaerea, who enters the play midway, usurps the role of the ‘wily’ agent and facilitator of plot development from Parmeno when the latter refused the part, not least because the plot Parmeno proposed, half-jokingly, half-seriously, gave the leading role to the adulescens Chaerea. Parmeno’s idea, which materializes as Chaerea’s plot, interferes with and nearly wrecks the main plotline of Eunuch. The main plot has been put forth by Phaedria’s beloved, the meretrix Thais. Eunuch is unique among Terence’s plays for featuring the development of two plots conceived independently; and more so because the chief agents of each plot are unaware of the other plot. The two plots converge because they share a leading character, the young girl Pamphila. In the early part of the play and prior to Chaerea’s entrance, the main characters are Phaedria, Chaerea’s older brother and the play’s original adulescens, and Thais. In this first Act, Parmeno is acting in the well-known fashion of the Plautine ‘wily slave’ who cautions his master and even berates him for his infatuation with a meretrix.22 Contrary to palliata convention, however, the relationship between Phaedria and Thais is not at risk, even though there is a rival in the braggart soldier Thraso, because Thais is genuinely in love with Phaedria. The complication emerges when Thais discovers that a young girl, who was raised in Thais’ house in Rhodes but later, once Thais left Rhodes, was accidentally sold as a slave to the 21 On Davos and Syrus both employing the truth as deception strategy see Duckworth (1952) 171-3; Knorr (2012). 22 The Eunuch opening is typically Plautine; Sharrock [(2009) 152-3] points to the similar opening of Pseudolus; I would further add the even more similar opening of Curculio.

Terence’s Stock Characters and Plots: Stereotypes ‘Interpreted’


soldier Thraso, is about to be offered as a present to her by Thraso. Thais has discovered that the girl is freeborn and the sister of a prominent Athenian citizen. Thais sees in this a great opportunity to secure for herself a patron in Athens, a legal representative and champion of her rights, with lifetime fidelity—an implicit ironic comment on Thais’ pragmatic attitude towards her affair with Phaedria and the inevitable temporariness of his affection: in the real world that lies beyond the comic stage, an affair with a meretrix can never last a lifetime. Contrary to her fellow characters, Thais thinks beyond the conventions of the inverted reality of the comic stage. Parmeno’s identity as the callidus servus in Eunuch surfaces prominently on two other occasions. Quite humorously, on both of these occasions Parmeno does his best to convince his audience that he is the wrong character to shoulder the part of the ‘wily slave’. When Chaerea claims the role of the adulescens amans by emphatically declaring himself love-struck upon first sight of Pamphila, Parmeno jokingly urges Chaerea to dress up as a eunuch and take the place of the eunuch Dorus, whom Phaedria has recently purchased as a gift for Thais. In this way, Chaerea will be able to enter Thais’ house and see his beloved again. Chaerea snatches the opportunity and the rest is … a second palliata plot. For as soon as the youth finds himself alone in the company of the girl, he rapes her. In doing so, he is instantly transformed into a typical adulescens amans: he acts impetuously under the influence of the liberty that crossdressing and pretended identity offers, and rapes a girl who will later prove to be a citizen. Chaerea may be the culprit for wrecking (temporarily) Thais’ plot, but it is Parmeno who is punished for it in the end. As a matter of fact, the reason brought forward to justify his punishment is his brief performance as the ‘cunning slave’, when he gave Chaerea the idea to impersonate the eunuch—even though moments later he tried to retract it, and then, against his will, agreed to assist Chaerea who had enthusiastically embraced the plan and decided to implement it.23 By means of this punishment Terence acknowledges that Parmeno’s contribution to the play, half-hearted though it might have been, significantly influences the direction of the plot from that point onwards. As it turns out, this off-hand proposal compares to the initiatives of the servi auctores of the Plautine stage, who encourage and direct plots that involve disguise and simulated identity.

23 The ‘lukewarm’ reaction of Parmeno to Chaerea’s cause is commented in Amerasinghe (1950) 66-7; also Sharrock (2009) 153.


Chapter Six

The second reference to Parmerno’s callidus-identity is even funnier: it is recalled in order to become a pretext for the slave’s punishment by Pythias, Thais’ ancilla—a female ‘wily slave’ who plays a very clever trick-turning-revenge on Parmeno by deceiving him into believing that the young Chaerea has actually been apprehended in Thais’ house and is about to be punished by castration. Parmeno is deceived by Pythias so completely that he is made a fool on stage by turning to his traditional antagonist, the senex, for assistance. The latter, in turn, like Parmeno, behaves differently than expected: he appears out of nowhere, deus ex machina-like, to prove himself less iratus than originally feared, and readily approves a marriage arrangement for his son, the prospect of which he completely ignored moments earlier. Eunuch was, according to Donatus, the most successful of Terence’s comedies, and garnered for the playwright the most revenue ever produced from the performance of a palliata.24 The fourteen different characters involved in the plot set a record for a palliata and stage a play with considerable variety and action. Another major reason for the play’s success is the strange game Terence plays with the reversal of comic conventions, which are implemented by certain characters in the plot. In this way, a second counter-plot antagonises the main palliata plot, and those characters who do not embrace a counter-conventional way of acting find themselves both actors in a play they do not like and audience of a play they do not understand. The humour thus generated by the interaction of characters who abide by comic convention and characters who shatter the illusion of the reversed reality of the ludi celebrated on the palliata stage (and the misunderstandings in-performance occurring as a result), are more conspicuous and widespread in Eunuch than in the earlier plays. In light of the above, it is intriguing to advance a new hypothesis— which may be hard to prove due to the lack of evidence, but should, nevertheless, be considered. It may allow for a better understanding of Terence’s dramaturgical decisions and a new assessment of Terence’s contribution to the tradition of Roman Comedy. I would like to suggest that Terence’s tampering with the conventions of the palliata, and the ways in which he portrays his characters confessing themselves ill-at-ease in their roles, discloses tongue-in-cheek an ingenious effort to reach across the boundaries of the palliata and experiment with the conventions of the togata, the form of Roman comic drama that “probably… came closest to

24 Already noted in Frank (1930) 121-2; the philological consensus on the matter is summarised in Barsby (1999) 15, 20-7.

Terence’s Stock Characters and Plots: Stereotypes ‘Interpreted’


being a ‘mirror of life’ on the basis of setting, personages and topics”.25 The earliest togata plays to have been performed were most likely those of Titinius, which were staged in Plautus’ lifetime, but the form grew in popularity around the time of Terence.26 According to Manuwald, who summarises the majority of critical views on the subject, the form emerged as a reaction to the considerable influx of Greek culture in Rome in the first half of the second century BCE; through the togata the Roman intellectual and cultural elite strove to respond creatively in order to “reassert its core values against influences from abroad”.27 Additional evidence, such as references to Terence and praise for his work in the fragments of the most important togata playwright, Afranius (who also mentions as primary source Menander28), enforce the interaction of the two authors and their respective comedy forms, especially since the language, meter and overall style were not marked by major differences. Afranius, who lived in the second half of the second century BCE, used language closer to Plautus than Terence,29 but in methodology he clearly follows the Terentian tradition. Conspicuously, he used the personal prologue to counterattack the negative critique of his opponents.30 Moreover, critics have argued that Afranius (and to a lesser extent other togata poets) often used contaminatio, the combination of material from different plays, though the restricted number of the surviving fragments 25

The quotation is taken from Manuwald (2011) 159-60; on the togata or tabernaria see the succinct discussion in Manuwald (2011) 156-69, with all the notable recent studies and references to additional bibliography listed in n. 93 (pp. 156-7); cf. also the description of the genre by Courbaud [(1899) 97] mentioned in Manuwald [(2011) 160 n. 103] that the Roman audience of a togata had the impression that they were watching ‘vitam ipsam’ instead of a ‘spectaculum’. 26 Petrone [(1992) 476] believes that Titinius was a contemporary of Terence, not Plautus. The dating of Titinius in the lifetime of Plautus has been based on the study of the style and language of his surviving fragments; cf. Vereecke (1971); Daviault (1981) 35-7; Guardì (1981); but the form of the togata was firmly present in the ludi by mid-second century; cf. Guardì (1985) 15-19; (1991) 213-6; (1993) 272-4; Manuwald (2011) 158-9. 27 On the cultural fact at the origins of togata’s creation see e.g. Duckworth (1952) 68-9; Vereecke (1968) and (1971); Daviault (1981) 19; Guardì (1985) 15-19; Manuwald (2011) 159. 28 This is fr. Afr. Tog. 25-8R3, preserved in Macrobius, Sat. 6.1.4; cf. Manuwald (2011) 160. 29 On the comic language of Afranius see Karakasis (2005) 204-22; also Welsh, this volume (chapter 2), 73-4. 30 On Afranius’ defensive prologues see Degl’Innocenti Pierini (1991) 242-6; also Karakasis (2005) 204.


Chapter Six

does not allow for firmer conclusions on the nature of this contaminatio.31 Finally, and more importantly, the set-up and the characters in the togatae are the same as those in the palliatae; however, themes and characterisation found in the togatae featured real-life Roman situations and characters. The names of the characters were all Latin, with very few exceptions (the names of courtesans and slaves), the setting was Rome or a town in Italy, and the plots focused on marriage and its consequences rather than on love affairs and conflicts between the generations. As a result, “there is less need for a clever slave to support the lover; and women can play a more important role”.32 As noted, the lack of substantial fragments from togata plays prohibits substantial comparative research between the leading representatives of the togata, Titinius and Afranius, and Terence’s dramaturgy. That having been said, the empowerment of the young men in Terence’s plays goes hand-in-hand with the more realistic portrayal of the senes. There are no senes amatores in Terence33; on the contrary the older men are preoccupied with defining proper morals. Demea and Micio, the two elder brothers in Adelphoe, present their respective theories on proper morals for the youth and principled upbringing. To a lesser extent, but also, and considerably so, Chremes and Menedemus in Heautontimorumenos, Demipho in Phormio, and Laches in Hecyra, are seriously concerned with their respective sons’ moral conduct. Further, several of Terence’s plays develop along marital conflicts, with sons and fathers expressing starkly divergent views on marriage. More often, the older and the younger generation fight about the young men’s desired bride and her qualifications (Andria, Heautontimorumenos); they fight over planning and preparation of marriages (Andria, Adelphoe), often in connection with dowries and/or inheritances (Heautontimorumenos, Phormio, Adelphoe); and they have conflicted opinions on unfaithfulness and divorce (Hecyra). 31

Daviault [(1981) 21-2] on the language and meter of Afranius and the similarities to Terence’s own; also on Afranius’ use of contaminatio; cf. Manuwald (2011) 162. 32 Manuwald (2011) 164-6; the quote is from p. 165. 33 The sole exception being Chremes in Phormio, whose relationship with Phanium’s mother the slave Geta at l. 72 clearly describes as an ‘affair’ (Cum eius consueuit olim matre in Lemno clanculum, he had once a secret affair in Lemnos with her [Phanium’s] mother). Phormio, however, is the play most vividly evoking the Greek reality of his model, since the plot revolves around the Greek law of the epiklƝros. Then, Chremes’ affair in essence is a second marriage in many respects, most notably because Chremes’ Lemnian wife does not seem to have known of his real identity or family status, and so likely believed that she and Chremes were married.

Terence’s Stock Characters and Plots: Stereotypes ‘Interpreted’


And even though courtesans are present in four of Terence’s plays (Heautontimorumenos, Eunuch, Adelphoe, Hecyra), in at least two of them (Heautontimorumenos, Hecyra) their relationship with their respective young lovers is only temporary. Either the lover eventually initiates a break-up as he is faced with the realities of social expectations and seeks an acceptable marriage partner (Heautontimorumenos); or he has already broken up with the courtesan because he fell in love with his unexpectedly doting and loving wife for whom he did not have the slightest feeling in the beginning (Hecyra).34 Along similar lines, in the Adelphoe Micio suggests to his brother Demea, half-jokingly, half-seriously, to invite his son’s beloved courtesan along in the country; only in this way will Demea keep his son away from the temptations of the city. What is more, Micio pretends to envision the two lovers in a monogamous, marriage-like relationship so much so that he advances the conviction that the courtesan once in the country will transform herself into a farmer’s wife, working the fields and doing all the household chores expected from a country woman (Ad. 840ff.). Finally, the fourth and more conspicuous meretrix, Thais, is already in a monogamous relationship with her beloved Phaedria, and confesses so to everyone who will listen, explaining repeatedly that she will only pretend to be in love with the soldier Thraso in order to extract the girl from him. In awareness of Thais’ fidelity to Phaedria, the closure to the play at V.9, with Phaedria, Chaerea and the parasite Gnatho reaching an agreement, without consulting Thais, to allow the soldier to court Thais on the condition that he pays for the expensive lifestyle of Thais and Phaedria, indicates that all three, conventional palliata characters as they are, do not realise that Thais comes from a different comic environment. Phormio stands out among Terence’s plays because it is the play most reliant upon its Greek model: the peripeteia is built on the characters’ knowledge of and ability to interpret, or rather misinterpret, Attic family law, more specifically the law of the epiklƝros. The prominence of the legal aspect, in fact, has affected the distribution of roles. No less notable is the complication in the leading amatory plot of the play, involving Antipho and his infatuation for the young girl Phanium: contrary to the conventions of the typical palliata, Phanium is not a meretrix but a freeborn woman and an alleged citizen (Ph. 114-5) (though, actually, she is not a citizen, as shown in chapter 4 in this volume), hence the problem that 34

Micio in Adelphoe assesses correctly the temporary nature of a youth’s infatuation with a courtesan, at 832: ad omnia alia aetate sapimus rectius (in all other respects, wisdom increases with advancing years).


Chapter Six

generates the intrigue is not how to secure the money to buy the girl’s freedom, but how to engineer a ‘forcible’ marriage—Antipho is certain that his father Demipho, who is away at the time and is expected at any moment when the play begins, will not concede to the marriage with a girl without any dowry and from a humble family (Ph. 119-21). The focus on the issue of social class and financial eminence is one other theme relatively ill-at-ease in the comic universe of the palliata, but quite at home on the Menandrian stage. The emphatically ‘Greek’ world revived in Phormio has seriously constrained the role of the callidus servus. A servus, no matter how wily he may be, cannot have expert legal knowledge. This prerequisite justifies the introduction of the parasite Phormio, a free man and expert sycophant,35 a typical character of the Middle Greek Comedy, who is appointed to the leading part of the architectus doli of the play.36 Still, the play does not turn out to be a typical Greek civic comedy. Midway in the plot, in the opening scene of Act IV, the generic conventions change and we find ourselves in the familiar world of the palliata: the audience is informed that the main reason for the senex Demipho’s opposition to the marriage of his son Antipho to Phanium is not the financial status of the bride but rather the agreement he made with his brother Chremes to marry Antipho to Chremes’ illegitimate daughter, whom Chremes had with his second wife at Lemnos.37 In light of this new information, the play becomes an agon of two rival marriage plots, with respective rivalling auctores, the adulescens Antipho—‘spineless’ though he might be38—whose plot is taken up by the parasite Phormio, and the senex Demipho. A senex iratus in the pattern already observed in Andria’s Simo, Demipho reaches back to Simo’s auctorial performance, as well. To battle down Phormio and annul his son’s marriage, Demipho has solicited the 35

On Phormio as typical sycophant parasite, see Donat. ad Ph. 279, 319, 352; Lofberg (1920) 68-72; Norwood (1923) 76; Damon (1997) 89-98; Martin (2002) 12; Maltby [(2012) 21] further notes, by evoking Donatus’ comments ad loc., that Terence at Ph. 339-42 used material from a Latin play in order to add to Phormio’s character traits observed in the parasites of the palliata. 36 Cf. e.g. Forehand (1985) 89-90; on account of his leading role in procuring and directing throughout well-organised deception plans that ultimately allow both adulescentes in the play to unite with their beloved ones, Phormio has been seen, comparably to the Plautine ‘wily slave’, as the auctor’s self-projection in the play; cf. Frangoulidis (1995); (1997) 77-132; and (2013). 37 Cf. Konstan (1983) 121-2. 38 Thus characterised by Maltby (2012) 23.

Terence’s Stock Characters and Plots: Stereotypes ‘Interpreted’


assistance of three professional legal advisors, Hegio, Cratinus and Crito, and all four of them appear together on stage and hold speaking parts at Ph. 446-59—in a conspicuous dissonance with the Greek model and the Greek legal environment that regulated the play until then. The simultaneous appearance of four different speaking characters is not a convention ever observed in Greek New Comedy (at least judging from Menander’s surviving plays), but is frequent in Plautus, and well-attested in Terence as well: in total, there are 22 scenes of four speaking characters on stage in Terence’s five plays (only Hecyra has no four-speaker scenes).39 The integration of this technique purported, among other things, to strengthen the authentic Roman character of the play. This purpose is served particularly well in the case at hand, as a plot that is governed by specialised Attic family law until that point is suddenly invaded by a troupe of four Roman legal professionals, invented for the particular dramatic moment by Terence.40 The humorous outcome of Terence’s treatment of the legal profession at Rome by means of a comic depiction of three advocati who cannot agree on what ostensibly seems to be a very simple matter, is further enhanced by the realisation that miscommunication is the logical thing to happen, since Demipho’s friends are three Roman lawyers who are consulted on an area of Greek law! As Lowe aptly observes, Demipho’s consultation of the advocati “does not advance the action and duplicates his consultation of Chremes (460-61),” dramatises “the representation of a consilium” and alludes “to the Roman concept of restitutio in integrum (450-52)”.41 Lastly, the original, Terentian character of this episode is underscored further by the long silence of the advocati, spreading across nearly a hundred lines (348-445), and by incongruity in stage direction regarding their entrance: the three lawyers accompanied by Demipho enter the play at 348, and it is clear that all four are coming from the forum. When Demipho departed from the stage thirty lines earlier, however, he did not leave towards the forum but entered his house instead.42 39 J.C.B. Lowe (1997); Maltby (2012) 21-2, on the four-actor scenes (four in total) in Phormio. 40 Both Lefèrvre [(1978) 15-20] and Barsby [(1993) 141-5] have convincingly argued that the introduction of the three advocati in the play and Demipho’s trip to the forum to fetch them are very probably Terentian additions; cf. also J.C.B. Lowe (1997) 166. 41 J.C.B. Lowe (1997) 166. 42 The distinct Roman colouring this scene infused into the play recurs in Phormio, once again in context that involves a four-speaking-actors part in the very last scene (V.9) of the play. As with scene II.3 dramatising the entrance of Demipho


Chapter Six

Prior to the summoning of Phormio in the plot at the opening of scene II.2, a full third of the way into the play, the character expected to perform the part of the ‘cunning slave’ is Antipho’s trusted slave Geta, who tries hard to convince the audience that he is indeed the person in charge of the plot.43 To this end, notably, Maltby points out, Geta is almost continuously present on stage from line 51, when he first enters, till his departure in the company of Demipho, at 727, three quarters into the play, to hand over the money to the adulescens Phaedria, Antipho’s friend and Chremes’ son, for the purchase of a meretrix in the ownership of a pimp.44 As a matter of fact, Geta does exhibit some of those distinct traits expected to be observed in the stage conduct of the scheming slave: in the course of a dialogue with the protatikon prosopon and fellow slave Davos, Geta introduces the audience to the background information required to follow the play, and among various remarks, he mentions that his old master Demipho left him in charge of his young son Antipho lest the latter run into trouble (71-2). When Demipho arrives, Geta undertakes to counsel Antipho and Phaedria on how to behave while confronting the old man (210ff.; esp. 220-30), and his instructions contain explicit military diction as typically employed by the cunning slaves.45 Various other comic attributes of the servus callidus are traceable, too, though considerably downplayed46: monologues which communicate to the audience Geta’s great fear at the impending arrival of Demipho (179-82; 184-90), and statements concerning his alleged control of the situation, but also and the advocati, the closing scene has been generally considered to have been invented by Terence [cf. Büchner (1974) 355-9, 479-81; Lefèvre (1978) 34-58, 758)], and among the various details that endorse the authenticity of the part is the line me ad cenam voca (1053) credited to Phormio just before the end, in order to make him sound, even just this one time, like a conventional Roman parasitus mindful of securing his dinner; cf. Martin (1959) [2002] ad loc.; J.C.B. Lowe (1997) 167. 43 On Geta in Phormio see Amerasinghe (1950) 67-8 (Geta is deemed useless); Dragonetti/Prestipino (1988) at http://www.rivistazetesis.it/nuova_pagina_22.htm (“In questo tentativo Geta rivela le medesime attitudini e capacità dei precedenti servi callidi, ma, come essi, aggiunge ai tratti del tipo plautino toni di paura e di esitazione e come essi non è l’artefice della soluzione che giunge inaspettata per la rivelazione che la giovane Fenia non è altri che la figlia illegittima di Cremete e, quindi, moglie adatta ad Antifone”); Karakasis (2011); Maltby (2012) 23-4. 44 During all this dramatic time, Geta has actually been away only for two short intervals (153-78 and 567-90), and a brief trip into the house, at 446-59, when Demipho and his three advocati take the stage. 45 Durry (1940). 46 Arnott (1970).

Terence’s Stock Characters and Plots: Stereotypes ‘Interpreted’


summarising the plot (e.g. 778ff.).47 Once Phormio enters, however, Geta departs from the spotlight. Still, Terence wishes to pay tribute to the tradition weighing over Geta, and so he makes him a servus currens instead, a comic routine which in the Plautine drama is enacted (or alluded to) by the character playing the part of the servus callidus. For example, the parasite Curculio, the callidus character in Curculio, enters the play in the routine of the servus currens; also at Epid. 194 the callidus servus Epidicus hitches up his cloak on to his neck before faking a running-slave entrance routine; cf. the identical entrance of Ergasilus in Capt. 768ff. Indeed, not once, but twice Geta’s entrance follows the example of the servus currens. In Ph. 177 he is announced as currentem, and, more importantly, in 841ff., as he becomes the agent to reveal to Antipho the good news that he may keep Phanium as his wife because she was found to be the foreign-born daughter of Chremes, he nearly evokes, first, the words of the callidus Epidicus, when, at Ph. 844, he exhorts himself to hitch up his cloak on to his shoulder, and then, the very similar, self-referential comments of Ergasilus in Capt. 7789 (eodem pacto ut comici servi solent / coniciam in collum pallium, primo ex med hanc rem ut audiat, just like slaves in comedy, I shall throw my cloak over my neck, so that he shall hear this news first from me). The servus currens Epidicus is echoed once more, at Ph. 848, an aside comment self-consciously on the stereotypical character of the ‘runningslave’ routine (num mirum aut novumst revocari cursum quom institeris? is it any wonder or a new thing to be called back when you have already started running?).48 Phormio recasts and revises not only the senex iratus Simo of Andria, but also the character of the senex auctor embodied in Simo. Both plays dramatise the struggle between the two old men to advance similar plots, that is, the marriage of their respective sons to the daughter of a kindred senex (the next-door neighbour in Andria; Demipho’s own brother in Phormio); and, even though Simo faces a harder task since for the longest part of the play he has to battle along to implement his plot, both senes see their plots reaching the desired resolution, for their sons do end up married 47

Cf. Goldberg (1986) 79-80. J.C.B. Lowe (2009) 226-7; also J.C.B. Lowe [(1983) 432-4] arguing for the introduction of Geta as servus currens in Ph. 177 as an original addition by Terence to the Greek model; and Maltby (2007a) 18; J.C.B. Lowe (2009) argues that the introduction in Terence’s plays of the servus-currens routine is a Terentian invention, for the servus-callidus type had become a convention of the comic stage in Plautine comedy, and possibly even earlier, in the Atellana; on Ph. 844 echoing Capt. 778-9 see Maltby (2012) 195 ad loc. 48


Chapter Six

to the daughters of the same kindred senes—albeit not to the very daughters they were intended for in the beginning. This application of a closure that is satisfactory for all parties involved is a noteworthy innovation of Terentian dramaturgy. .

In Adelphoe most conventions of traditional palliata-plotting are not at work. Sharrock calls it an “oddity”, because “it alone appears not to have either disguise or recognition, or any intrigue, and so perhaps not to be concerned with the questions of identity which have dominated the genre.”49 Sharrock proceeds to explain that this appearance is actually misleading because Adelphoe is indeed about identity, since two sets of brothers toy with their respective siblings’ identities. Nonetheless, the element of identity is only partly an issue of mistaken identity—the standard of Plautine comedy—, and less of a plot-maker than a topic for intelligent discussion on the factors that determine the formation of identity, including the formation of identity in the context of the intrigue of a palliata. For it is the dialectic element, the conflict between two opposite philosophies, which are articulated on two different levels between two different sets of dialectic agents, that emerges as the core theme of this play.50 On the first level, the binary argument is advanced by two elderly brothers who embrace opposed philosophies on educating their sons. These philosophies are reflected further in the elders’ own lifestyles: Demea, the traditionalist father, embodies the archetypal Republican hardworking farmer; Micio, his cosmopolitan brother, lives in the city and enjoys the life of a wealthy upper-class man of the mid-second century BCE. The two senes have raised their children (Ctesipho and Aeschinus, respectively) in ways that reflect their own conflicting philosophies of life: Demea is the typical Roman paterfamilias, whose directions are to be obeyed and not discussed. Micio has tried to inspire respect in his son by seeking to cultivate mutual trust between the young man and himself. The results of these two philosophies supposedly are reflected, on the second level, in the respective conducts of the two adulescentes. Both adulescentes, however, notwithstanding their different upbringing, essentially behave similarly, for their acting is determined by the conventions of the palliata: they act as adulescentes amantes, by distributing among themselves the two principal patterns of behaviour of the typical adulescens amans: either they fall in love with a meretrix, and conduct an affair that is beset by obstacles; or they rape a young virgin while drunk and get her pregnant, 49

Sharrock (2009) 98. Cf. Christenson (2009): “Terence’s method here is dialectical rather than prescriptive”. 50

Terence’s Stock Characters and Plots: Stereotypes ‘Interpreted’


and afterwards fall in love with her and promise to marry her though she is poor and so, hardly an appealing match. Both young men are aware of the expectations their fathers have for them and are willing to revert to roleplaying accordingly, but things get out of hand. Micio’s slave, Syrus, normally is expected to referee the inevitable series of conflicts that will break out once the fathers find out about their sons’ true pursuits. Syrus, who is aware of the two young men’s whereabouts, could be but is not acting the part of the servus callidus. Instead of inventing some ruse to correct a situation turned out of hand against the love interests of the adulescentes, he is there to defuse tension and negotiate delays. His first mission recorded throughout Act II, involves the handling of the irate leno Sannio, who has had his house broken into by the adulescens Aeschinus and one of his meretrices stolen. Syrus needs only negotiate a lower price for the meretrix, by taking advantage of the fact that time is running short for the pimp who has to meet a tight deadline (he is about to sail abroad on a fixed business trip). In his second and final contribution to the plot Syrus manages to win some time for the adulescentes: this time he mocks Demea, who has arrived from the country to check on some disquieting rumours about Ctesipho, and sends him again off stage, on a wild-goose chase (570ff.) throughout Athens in search of Micio; a little earlier, Syrus had failed at the last moment to send Micio back to the country on a wild-goose chase in search of Ctesipho (432ff.). Syrus, in short, has been transformed into purely a trickster slave, with a mission to remove obstacles so that the plot-at-work, initiated by a different character, may be realised. Thus, after Demea’s removal from the play Syrus departs from the stage, too, to appear next at 763, just in time to prevent Demea from entering forcefully into Micio’s house and discovering Ctesipho in the company of his beloved courtesan. This time the slave is unsuccessful, and, as a result, decides to retire from the play (784ff.) and go get some rest, at last.51 What is more, when he appears again at 882, as the play draws to its conclusion, it is to be made a fool by Demea, who has realised that he cannot win unless he disguises his real character. Thus, he transforms himself on stage into a senex lenis, and finds in Syrus an appropriate audience to try out his theatrical skills. Evidently, Demea’s transformation in-performance is so convincing that he wins Syrus over completely, especially when, in an act of extreme liberality, he suggests that Micio set Syrus free. In the end, Syrus becomes 51 His exiting speech reminds one of the ‘foolish’ slave Sceledrus, in Miles Gloriosus, who exits the play midway in order to avoid being punished.


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an audience who approves with enthusiasm Demea’s taking control of the plot. In this new plot Demea plays a different role, and becomes so popular that he is authorised to write the end of the play. By studying carefully the conventions of the palliata, Demea understands that he cannot win by changing them; but he could, if he changed himself!

II. Hecyra: An Interpretative Commentary on the Deceptive Power of Convention As observed so far, a major stroke of originality in Terence’s dramaturgy has been the evocation of the typical behaviour of stock characters only to prove that prejudices are wrong. In Andria, the senex Simo tricks his son into marrying, but when his plan is sidetracked by his rival plotter, the slave Davos, Simo can think fast enough to improvise adaptations to his original plan. In Heautontimorumenos, the ‘clever slave’ goes through a series of gaffes before he does something right, yet not without the tutoring of the senex character. In Eunuch, Thais repeatedly tries to convince a variety of male interlocutors, including the spectators, that she is not the greedy and senseless meretrix of the Plautine stage, while the so-considered ‘wily’ Parmeno almost retracts himself from the plot and in the end is deceived and mocked. In Phormio, Greek comedy infuses the Roman one: a character from the Greek comic stage, the sycophant parasite, takes over the direction of the intrigue for the helpless adulescentes of the Roman play, causing a chain of revisions to convention. And in Adelphoe, Terence’s heroes playfully construct and deconstruct the behaviour of typical comic characters, and contest, selfconsciously, the comic effectiveness of polarisation and conflict. The bad brother/good brother dichotomy, developed gradually through the play, is turned on its head in the end, when the bad brother forgoes his conventional role and decides to break out of Terence’s auctorial control by becoming not just good … but even better than the model of goodness stereotyped in his brother. Terence’s experimentation with re-interpreting convention reaches its peak with Hecyra, his last play.52 In Hecyra all major conventions are shattered and the audience is confronted with a difficult play in which not 52 I consider Hecyra to have been the last play Terence wrote, not only because this was the last play Terence brought to the stage—he succeeded in performing the play in full in September 160, after the earlier performance of Adelphoe in April of the same year—, but also because I believe that each time he produced the play he improved on the previous script.

Terence’s Stock Characters and Plots: Stereotypes ‘Interpreted’


only knowledge is withheld, but they are also forced to face ongoing revisions of their comic experiences thus far, as they watch on stage virtuous courtesans who vie for the audience’s sympathy with amiable wives; a young master who dupes his slave, sending him on a fool’s errand; matronae who improvise deceptions; and the old masters who share with the audience a great confusion about everything that is going on, as they themselves become spectators of, rather than participants in, a plot that develops beyond their comprehension and control. Such a thorough revision of comic stereotypes plays a vital role in Terence’s lively dramatic art. Both the audience and the characters are deceived because they rely on social and comic preoccupations. From that perspective, Terence re-interprets ‘deception’ (a crucial concept in New Comedy) adding to it a most original dimension. Recently Sharrock offered an inventive interpretation of the large-scale manipulation of comic convention in effect in Hecyra, by reading the play through the lens of the Roman religious practice of instauratio, the repetition of a ritual performance from the beginning if some external cause earlier had interrupted it. Like the performers of an interrupted ritual, the characters in Hecyra have to realise a plot the expected development of which (a happy marriage between the adulescens Pamphilus and his wife Philumena) is constantly interrupted by a series of unanticipated complications. The major factor that necessitates and perpetuates the serial repetitions is the deliberate withholding of knowledge on Terence’s part, from actors and audience alike.53 I would like to read the play from a different perspective, as an effort to experiment with the possibility of re-inventing the Roman Comedy mechanism after the old mechanism has been dissolved. My reading begins from the premise that in Hecyra, most notably of all his plays, Terence dissociates himself completely from his characters, and does so by never allowing Hecyra to develop an actual palliata plot, that is, a plot that conforms to the dramatic conventions of a palliata as finessed by the pre-Terentian tradition. In this light, then, it is logical to see appearing on stage, among others, a clever slave who does nothing clever at all; courtesans (not one, but two!) who express compassion and condemn the conduct of their Plautine counterparts; a husband who agrees to silence his wife’s pregnancy by (presumably) a different man; matronae who accept the consequences of unjustified blame, even though they know that they have done nothing wrong.54 53

See full discussion in Sharrock (2009) 233-49. Cf. Sharrock [(2009) 271-3] commenting upon the closing of Hecyra with the slave Parmeno’s admission that he does not in fact know exactly what is going on



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The first part of this chapter traced in detail the progressive decomposition of the auctor servus in Terence, launched already in Andria, with its four plots and as many rival plot-makers all actively engaged in advancing their respective agendas/plots; the clever slave of the play is just one of them, and in the course he loses control of his plot repeatedly; then, in the end, it is good luck, rather, than the slave’s auctorial ingenuity that brings about the resolution of the plot—a resolution that, notably, satisfies all plots of all four interested parties. As Terence’s comic craftsmanship grows more mature and evolves, the direction of the plot is controlled indiscriminately by a variety of characters, with the leading servus of the play becoming less and less crucial. By the time Hecyra is carried through, the servus in the course of Terence’s dramaturgy has been transformed into a witty jester—an essential, yet supporting agent, who enhances the humoristic element of the play, but clearly is not necessary for plot development. From a complementary perspective, Hecyra stands at the antipode of Andria: the latter had four plots; the former has none. The fragmentation of the ‘cunning slave’ becomes the harbinger of the dissolution of the conventional, Plautine plot. The process is advanced further by the revising of most major typical characters, who now behave on stage often quite contrary to the expectation built on convention. Themes, accordingly, cease to appear in order, to observe a prescribed or foreseeable linearity. My study analyses the details surrounding the overturning of the conventional, by focusing not on the development of the plot55 but on the different nature of some of the characters in Hecyra. This different nature causes them to behave differently than expected, clash against other, stereotypical characters, and often alter the course of the events.

(p. 273): “Parmeno acknowledges his own rather unusual position with regard to this tradition, and claims for the play a startling novelty. The things which he has ‘knowingly done in the past’ [quam sciens ante hunc diem umquam, 880] must, I submit, by other, traditional, Plautine plays”; also p. 256: “Parmeno has had the role of clever slave spectacularly refused him throughout Hecyra”. 55 Earlier readings of the Hecyra plot illustrate the original character at the expense of traditional comedy; see Gilula (1979-80); Konstan (1983) 130-41; Forehand (1985) 92-104; Goldberg (1986) and (2013) 21-3; Slater (1988) 249-60. Lefèvre [(1978) esp. 50-80] following Shadewald (1931), discusses the originality in terms of the transpositioning of parts from the original (which allegedly observed typical New Comedy plot) in Terence’s effort to differentiate his play from the Greek model.

Terence’s Stock Characters and Plots: Stereotypes ‘Interpreted’


No other play in the tradition of New and Roman Comedy features so many female characters enacting equally important, active roles. Already in Norwood Hecyra is considered “a woman’s play… with women as the chief sufferers, the chief actors…”.56 Indeed, the plot moves along as a result of information that is first known and subsequently controlled primarily by women. For Slater, this prominence of the female characters in the action produces a new, original version on Terence’s part of the inverted reality world of the palliata. Even though in the end, Slater explains, the order proper (that is, the ‘patriarchal’ one) is restored, the sharp contrast between the sexes is so pointed, with the women having been so wrongly (especially in the case of Sostrata) accused, that the play “leaves us with an ironic but remarkably sensitive appreciation of the position of women” within the male civic order, the civic order eventually, necessarily and properly restored so as to have the desired ‘happy end’.57 The unusual portrayal of nearly all women in the play is an outstanding element of Hecyra, because it affects directly, indeed fashions, the development of the plot. The unusualness of the female roles is identified on two major levels: first, certain women have exclusive information crucial for the course of the events. This means that they control the course of the action by choosing to withhold or release this information. Second, some women behave quite opposite to expectation as realised in comparison to the conduct of their Plautine counterparts. In the former category belong primarily Myrrina, the mother-in-law of the adulescens Pamphilus, and her daughter Philumena, Pamphilus’ young wife. In the second belong Sostrata, Pamphilus’ wrongly accused mother, and the courtesan Bacchis, Pamphilus’ former lover, who generously assists Pamphilus and Philumena in reuniting. In the first third of the play the women refuse to disclose all information about the reasons that caused Philumena to run away from her husband’s house and return to her father’s household. This secrecy stalled the advancement of the plot, because without it, the other characters cannot otherwise find out what is going on, while the absence of an expository prologue deprives the audience, too, of their customary omniscience. The omniscience of the women is enhanced by the complete ignorance of the men in the play, which is further accentuated by their continuing to think along the lines of typical palliata characterisation. Originally, the servus fidelis Parmeno, the play’s logical candidate for the part of the callidus servus, upon meeting his young master shortly after the latter 56 57

Norwood (1923) 91. Slater (1988).


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returns home informs him of the departure of his wife, which Parmeno attributes conjecturally to an argument between Philumena and her mother-in-law, Sostrata, over some trifling reason (312-3). The news about Philumena’ departure for her father’s house Parmeno has already communicated to the protatic courtesan pair of Philotis and Syra in the opening scene of the play. At the time, however, he did not express an opinion regarding the cause of this argument, confessing merely his puzzlement (177ff.). Parmeno’s dismissive judgment of 312-3 comes in the aftermath of the argument between Pamphilus’ parents, Sostrata and Laches. In this argument Laches attacks forcefully his wife and accuses her outright of being the sole culprit; Sostrata denies all responsibility and professes total ignorance of the cause of Pamphila’s departure; even Phidippus, Pamphila’s father who joins them on stage towards the end of the scene, is no less clueless: his daughter just refuses to leave home, saying only that she does not wish to stay in her in-laws’ house as long as her husband is away (268-9). This evasive reply is interpreted differently by Laches and Parmeno: the former finds in it evidence incriminating his wife for the argument (271), the latter concludes (312-3) that the actual cause must be of little importance; both of them reach these conclusions on the basis of their knowledge of the matrona of the Plautine palliata. In confirmation of this stereotypical male reading of the comic women (which though intradiegetic reflects the views of the audience with experience in attending palliatae), Sostrata following Laches’ departure from stage delivers, at II.3, a brief soliloquy by which she voices her innocence and at the same time interprets for the audience the attack she is under resulting from the long-established palliata stereotypes of wives and mothers-in-law: Edepol ne nos sumus inique aeque omnes invisae viris propter paucas, quae omnes faciunt dignae ut videamur malo. nam ita me di ament, quod me accusat nunc vir, sum extra noxiam. sed non facilest expurgatu: ita animum induxerunt socrus omnis esse iniquas: haud pol me quidem; nam numquam secus habui illam ac si ex me esset gnata, nec qui hoc mi eveniat scio; nisi pol filium multimodis iam exspecto ut redeat domum. Hec. 274-80 (Heaven knows, it really is unfair that we women are all equally hated by our husbands because of a few who make it seem that we all deserve such treatment. As heaven is my witness, I am not guilty of what my husband now accuses me. But it’s not easy to clear myself, when they’re so convinced that all mothers-in-law are unreasonable. But not me, for heaven’s sake. I’ve never treated her otherwise than as if she were my own

Terence’s Stock Characters and Plots: Stereotypes ‘Interpreted’


daughter, and I don’t know why this is happening to me. Heaven knows, I’m really looking forward to my son’s return.)

Sostrata’s particular way of establishing her innocence but also the originality of her comic character (the kind-hearted, wrongly-accused matrona), follows a pattern already present in earlier plays of Terence. According to this pattern a conventional ‘bad’ female character comes on stage to deliver a speech, most often a soliloquy, in which she contradicts early negative descriptions of herself, formed on the basis of the conduct of a counterpart character in Plautus. Conspicuous examples are the soliloquy delivered by the meretrix Thais in Eunuch (197-206) and the speech of Bacchis to her ‘colleague’, the courtesan Antiphila, in Heautontimorumenos (381-409). Bacchis among other things wishes to correct the negative impression the other characters in the play (and the audience) have of her, that is based on their knowledge of the meretrices in earlier palliatae. Thais directly addresses the audience and reassures them that she is hardly the greedy and heartless courtesan her lover Phaedria characterised her as only moments earlier, but instead she is genuinely in love with Phaedria. Sostrata’s monologue operates similarly, and it is reinforced in the same play by a monologue delivered by the second mother-in-law, Myrrhina, at 566-76, who likewise wishes to exonerate herself from Phidippus’ accusations, and then discloses to the audience the truth about Philumena’s pregnancy (the result of a rape by an unknown offender). The truthfulness of these statements is underscored by the employment of the monologue (Bacchis’ speaking her mind to Antiphila is the only confession recorded in the course of a conversation): conventionally on the comic stage, once alone, a character discharges her or his innermost concerns which always disclose what the speaker really thinks or is. In Plautus such monologues are employed to record the speaker’s future acting or plotting; in Terence to outline the speaker’s real personality.58 The sharp juxtaposition between the true (unconventional) character of the women and the false (stereotypical) preconception about their character by the men, underscores the two parallel realities that coexist on the Terentian stage, the conventional one, of the inverted reality—parallel to what has been shown earlier (pp. 155-6), in connection with the togata—and the non-conventional one, of the female world, which captures the real world. The novelty of this initiative is enhanced by the emphasis on the female perspective through which the real world is seen. Terence’s inventive comic stagecraft, in other words, advances an 58 This technique has been discussed in Schadewaldt (1931) 12; and more recently, Brown (1990b) 258; Knorr (1995) 226-7.


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unconventional perspective of reality through characters traditionally excluded from publicly voicing their mind in the real world. The interaction between the adulescens Pamphilus and his servus Parmeno presents a different case of tampering with conventions. The two characters enter the stage as their typical palliata selves, only to undergo full transformation in the course of the play, according to the more realistic anti-conventional heroes of the Terentian stage. Parmeno appears in the opening scene to direct the informative conversation with the courtesan pair of Philotis and Syra. In the exchange among them, part of the information that Parmeno delivers is exclusive, known only to the parties involved: specifically, the detail that, in the first months following the marriage Pamphilus maintained his affair with Bacchis and did not sleep with his wife. The employment of the direct discourse to report Pamphilus’ own determination to keep things as they were (148ff.), suggests that Parmeno has been Pamphilus’ confidante. Also restricted among the parties involved and their trusted ones is the knowledge that the young man progressively warmed up to his new wife and came to love her, upon realising her modesty and the equanimity she exhibited by putting up with his affair to Bacchis (160ff.).59 Still, Parmeno’s omniscience is not complete and this becomes clear already in Act I: like all male characters in the play, he ignores the real reason Philumena departed from her husband’s house. And even though without realising it he set the play in motion as a quest for the reasons that caused Philumena to flee, the fact that he like everyone else involved is ignorant of the reasons, and thus does not know how to proceed, divests him from the part of the ‘cunning slave’. As a matter of fact, Terence, in a fine gesture of comic irony, makes Parmeno refuse on his own accord to partake in learning the actual event that brought about Philumena’s breach with her husband’s mother. He is in the company of Pamphilus when they both hear Philumena’s cries from inside the house. Pamphilus rushes into the house to discover the cause of the cries (324ff.). Parmeno does not follow, presuming that the girl’s cries are on account of some terrible and contagious disease; and that he will be accused of carrying the disease himself and passing it on to others (327ff.). By refusing to enter the house, however, Parmeno misses the chance to become privy to the information

59 The exclusivity of the information is never communicated to the other major participants in the play, Pamphilus’ and Philumena’s parents; Philumena’s mother Myrrhina finds out about it only because Philumena herself tells her after fleeing her husband’s house upon finding out that she became pregnant by the rapist who assaulted her prior to her marriage to Pamphilus.

Terence’s Stock Characters and Plots: Stereotypes ‘Interpreted’


that would enable him to control the plot thereafter.60 When Pamphilus a little later exits the house with full knowledge of the situation (his wife has just given birth) he is determined to keep Parmeno in the dark and away from the action (409-13), and takes over the part of the controller of the plot himself—the plot developed and suggested to him by his mother-inlaw Myrrhina: Myrrhina will expose the baby, while Pamphilus will promise to keep silent about the pregnancy and the birth, since no one else seems to know about the pregnancy. Myrrhina’s instructions to Pamphilus project her as director of the plot (or rather, a plot)61: she secures from Pamphilus the promise not to give Philumena away on the pregnancy issue; and she hopes that the young man will become reconciled with his wife and so, bring about the happy ending to the play with a true marriage.62 Pamphilus, however, is not eager to take Philumena back; uncertain about his next move, he has recourse to the conventional excuse offered earlier to justify the departure of Philumena, namely her alleged quarrel with her mother-in-law, and devises another, no less conventional excuse, his filial piety that forces him to obey to his parents’ wishes (447-9) and side with his mother on the argument she presumably had with his wife (477-81; 494-5). Then, to stave off his father’s counter-arguments he acts as a timid and embarrassed adulescens typically does when his fortunes have turned to the worse: he runs away from reality as conceived on the palliata stage (509ff.). A little later, Sostrata’s kindness and eagerness to depart from the house and move to the country wipes this excuse away (587-9); what is more, Phidippus, Philumena’s father, finds out about the birth and divulges the news to Laches who now increases his pressure on Pamphilus and knocks down one-by-one the youth’s defences (scene IV.4), thus driving him, once again, to flee the stage (706-7).


Parmeno’s flight resulting in his failure to learn what is going on has a parallel in the flight of his name-sakes, in Eunuch and in Menander’s Samia; both these Parmenos too are left in ignorance as a result of their departure early in the play— Parmeno in Eunuch vanishes at 491 when he has fulfilled his alleged commission and handed pseudo-Dorus to Chrysis; and Parmeno in Samia leaves at 296, and does not reappear until the fifth act (923); cf. Webster (1950) 72. 61 Her role as plot-director brings to mind her name-sake in Plautus’ Casina. Plautus’ Myrrhina, however, is a much more powerful matrona: she dominates the play by joining forces with the callidus servus of the play; then she usurps the direction of the plot from her husband and makes a laughingstock out of him. 62 Goldberg (2013) 21: “[The Hecyra] plot turns not on getting married but on staying married, and it ends not with revealing but with hiding the truth”.


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Pamphilus’ overall conduct in the play has been quite typical, with an important and crucial exception: his refusal to share his concerns with his loyal clever slave and ask for the latter’s assistance to devise a clever plan that would bring about the desired resolution to the problem at hand. Indeed, the adulescens makes sure that Parmeno remains excluded from taking part in the development of the plot, by keeping him away from the stage for the longest time possible and preventing him from becoming privy to crucial information.63 Without a ‘wily slave’ to instruct him, however, Pamphilus is unable to procure his own a resolution on the play. This resolution comes about by accident, owing to Phidippus’ unexpected discovery of his daughter’s birth. Laches interprets Pamphilus’ staunch denial to take his wife back as the result of his son having gotten back together with the courtesan Bacchis (688-9). This prompts him to take action on behalf of his grandchild, and so, he approaches the courtesan and asks her about the status of her relationship with his son (V.1). Bacchis’ entrance into the play is catalytic: she produces a ring, a conventional token of recognition, and soon afterwards the play ends happily with a conventional anagnorismos: the ring Bacchis possesses was a present given to her from Pamphilus who in turn had stolen it one night from some girl after raping her—that girl was Philumena. Even so, the closure is only partly adhering to stereotype, for the anagnorismos motif is not accompanied by the typical disclosure of the plot’s secrets to everyone involved in the play. Pamphilus, upon discovering that the rapist of Philumena and the father of her child is himself, goes up to Bacchis, the agent of the anagnorismos, and asks to keep the details secret from his parents and Philumena’s father. By excluding four basic characters of the play, including his slave, from acquiring full knowledge Pamphilus writes anew the conventions of a palliata closure, and he is quite conscious that he does so, as his metatheatrical comment at 866-8 amply declares (placet non fieri hoc itidem ut in comediis / omnia omnes ubi resciscunt. hic quos per fuerat resciscere / sciunt; quos non autem aequomst scire neque resciscent neque scient, I don’t want what happens in the [sc. conventional] comedies to happen here, where everyone finds out everything. In this case, those who need to know do know already; those who don’t must not find out or ever know). By this crucial statement Terence, via the character of Pamphilus,


In Heautontimorumenos we witness the exact opposite, the slave Syrus sending his master Clitipho offstage twice, in a reversal of the relationship between master and slave according to Brown [(2007) 183-4].

Terence’s Stock Characters and Plots: Stereotypes ‘Interpreted’


introduces a new dimension in the methodology of palliata composition,64 selective communication of knowledge; to keep certain agents of the play excluded throughout, and build instead a parallel plot which develops around their effort to acquire this knowledge, and on the illusory outcome of the mistaken impression that they have acquired it. Finally, a few comments are in order about the essential contribution of the three meretrices towards emphasising the success of the experimental combination of conventional and non-conventional elements in the composition of the unique nature of the Hecyra plot. In addition to the pivotal role of Bacchis in bringing about the anagnorismos required for the resolution of the play, Bacchis’ performance affirms the revision of the meretrix character that has taken place gradually in Terence’s plays, by acting in a way unprecedented for a meretrix: she sides with the suggestion of the senex iratus Laches (at 786ff.) to act as her lover’s proxy and volunteer to meet with his wife in order to convince Philumena about Pamphilus’ devotion to her. By her eagerness to mediate for Pamphilus Bacchis rectifies the image of the mischievous and greedy courtesan as typified in Plautus. More than that, she goes as far as expressing genuine delight at the joy her former lover has finally found in getting back together with his wife, thanks to Bacchis’ intervention, and offering a lesson on a forgiving former lover’s equanimity: Etsi hoc meretrices aliae nolunt; neque enim est in rem nostram ut quisquam amator nuptiis laetetur. verum ecastor numquam animum quaesti gratia ad malas adducam partis. ego dum illo licitumst usa sum benigno et lepido et comi. incommode mihi nuptiis evenit, factum fateor. at pol me fecisse arbitror ne id merito mi eveniret. multa ex quo fuerint commoda, eius incommoda aequomst ferre. Hec. 834-40 (I am delighted to have been the cause of so much joy for him, though this is not how other women of my sort feel. It’s not in our interest for any lover to behave meanly for the sake of my profession. While circumstances allowed us to be together, I found him kind, charming, and generous. His marriage was a blow to me, I have to admit. But, heavens, I don’t think I did anything to deserve it. When you’ve had so many good times from a man, it’s only right to put up with the bad ones.)


Possibly inspired by Apollodorus, if the metatheatical comments at 866-8 were already part of the original ending in the Greek model; cf. Goldberg (2013) 199 ad 866.


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Bacchis’ role, as qualified in her own words, marks the culmination of dramatic irony,65 in the sense that a courtesan who is at once literarily selfconscious and fully aware of her unconventionality in the tradition she is called to uphold, is summoned to remove the most serious obstacles that prevent a palliata closure according to convention. The closure fittingly emphasises the unconventional character of Terence’s inventiveness in introducing the final crucial details of the plot and the fortunate resolution of the comedy by means of a courtesan in the role of a messenger. Not least, the closure corrects (and dismisses as unsubstantiated and based on convention) the inaccurate depiction of Bacchis as possessive and selfinterested, and still involved with Pamphilus even after the latter’s marriage—a depiction produced by Parmeno in the first Act of the play, in the course of his conversation with the courtesans Philotis and Syra (15770). Bacchis’ appearance in the end of the play corrects the distorted image of the stereotypically directed male point of view that the slave Parmeno had produced about her at the opening of the play. From a complementary perspective, Bacchis’ long monologue at 816-40 is the second longest monologue in the play: the first one delivered by Pamphilus at III.3 (361-414) serves a similar purpose, for it allows the audience to receive the first pieces of true information, that is, the actual reason for Philumena’s departure from her husband’s house. Bacchis and Pamphilus, in short, enact complementary roles as auctorial sources of knowledge for the audience. Bacchis’ idealised portrayal at the end of the play, finally, reaches back to the opening scene of Hecyra, Parmeno’s quasi-informative exchange with the courtesans Philotis and Syra. As noted, the courtesan pair is generally considered to serve a protatic function and aligns with the characters of Sosia in Andria and Davos in Phormio, who both serve similar roles. It is worth asking, however, why in Hecyra Terence devises two rather than one protatic character. The answer may be as simple as the poet’s desire to elaborate on his signature opening technique, and split the protatic interlocutor into two for greater comic effect, but it may also be a little more subtle and poetically sensitive than that. The possibility of latent poetics under the surface of Act I is nurtured by the disparity in the character of the two courtesans, which, in my view, is deliberately done in order to procure a clash of views with broader metaliterary significance. The two courtesans are clearly different, both in age and appearance, and in their respective views on a courtesan’s professional conduct. Philotis is 65

Konstan (1983) markedly entitles his Hecyra chapter, “Hecyra: Ironic Comedy” (p. 130).

Terence’s Stock Characters and Plots: Stereotypes ‘Interpreted’


young and pretty, kind-hearted and eager to form meaningful relationships with her lovers, guided by their individual traits and overall character. Even though she has just ended a bad relationship with an abusive soldier (85-7) she has not allowed her recent misfortune to influence her perspective; rather, she rejects the strictly professional, money-oriented interaction advocated by her interlocutor Syra as ‘unfair’ (71: tamen pol eandem iniuriumst esse omnibus, But even so, by heaven, it is not fair to treat them all the same). Syra sits at the opposite end: she is an older, no longer pretty courtesan who professes that she speaks from experience; this experience dictates to her that all professional dealings should be devoid of emotion and governed solely by financial interest (63-5; 72-3); she is, also, keen on intrigue (67-70). In the context of a metaliterary reading, Syra represents the conventional version of the greedy and heartless courtesan of the palliata, for whom all potential customers are opponents to be deceived, despoiled and fleeced—she is a transplant from the theatre of Plautus in the Terentian comic milieu, a representative of the earlier generation of comic meretrices.66 Opposite to Syra, and her advice on how to conduct oneself as a proper, conventional meretrix, stands Philotis, Terence’s remodelled meretrix, who allows the human factor to influence her professional conduct; and of course, there is Bacchis, the most unconventional courtesan of all, for she alone of the meretrices in Terence undertakes action knowingly, not only without expectation of any gain, but indeed against her very own interests.


Goldberg (2003) 98 aptly parallels Syra’s disapproving comments to the old Scapha’s scolding of the young courtesan Philematium at Pl. Most. 157-90.



I. Introduction Cicero is well known to refer to and quote from Republican Roman drama extensively in almost all his writings, and Terence is generally accepted as having a prominent position among the comic poets. In contrast to the canon of comic writers compiled by Volcacius Sedigitus in around 100 BCE (Carm. fr. 1 FPL4, ap. Gell. NA 15.24), where Terence comes sixth, Cicero seems to have regarded Terence highly, although the reasons for the respective assessments might be different. As for all early Roman dramatists mentioned in Cicero’s works, scholars have identified references to and quotations from Terence, established their number, compiled lists and have commented on their distribution among Cicero’s works.1 There have also been considerations on the possible functions of these excerpts in their different contexts, on Cicero’s way of quoting and on the insights into theatre culture of the first century BCE and the educated elite’s reaction to it that Cicero’s procedures and preferences might reveal. Getting a better understanding of Cicero’s relationship to early Roman drama is important since he is the main source for this period and, if his agenda is not recognised, there will be an even greater danger of a one-sided picture. The fact that Cicero seems to take the experience of his various audiences into account makes 1

On Cicero’s use of early Roman drama, including Terence, see, in addition to further 19th-century works, Kubik (1887), esp. 321-33; Bertrand (1897); Zillinger (1911), esp. 39-41, 151-5; F.W. Wright (1931), esp. 65-70; Malcovati (1943) esp. 163-81; Marti (1974); Spahlinger (2005) 234-9; on comments on comedy in the first century BCE, esp. by Cicero, see Blänsdorf (1974); on Cicero’s quotations from comedy see Laidlaw (1959); Ronconi (1970), esp. 24-7; on Cicero’s comments on theatre and performances see Laidlaw (1960); Winniczuk (1961). For a brief overview of the reception of Terence see Lefèvre (2002) 250-4.


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the record that can be inferred from his texts somewhat more representative, though studying the role of and views on theatre and drama in the first century BCE remains difficult due to the scarcity and disparity of the evidence.2 Against this background, the situation for Terence is unique since Terence is the only early Roman dramatist whose work survives in its entirety independent from quotations in later authors, so that Cicero’s use and reading of the verses can be compared with their function and meaning in their original contexts. This also makes it possible to focus on an analysis of Cicero’s treatment of Terence’s text, whereby the general imbalance of the evidence for this period becomes less problematic. Hence looking at Cicero’s references to and quotations from Terence’s plays in greater detail can provide insights into the way in which Cicero, an active person in public life, read Terence’s dramatic texts and presented his views to an audience of the late first century BCE, an aspect that so far has received little attention beyond the obvious facts. In what follows the evidence from Cicero’s writings will be summarised briefly and then be looked at paradigmatically from different perspectives before conclusions on Cicero as an interpreter of Terence are drawn.

II. The evidence: Cicero’s range of quotations According to existing statistics, Cicero quotes 67 lines by Terence, consisting of 16 lines from Andria, 22 from Eunuchus, 10 from Heautontimorumenos, 11 from Phormio, 8 from Adelphoe and none from Hecyra.3 References to or quotations from Terence’s comedies can be found in works of all major literary genres produced by Cicero, in rhetorical treatises, philosophical writings, letters and speeches, and also throughout his entire life, from the youthful rhetorical treatise De inventione (81-80 BCE) to the speeches given in the last years of his life, the Philippics (44-43 BCE). There are more instances in the treatises and the letters than in the speeches, and references to particular comedies cluster in some types of works or during particular periods.4 In addition to clearly signalled and/or recognisable quotations and references, there are a number of phrases in Cicero that are identical or


See Blänsdorf (1974) 142-3. See Kubik (1887) 332; for a list according to comedies see Zillinger (1911) 1515; see also Malcovati (1943) 166-78; Laidlaw (1959). 4 See Laidlaw (1959); Spahlinger (2005). 3

Cicero, an Interpreter of Terence


similar to passages in Terence,5 which have been adduced as further evidence for Cicero’s familiarity with Terence. This may be true in some cases; in other cases the wording is relatively unspecific and/or also found elsewhere, so that one cannot be certain that Cicero was inspired by particular passages in Terence. If these expressions are not the result of subconsciously remembering Terence’s texts, they indicate that both Terence and Cicero draw on the same basis or that Terence’s language is similar to that of educated Romans in the Republican period, which explains why Cicero was full of praise for Terence’s style (see below).

III. Reading and watching Terence’s plays There is no explicit reference to a particular performance of any of Terence’s comedies in Cicero’s works. But the fact that Cicero talks about the brothers in Adelphoe as ‘on the stage’ implies that he assumes performances of Terence’s comedies in theatres (Cic. Cato 65), and Cicero mentions actors of his time appearing in comedies (Cic. Pro Q. Rosc. 20). Performances are likely also because Cicero seems to presuppose familiarity with Terence’s plays among audiences even in public speeches. Horace’s comments on Rome’s relationship to early poets suggest that Terence was among those Republican playwrights who were read in school and watched in the theatre in Horace’s time (Hor. Epist. 2.1.50-62). Besides, it has been observed that the majority of quotations in Cicero come from the initial sections of Terence’s plays, which would have been read and studied more extensively and/or more often.6 Hence it is likely that Cicero’s acquaintance with the texts of the comedies, beyond the knowledge of plots and characters, comes from reading and memorising. Generally, Cicero assumes that people of his background will have read plays as well as seen them on stage (see esp. Cic. Pro Rab. Post. 29; De Fin. 1.4-5; Acad. post. 1.10; De Opt. gen. 18).


For an overview see e.g. Malcovati (1943) 178-81; Ronconi (1970) 24-5. – E.g. non amici, non clientes, non hospites (Cic. Cato 32) vs. cliens amicus hospes (Ter. Ad. 529); liberalitate … liberum (Cic. Ad Fam. 2.16.5, different sense) vs. liberalitate liberos (Ter. Ad. 57). 6 See e.g. Marti (1974) 161; but see Spahlinger (2005) 238-9.


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IV. Cicero’s methods of quoting lines from Terence’s plays Because Terence’s comedies have been fully preserved within their own manuscript tradition, the form in which Cicero quotes lines can be compared with their shape in the transmission of Terence’s text. Obvious errors in the manuscripts of either tradition apart, it is evident that Cicero’s quotations are sometimes not entirely accurate: for instance, he replaces individual words or combines elements from different verses, though he always produces metrically correct lines.7 Cicero’s versions of the lines are not completely ‘wrong’ or alter the sense significantly; they rather seem to point to a writer who is familiar with the material and has a good grasp of the poet’s language, but does not check a standard text before inserting quotations, or who is in control of language and argument and can adapt them to his own purposes. In the dialogue in Tusculan Disputations (45 BCE) Cicero has six lines from Terence’s Phormio (Ter. Ph. 241-6) quoted (without the title of the play being given) because the speaker finds that they aptly express a philosophical idea. The precise wording of two of those lines differs from their shape in the Terence manuscripts (Cic. Tusc. 3.30; see also below) where those have pericla, damna, exsilia. peregre rediens semper cogitet (dangers, losses, exile. A man returning from overseas should always reflect, Ter. Ph. 243 [trnsl. Barsby (1999)]). Cicero says pericla, damna peregre rediens semper secum cogitet (Let him think in perils, losses, from abroad as he returns [trnsl. King (1927)]). Perhaps Cicero did not remember exsilia, the addition of which turns the phrase into an effective tricolon, or such a political dimension was not to be included. Instead, secum is inserted to create a full metrical unit, which gives a particular nuance to cogitet, like meditari secum in the preceding verse. In Orator (46 BCE) Cicero quotes eho tu, sobrinum tuom non noras? (Hey, don’t you know your own cousin?, Ter. Ph. 384 [trnsl. Barsby (1999)]), also from Terence’s Phormio, in the form eho tu, cognatum tuum non noras?, again just mentioning the poet’s name (Cic. Orat. 157): a word used by Terence is replaced by another one of very similar meaning, which appears in the immediate context in Terence (Ter. Ph. 381). Since this change does not have any consequences, it could just be a slip. In one of his discussions on style (Cic. Ad Att. 7.3.10; 9 Dec. 50 BCE; see also below) Cicero uses a phrase from Terence in the argument and 7

On these divergences, which have been observed frequently, see esp. Zillinger (1911) 73-6.

Cicero, an Interpreter of Terence


quotes: mercator hoc addebat, captam e Sunio, from Terence’s Eunuchus, which is a shortened version of Terence’s: mercator hoc addebat: e praedonibus, / unde emerat se audisse abreptam e Sunio (The merchant did add that he had heard from the pirates who sold her to him that she had been kidnapped from Sunium, Ter. Eun. 114-5 [trnsl. Barsby (1999)]). Cicero focuses on the phrase e Sunio, important for the point he wishes to make, and effectively combines two verses into one; details irrelevant in this context and presumably known to Atticus have been omitted. In a discussion on the virtues of short and long narratives and on the appropriate use of brevity in the dialogue De oratore (55 BCE) Cicero has one of the speakers illustrate a brief narrative by the example of a report on the burial of a courtesan, without identifying its origin: effertur, imus, ad sepulcrum venimus, / in ignem imposita est (Cic. De Or. 2.326-8; see also below). effertur, imus is the beginning of Terence’s Andria 117 (The body was carried out, and we went along), and the rest of the piece comes from Andria 128-9 ([we] came to the burial ground. The woman was laid on the pyre, … [trnsl. Barsby (1999)]). Cicero cannot be said to have employed a ‘wrong’ quotation; instead the narrative given by Terence’s character is deliberately shortened so as to demonstrate how brief it could have been if that had been intended. At the same time Terence’s original version is praised as a varied, vivid, plausible and comprehensible narrative. These examples suggest that Cicero was familiar with the plots and the language of Terence’s plays so that he could choose appropriate excerpts and develop them congenially. Cicero may have sometimes quoted from memory without checking a text of Terence and therefore slightly altered the wording. On other occasions he seems to have introduced deliberate modifications to make a point; he is obviously addressing himself to audiences who share a detailed knowledge of Terence’s plays and can both identify the source of the quotations and note differences.

V. Cicero’s use of excerpts from Terence’s plays Since Cicero’s references to Terence are scattered across his entire output, there is no coherent extended discussion on the merits or drawbacks of Terence’s poetry or of particular plays. Instead, comments on individual aspects, such as language, narrative style or moral principles expressed, can be found on various occasions, and Cicero uses brief quotations from or references to Terence’s plays when they are conducive to his argument, which might in turn influence the views on Terence expressed on those occasions.


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(a) style and language Perhaps Cicero’s most famous statement on Terence is a comment in the poetic piece Limon, whose precise character and purpose are being debated. In these verses Terence is praised for the style in which he has reproduced Menander in Latin: he is singled out for his exquisite diction and his elegant and temperate writing.8 In Suetonius’ Vita, where this excerpt from Limon is transmitted, it is joined with a comparable comment by Caesar; hence is unclear in how far this assessment reflects Cicero’s true opinion, but its attribution to Cicero must have been plausible. At any rate Cicero is seen describing Terence in rhetorical and stylistic terms, ignoring the contents or the dramatic effect of his works. However, analysing comedy in the categories of style derived from rhetoric may have been anticipated by Terence’s plays themselves, in particular because he has one of his prologue speakers report his opponent’s criticism that his plays were ‘thin in style’ (Ter. Ph. 4-5). The remark in Limon confirms that Cicero, when he mentions Terence, is not always interested in him as an effective dramatist, but may refer to him as a good writer who can be a model or precedent (see also above). In the letter to Atticus mentioned (Cic. Ad Att. 7.3.10; 9 Dec. 50 BCE) Cicero discusses the fact that in an earlier letter (Cic. Ad Att. 6.9.1; 15 Oct. 50 BCE)9 he added a preposition to a name of a place, since he did not regard it as the name of a town (where one would not use a preposition).10 To 8

Suet. Vita Ter. 7 (= Cic. fr. 2 FPL4): Cicero in ‘Limone’ hactenus laudat: ‘tu quoque, qui solus lecto sermone, Terenti, / conversum expressumque Latina voce Menandrum / in medium nobis sedatis vocibus effers, / quidquid come loquens atque omnia dulcia dicens. (Cicero praises him in Limon to such an extent: ‘And you, Terence, who alone bring Menander, translated with select diction and expressed in the Latin language, into our midst in a temperate style, expressing everything gentle and saying all sweet things.) – On Limon see e.g. Schmid (1952); Luiselli (1965). 9 Cic. Ad Att. 6.9.1: in Piraeea cum exissem prid. Id. Oct., accepi ab Acasto servo meo statim tuas litteras (Immediately on landing at Piraeus on 14 October I received your letter from my slave Acastus, trnsl. Shackleton Bailey [1999]). 10 Cic. Ad Att. 7.3.10: venio ad ‘Piraeea’, in quo magis reprehendendus sum quod homo Romanus ‘Piraeea’ scripserim, non ‘Piraeum’ (sic enim omnes nostri locuti sunt), quam quod addiderim ; non enim hoc ut oppido praeposui sed ut loco; et tamen Dionysius noster et qui est nobiscum Nicias Cous non rebatur oppidum esse Piraeea. sed de re videro. nostrum quidem si est peccatum, in eo est quod non ut de oppido locutus sum sed ut de loco, secutusque sum non dico Caecilium, ‘mane ut ex portu in Piraeum’ [Caecilius, Pall. 258 R.2–3] (malus enim auctor Latinitatis est), sed Terentium (cuius fabellae propter elegantiam sermonis putabantur a C. Laelio scribi), ‘heri aliquot adulescentuli coimus in Piraeum’

Cicero, an Interpreter of Terence


justify his wording, Cicero has recourse to Terence, well known for the ‘elegance of his language’, rather than Terence’s predecessor Caecilius Statius, who used the same construction, but is qualified as a bad authority for correct Latinity.11 Therefore, as Cicero says, Terence’s plays were thought to have been written by C. Laelius because of ‘the elegance of their diction’. If the language in Terence’s plays was seen as appropriate for Laelius, they come even closer to the cultivated speech of orators and politicians of Terence’s time, and therefore Terence could still be presented as a model for Cicero’s own language (where it suits him). When Cicero looks at Terence as a user of elegant language, he was obviously not the only one to apply this focus in the Republican period, a point of view later corroborated by Quintilian (Quint. Inst. 10.1.99).12 [Ter. Eun. 539; codd. Ter.: in Piraeo]; et idem, ‘mercator hoc addebat, captam e Sunio’ [cf. Ter. Eun. 114-5: mercator hoc addebat: e praedonibus, / unde emerat, se audisse abreptam e Sunio; see above]; quodsi į੾ȝȠȣȢ oppida volumus esse, tam est oppidum Sunium quam Piraeus. (Now I come to Piraeus, in which matter as a Roman I am more open to criticism for writing Piraeea instead of Piraeum, the form universally used by our countrymen, than for adding the preposition. I prefixed it not as to a town but as to a locality—and after all, our friend Dionysius and Nicias of Cos, who is with us, think Piraeus is not a town. But the matter of fact I leave for further enquiry. If I have made a mistake it is in speaking as of a locality instead of a town, and I had for precedent I won’t say Caecilius (‘when I went early from the harbour to Piraeus’), for his Latinity is not much to go by, but Terence, whose plays were supposed from the elegance of their diction to be the work of C. Laelius: ‘Yesterday a party of us young fellows went to Piraeus’ and ‘The trader added that she was taken from Sunium’—if we are going to say that Demes are towns, then Sunium is as much a town as Piraeus, trnsl. Shackleton Bailey [1999]). 11 See also Cic. Brut. 258: mitto C. Laelium Philum Scipionem: aetatis illius ista fuit laus tamquam innocentiae sic Latine loquendi – nec omnium tamen, nam illorum aequalis Caecilium et Pacuvium male locutos videmus – sed omnes tum fere, qui nec extra urbem hanc vixerant neque eos aliqua barbaries domestica infuscaverat, recte loquebantur (I need not refer to Gaius Laelius, Philus, or Scipio; pure Latinity, not less than uprightness of character, was the mark of their time, though not quite universal, since we note that their contemporaries Caecilius and Pacuvius did not use a pure idiom; still, practically every one, unless his life was passed outside Rome, or some crudeness of home environment had tainted his speech, in those days spoke well and correctly, trnsl. Hendrickson in Hendrickson/ Hubbell [1939]). 12 Quint. Inst. 10.1.99: in comoedia maxime claudicamus. licet Varro Musas, Aeli Stilonis sententia, Plautino dicat sermone locuturas fuisse si Latine loqui vellent, licet Caecilium veteres laudibus ferant, licet Terenti scripta ad Scipionem Africanum referantur (quae tamen sunt in hoc genere elegantissima, et plus adhuc


Chapter Seven

Since the criterion of Latinitas, as a part of elocutio, was a key element in rhetorical doctrine,13 the application of such categories to Terence’s text shows that it could be seen as an oratorical piece. The allegation that Terence had help from powerful and noble friends has presumably been taken from the poet’s plays (Ter. Ad. 15-21). Cicero’s wording (with the distancing putabantur in the impersonal passive) does not make his own views on the question explicit. Yet the neutral formulation and the fact that in Laelius de amicitia (44 BCE) Cicero has Laelius mention Terence (identified by the title of one of his plays) as ‘his friend’ and as the author of his plays (Lael. 89: in Andria familiaris meus dicit) suggests that Cicero subscribes to Terentian authorship.14 At the same time the view of Terence’s close connection with respected noblemen may have turned Terence into a more appropriate example for accurate language use. (b) argument and structure Regarding Terence’s texts not as dramas, but as models for an orator may go beyond the use of language and single words; Cicero also looks to Terence for the structure and arrangement of the argument in a speech. It is well known that Terence himself approximates the speeches of his prologue speakers to the appearance of an orator who gives a defence speech in a trial, when the audience are addressed as judges (Ter. An. 24-7; Heaut. 12; Ad. 4-5; 12-14), the prologue speaker turns to counteraccusations (Ter. Eun. 6; 16-19) or even says explicitly that he has not come as an ‘actor’, but as an ‘orator’ on behalf of the poet (Ter. Heaut. 11; Hec. 9; Ad. 1-5).15 Such explicit references occur in prologue speeches rather than in the body of the plays, where possible rhetorical features only come up intermittently. In the first scene of Andria the old man Simo tells the prehistory to his freedman Sosia (Ter. An. I 1), who is not quite a prosopon protatikon, but does not add much substance; he rather serves to enliven the scene as he habitura gratiae si intra versus trimetros stetissent … (It is in comedy that our steps most falter. True, Varro (quoting the view of Aelius Stilo) held that the Muses would have talked like Plautus if they had chosen to speak Latin; true, older critics extol Caecilius; true, Terence’s works are attributed to Scipio Africanus (and they are in fact the most elegant of their kind, and would have possessed even more attraction if they had been written wholly in trimeters …, trnsl. Russell [2001]). 13 See e.g. Lausberg (1990) 254-74. 14 See Malcovati (1943) 164; Ronconi (1970) 26. 15 On the rhetorical structure of Terence’s prologues see Gelhaus (1972).

Cicero, an Interpreter of Terence


frequently interrupts Simo’s speech with questions and comic comments. In the discussion of the scene in De inventione (81-80 BCE) Cicero ignores these interventions and takes Simo’s utterances as what they can actually be read, one continuous speech, and explains its rhetorical structure (Cic. De Inv. 1.33).16 According to Cicero, the speech starts with an indication of the topics to be covered (partitio) and goes on to treat each of them in that order with the transitions marked. In this case this is the chronological and hence most natural sequence; Simo’s structural remarks are designed to help audiences keep track. Cicero ignores the dramatic dimension and interprets the structure of Simo’s speech as a model for the disposition of elements in an oration. Cicero may be right in implying that Terence was influenced by rhetorical principles, and Cicero’s ignoring Sosia’s comments demonstrates that they do not affect the narrative as such. Earlier in De inventione Cicero alludes to the same story, citing one verse from Simo’s speech about his son, as an example of argumentum (as 16

Cic. De Inv. 1.33: atque his de partitione praeceptis in omni dictione meminisse oportebit, ut et prima quaeque pars, ut exposita est in partitione, sic ordine transigatur et omnibus explicatis peroratum sit, ut ne quid posterius praeter conclusionem inferatur. partitur apud Terentium breviter et commode senex in Andria quae cognoscere libertum velit: ‘eo pacto et gnati vitam et consilium meum / cognosces et quid facere in hac re te velim’ [Ter. An. 49–50]. itaque quemadmodum in partitione proposuit, ita narrat, primum gnati vitam: ‘nam is postquam excessit ex ephebis …’ [Ter. An. 51]. deinde suum consilium: ‘et nunc id operam do …’ [Ter. An. 157]. deinde quid Sosiam velit facere, id quod postremum posuit in partitione, postremum dicit: ‘nunc tuum est officium …’ [Ter. An. 168]. quemadmodum igitur hic et ad primam quamque partem primum accessit et omnibus absolutis finem dicendi fecit, sic nobis placet et ad singulas partes accedere et omnibus absolutis perorare (Now that the rules for partition have been stated, it is necessary to remind the orator that throughout the speech he should bear in mind to complete the sections in order one after another as they have been planned in the partition, and that after all have been dispatched he should bring the speech to a close so that nothing be introduced in the conclusion. The old man in the Andria of Terence makes a brief and neat partition of what he wishes his freedman to know: ‘In this way you will learn my son’s manner of life, my plan, and what I wish you to do in the matter.’ And his narrative follows the plan laid down in the partition: first, his son’s manner of life, ‘For after he had left the school of youth …’, then his plan: ‘And now I am anxious …’, then what he wishes Sosia to do, which was the last point in the partition, is stated last: ‘Now your task is …’. Just as he turned his attention first to each point as it arose, and after dispatching them all stopped speaking, so I favour turning our attention to each topic and when all have been dispatched, winding up the speech, trnsl. Hubbell [1949]).


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an element of the narrative of events that have occurred or could have occurred), defined as ‘a fictitious narrative which nevertheless could have occurred’ (Cic. De Inv. 1.27).17 Thus Cicero acknowledges indirectly that this is not an actual speech, but a speech within a piece of literature, applying Aristotelian categories as it were (cf. Arist. Poet. 1451a36-b11). Cicero obviously regards the sequence of events in Andria, reflecting the standard comedy situation, as plausible and as not too far-fetched. Cicero comes back to the scene from Terence’s Andria in De oratore, where it is used as an example in a discussion on the effect of brevity (Cic. De Or. 2.326-7; see above).18 On the one hand Cicero’s speaker observes 17 Cic. Inv. 1.27: argumentum est ficta res, quae tamen fieri potuit; huiusmodi apud Terentium: ‘nam is postquam excessit ex ephebis …’ [Ter. An. 51]. (Argumentum is a fictitious narrative which nevertheless could have occurred. An example may be quoted from Terence: ‘For after he had left the school of youth...’, trnsl. Hubbell [1949]). 18 Cic. De Or. 2.326-7: narrare vero rem quod breviter iubent, si brevitas appellanda est, cum verbum nullum redundat, brevis est L. Crassi oratio; sin tum est brevitas, cum tantum verborum est quantum necesse est, aliquando id opus est; sed saepe obest vel maxime in narrando, non solum quod obscuritatem adfert, sed etiam quod eam virtutem, quae narrationis est maxima, ut iucunda et ad persuadendum accommodata sit, tollit. videant illa ‘nam is postquam excessit ex ephebis …’ [Ter. An. 51]. quam longa est narratio! mores adulescentis ipsius et servilis percontatio, mors Chrysidis, vultus et forma et lamentatio sororis, reliqua pervarie iucundeque narrantur. quodsi hanc brevitatem quaesisset: ‘effertur, imus, ad sepulcrum venimus, / in ignem imposita est’ [Ter. An. 117; 128-9], [fere] decem versiculis totum conficere potuisset; quamquam hoc ipsum ‘effertur, imus’ [Ter. An. 117] concisum est ita, ut non brevitati servitum sit, sed magis venustati. (As to the narration, the rhetoricians tell us that it should be brief. Now if brevity is supposed to mean that there is no word that is redundant, then the oratory of Lucius Crassus brief. But if brevity implies using only as many words as is absolutely necessary, it may sometimes be required, but is more often detrimental, especially in the narration. It not only produces obscurity, but also destroys the quality most important for a narration, that it should be pleasant and suited to persuasion. You surely know the passage that begins, ‘Once he had grown up …’. What a long narration that is! The character of the young man himself, the questions of the slave, the death of Chrysis, the face, figure, and mourning of her sister, and all the rest of it are related in a greatly varied and pleasant way. But if the author had been after such brevity as this, ‘She is carried out, we follow, we reach the burial place, / she is laid on the pyre, the lament starts …’ – then he could practically have dispatched the whole story in less than ten verses. Although the phrase, ‘She is carried out, we follow’, is actually cut down in such a way that the effect is gracefulness rather than brevity; if he had written nothing but ‘She is laid on the pyre’, the whole matter would still have been easily understood., trnsl. May/Wisse [2001]).

Cicero, an Interpreter of Terence


that this narrative is rather long and illustrates that the same substance could have been conveyed in fewer lines; on the other hand he recognises that it has been extended on purpose because the scene, when shaped as a dialogue, becomes more vivid and the additional details make the narrative more plausible. Although it is not said explicitly, this implies that it is acknowledged that the work under discussion is a drama (and not a selfcontained speech) and that therefore factors such as the dramatic impact play a role. Still, conclusions are drawn for oratory, which should be clear, another central requirement as an element of elocutio,19 and brevity might sometimes be a hindrance in achieving this. Earlier in this book of De oratore a few lines from the same scene (Ter. An. 110-12) are used to illustrate the argumentative structure argumentum maius a minore (Cic. De Or. 2.172).20 Here the original situational context, a father’s thoughts on his son’s reaction to the death of a ‘neighbour’, is disregarded (and the author of the verses quoted is not even mentioned); this could have revealed that the reasoning is logically correct and can indeed be categorised as this type of argument, but that the conclusions are faulty since the premises turn out to be wrong. Presumably Terence creates this tension on purpose and has the faultless logic revealed as misleading to highlight the discrepancy. This aspect of the function of the argument is not of interest to Cicero when he looks at the argumentative structure as such. In the section in De inventione, in which Cicero discusses the example from Terence’s Andria (Ter. An. 51; Cic. De Inv. 1.27), a passage from Adelphoe serves as an instance of a type of narrative that not only demonstrates the facts, but also illustrates the character of the individuals involved (Ter. Ad. 60-4).21 These verses from Adelphoe are again part of 19

See e.g. Lausberg (1990) 274-7. Cic. De Or. 2.172: maiora autem et minora et paria comparabimus sic: ex maiore: ‘si bona existimatio divitiis praestat et pecunia tanto opere expetitur, quanto gloria magis est expetenda!’ ex minore: ‘hic parvae consuetudinis / causa huius mortem tam fert familiariter: / quid si ipse amasset? quid hic mihi faciet patri?’ [Ter. An. 110-12] (We will compare the greater, the lesser, and the equal as follows. Starting from the greater: ‘If a good reputation is superior to riches, and money is so keenly desired, how much greater should the desire for glory be!’ From the lesser as follows: ‘Now, for the sake of a casual acquaintance, / this boy bears her death as if he’d known her so well! Then what / if he’d loved her? What will he do when I, his father, die?, trnsl. May/Wisse [2001]). 21 Cic. De Inv. 1.27: illa autem narratio, quae versatur in personis, eiusmodi est, ut in ea simul cum rebus ipsis personarum sermones et animi perspici possint, hoc modo: ‘venit ad me saepe clamans: ‘quid agis, Micio? / cur perdis adulescentem nobis? cur amat? / cur potat? cur tu his rebus sumptum suggeris? / vestitu nimio 20


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an introductory scene in which the background is given; this is done by means of a monologue, which is made more vivid by the reproduction of (allegedly) direct speech of the character presented. So, although drama mostly works by direct characterisation in bringing people on stage, this is an example of indirect characterisation in a narrative (later confirmed by the character’s appearance). Cicero’s choice of example confirms that Terence’s procedure of enlivening the monologue is effective; Cicero again picks up on something in Terence that he regards as relevant for speaking and writing according to rhetorical rules. The argument of characters in comedy may be exploited not only as an example of rhetorical structures, but also to underline philosophical concepts. For instance, in De natura deorum (44 BCE) Cicero has the speaker Cotta give examples of arguments in comedy, including that of the young man in love in Eunuchus, who expresses himself in a sequence of short sentences reflecting actions, his thoughts and his reactions; Cotta then asks whether the character does not ‘argue subtly enough’ (Cic. De Nat. D. 3.72)22 and later repeats the question of whether any of the tricks seen in comedy could have existed without reasoning (Cic. De Nat. D. 3.73). This is meant to prove that ratio exists even in comedy. In the quotation from Eunuchus two and a half intervening verses have been left indulges, nimium ineptus es.’ / nimium ipse est durus praeter aequumque et bonum’ [Ter. Ad. 60–4]. hoc in genere narrationis multa debet inesse festivitas confecta ex rerum varietate, animorum dissimilitudine, gravitate, lenitate, spe, metu, suspicione, desiderio, dissimulatione, errore, misericordia, fortunae commutatione, insperato incommodo, subita laetitia, iucundo exitu rerum. (But the form of narrative which is concerned with persons is of such a sort that in it can be seen not only events but also the conversation and mental attitude of the characters. For example: “He comes to me perpetually, crying, ‘What are you about, Micio? Why are you bringing the boy to ruin on our hands? Why this licence? Why these drinking parties? Why do you pile him up the guineas for such a life and let him spend so much at the tailor’s? It’s extremely silly of you.’ He himself is extremely hard, past right and sense.” This form of narrative should possess great vivacity, resulting from fluctuations of fortune, contrast of characters, severity, gentleness, hope, fear, suspicion, desire, dissimulation, delusion, pity, sudden change of fortune, unexpected disaster, sudden pleasure, a happy ending to the story, trnsl. Hubbell [1949]). 22 Cic. De Nat. D. 3.72: quid? levitates comicae parumne semper in ratione versantur? parumne subtiliter disputat ille in Eunucho: ‘quid igitur faciam?’ ‘exclusit, revocat; redeam? non si me obsecret.’ [Ter. Eun. 46; 49]. (But what of the frivolous scenes of comedy? do not these show the reasoning faculty constantly employed? Does not that young man in the Eunuch argue subtly enough: ‘What shall I do then?’ … ‘She shut me out, and now she calls me back; Well, shall I go? No, not if she implores me’, trnsl. Rackham [1933]).

Cicero, an Interpreter of Terence


out: this excludes the wavering and leads to a more straightforward structure from posing the problem via analysing the data to finding a solution. Again in Cicero’s text the passage’s dramatic dimension is ignored, since in the plot the character will not translate this decision into practice; instead the focus is on the structure of the argument. Some of the examples used in Cicero’s rhetorical treatises also occur in Rhetorica ad Herennium (Rhet. Her. 1.8.13); hence they may not be entirely original to Cicero, but rather come from the rhetorical tradition. Still, Cicero was obviously happy with them and did not have problems with drawing on drama as a model for rhetoric, though in some instances he shows an awareness of the special characteristics of the genres of tragedy and comedy. What he is interested in are oratorical models, and figures in drama are exploited like real-life characters. In a slightly different use of one of Terence’s comedies as a paradigm for rhetoric, Cicero claims in a letter to Lentulus (Cic. Ad Fam. 1.9.19; Dec. 54 BCE) that in one of his speeches he followed the advice offered to the soldier by the parasite in Terence’s Eunuchus, namely to give tit for tat (Ter. Eun. 440-5).23 This parasite is in the course of mocking the soldier and not actually concerned with helping him. Cicero, however, focuses on such a way of responding to an opponent; this illustrates his own 23

Cic. Ad Fam. 1.9.19: sed tamen defendendi Vatini fuit etiam ille stimulus de quo in iudicio, cum illum defenderem, dixi me facere quiddam quod in ‘Eunucho’ parasitus suaderet militi: ‘ubi nominabit Phaedriam, tu Pamphilam / continuo. si quando illa dicet ‘Phaedriam / intromittamus comissatum.’ ‘Pamphilam / cantatum provocemus.’ si laudabit haec / illius formam, tu huius contra. denique / par pro pari referto quod eam mordeat.’ [Ter. Eun. 440-5] sic petivi a iudicibus ut, quoniam quidam nobiles homines et de me optime meriti nimis amarent inimicum meum meque inspectante saepe eum in senatu modo severe seducerent, modo familiariter atque hilare amplexarentur, quoniamque illi haberent suum Publium, darent mihi ipsi alium Publium in quo possem illorum animos mediocriter lacessitus leviter repungere (To resume, I had another incentive to defend Vatinius, to which I referred in my speech at the trial. I said I was doing what the Parasite in the Eunuch recommends to the Captain: ‘When she says ‘Phaedria’, you must straight away say ‘Pamphila’. Should she want Phaedria in to dinner, you must counter ‘Why not ask Pamphila for a song?’ If she commends his handsome looks, you praise the girl’s. In short, give tit, my friend, for tat. The pin will prick.’ So I drew the parallel. Certain high-born gentlemen, to whom I owed a debt of gratitude, were overfond of an enemy of mine. In the Senate they would sometimes take him aside for a serious talk, sometimes salute him in hearty, hail-fellow-wellmet style; this before my eyes. Well, then, since they had their Publius, I hoped the gentlemen of the jury would allow me another Publius, with whom to sting those personages just a little in return for the mild provocation I had received! trnsl. Shackleton Bailey [2001]).


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procedure without forcing him to go into details of the case. By inferring rhetorical strategies from examples in Terence, Cicero applies the same method to describe his own oratory as he does for illustrating general principles. (c) Greek models In his well-known discussions of the relationship between Greek and Latin writings in the areas of philosophy, oratory and drama, Cicero refers twice to Terence’s Andria as an example of a drama that has been modelled on a Greek play (by Menander), but is still worth reading in its own right (Cic. De Fin. 1.4; De Opt. gen. 18).24 Since on both those occasions Cicero mentions one drama each of several famous Roman writers of tragedies or comedies, this does not imply a special status of Andria in relation to other plays of Terence. Between the two passages 24 Cic. De Fin. 1.4: iis igitur est difficilius satisfacere qui se Latina scripta dicunt contemnere. in quibus hoc primum est in quo admirer, cur in gravissimis rebus non delectet eos sermo patrius, cum idem fabellas Latinas ad verbum e Graecis expressas non inviti legant. quis enim tam inimicus paene nomini Romano est qui Enni Medeam aut Antiopam Pacuvi spernat aut reiciat, quod se isdem Euripidis fabulis delectari dicat, Latinas litteras oderit? Synephebos ego, inquit, potius Caecili aut Andriam Terenti quam utramque Menandri legam? (A more difficult task therefore is to deal with the objection of those who profess a contempt for Latin writings as such. What astonishes me first of all about them is this, – why should they dislike their native language for serious and important subjects, when they are quite willing to read Latin plays translated word for word from the Greek? Who has such a hatred, one might almost say for the very name of Roman, as to despise and reject the Medea of Ennius or the Antiope of Pacuvius, and give as his reason that though he enjoys the corresponding plays of Euripides he cannot endure books written in Latin? What, he cries, am I to read The Young Comrades of Caecilius, or Terence’s Maid of Andros, when I might be reading the same two comedies of Menander?, trnsl. Rackham [1914]); De Opt. gen. 18: huic labori nostro duo genera reprehensionum opponuntur. unum hoc: ‘verum melius Graeci.’ a quo quaeratur ecquid possint ipsi melius Latine. alterum: ‘quid istas potius legam quam Graecas?’ idem Andriam et Synephebos nec minus Andromacham aut Antiopam aut Epigonos Latinos recipiunt. quod igitur est eorum in orationibus e Graeco conversis fastidium, nullum cum sit in versibus? (Two sorts of objections can be raised to this undertaking of mine. The first is: ‘It is better in the original Greek.’ One might ask this critic whether they themselves can produce anything better in Latin. The second is: ‘Why should I read this translation of yours, rather than the Greek original?’ But at the same time they accept the Andria, the Synephebi and likewise the Andromache or the Antiope or the Epigoni in Latin. Why their aversion to speeches translated from the Greek when they have none to translations of poetry?, trnsl. Hubbell [1949]).

Cicero, an Interpreter of Terence


details of the argument vary: in De finibus Cicero argues against people who have contempt for Latin writings as such, claiming that their native language makes Latin versions of Greek literature worth reading. In De optimo genere oratorum Cicero confronts people who read Latin versions of dramas, but are opposed to Latin translations of Greek speeches. This suggests that various views on the question were current in Cicero’s time, since otherwise he would not have argued in that way. For Cicero himself it emerges that he is aware that Terence’s plays, like those of other Republican dramatists, are based on Greek models; yet this does not affect his appreciation of them, and he still regards Terence as responsible for their shape. (d) impressions of characters In his speeches Cicero refers a few times to stock figures from Terentian comedies, without calling to mind particular details and often without identifying the poet, rather to colour and illustrate his argument with the typical characteristics associated with such individuals. Cicero presumably had a more detailed knowledge of those plays, but he does not bother to present more specifics since for the effect on the audience broad recognition of the respective play and its key characters is sufficient; this assumed general knowledge could be based on performances rather than on reading the plays. In the Second Philippic against Marcus Antonius (44 BCE) Cicero mentions Terence’s two parasites, Phormio and Gnatho, along with the pimp Ballio from Plautus’ Pseudolus, as illustrations of the disreputable character of the individuals Antonius associates with (Cic. Phil. 2.15).25 Cicero ignores the fact that the two parasites do not merely appear as parasites in the respective plays (Phormio and Eunuchus), but are also instrumental to the plot and could therefore be seen to have some positive characteristics if looked at from the perspective of characters who benefit from their interferences. However, what Cicero is aiming for is the standard image of a parasite: he thus shows the kind of people Antonius is respecting by referring to well-known representatives of the type without going into too much detail or naming anybody. 25 Cic. Phil. 2.15: ‘hodie non descendit Antonius.’ ‘cur?’ ‘dat nataliciam in hortis.’ ‘cui?’ neminem nominabo: putate cum Phormioni alicui, tum Gnathoni, tum etiam Ballioni. (‘Antonius is not appearing in public today.’ ‘Oh, why is that?’ ‘He is giving a birthday party in his house outside town.’ ‘For whom?’ Well, gentlemen, I won’t name names. One day it will be for some Phormio, let us suppose, another for Gnatho, and another for Ballio even, trnsl. Shackleton Bailey/Ramsey/ Manuwald [2009]).


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Phormio appears again in the speech Pro Caecina (69/68 BCE), where Cicero plays with the cognomen Phormio of an opponent (Cic. Pro Caecin. 27), recalling Terence’s character and suggesting that this individual is as bad.26 Cicero mentions both a characteristic that is actually applied to Phormio in the play (confidens) and another one (niger) that is not and designed to convey negative connotations. Cicero is presumably aware that this item is not in the line alluded to, but this addition emphasises the negative character of the opponent without seeming too far-fetched or too insulting, since, without reference to the text, it appears to be part of the transfer from play to reality. In Pro Caelio (56 BCE) another standard figure is referred to, the old man/father as the opponent of the young man in love (Cic. Pro Cael. 378).27 Cicero juxtaposes a harsh father from the comedies of Caecilius with a lenient father from the comedies of Terence, one of the fathers from Adelphoe.28 Cicero does not make this distinction because he wants to 26

Cic. Pro Caecin. 27: … et argentarius Sex. Clodius, cui nomen est Phormio, nec minus niger nec minus confidens quam ille Terentianus est Phormio [Phorm. 1223: est parasitus quidam Phormio, / homo confidens], … (… and Sextus Clodius, the banker, surnamed Phormio, no less black and no less brazen than the Phormio in Terence: …, trnsl. Grose Hodge [1927]). Cf. Quint. Inst. 6.3.56: praebet tamen aliquando occasionem quaedam felicitas hoc quoque bene utendi, ut pro Caecina Cicero in testem Sex. Clodium Phormionem: ‘nec minus niger’ inquit ‘nec minus confidens quam est ille Terentinaus Phormio. (Occasionally however a lucky chance provides an opportunity of making good use even of this trick: Cicero in Pro Caecina says of the witness Sextus Clodius Phormio ‘No less black and no less confident than Phormio in Terence, trnsl. Russell [2001]). 27 On this passage see e.g. Malcovati (1943) 177-8; Blänsdorf (1974) 147-8; Goldberg (2005) 94-5; Manuwald (2007) 135-7 (with further references). – P.L. Schmidt [(1971) 792] identifies the use of contrasting characters in an argument as one aspect of the literary reception in Cicero’s time; while this is true, it may give a limited number of instances undue weight. 28 Cic. Pro Cael. 37-8: redeo nunc ad te, Caeli, vicissim ac mihi auctoritatem patriam severitatemque suscipio. sed dubio, quem patrem potissimum sumam, Caecilianumne aliquem vehementem atque durum: ‘…’ ferrei sunt isti patres: … leni vero et clementi patre cuiusmodi ille est: ‘fores ecfregit? restituentur. discidit / vestem? resarcietur.’ [Ter. Ad. 120-1]. Caeli causa est expeditissima. quid enim esset in quo se non facile defenderet? (I come now to you in turn, Caelius, and myself assume the authority and severity of a father. But I doubt which father above all I am to choose – a rough and unfeeling one, like the one in Caecilius? … Those fathers have hearts of iron: … But if I take a mild and indulgent father like this one, who would say: ‘He has broken a door, the wreck shall be made good; / He has torn your clothes, they shall be mended up’, Caelius’ case is quite without difficulty. For what charge could there be on which he would not find it easy to

Cicero, an Interpreter of Terence


provide a study of father figures in comedy, but because he needs it for his argument in defence of his client. Indeed, since Adelphoe is built around the contrast between two father figures with different educational principles, Cicero could have juxtaposed two father figures from the same play. However, the contrast between different types of fathers is more straightforward and emphatic when there is also a contrast between poets; in particular the fathers in Caecilius seem to have had a reputation of being strict and are therefore more suitable for creating a contrast with a mild Terentian father. Moreover, disregarding the contrast within Terence’s play itself allows Cicero to ignore the fact that the principles of education of both father figures in Adelphoe are called into question at least temporarily in the course of the play. The contrast between the two old men in Adelphoe is used elsewhere, in a reference to the two brothers in the philosophical treatise Cato de senectute (44 BCE). Their example serves to illustrate that certain types of behaviour are not connected with age, but with character (Cic. Cato 65).29

defend himself?, trnsl. Gardner [1958]); cf. Quint. Inst. 11.1.39: verum etiam in iis causis quibus advocamur eadem differentia diligenter est custodienda. utimur enim fictione personarum et velut ore alieno loquimur, dandique sunt iis quibus vocem accommodamus sui mores. aliter enim P. Clodius, aliter Appius Caecus, aliter Caecilianus ille, aliter Terentianus pater fingitur (However, even in causes in which we do appear as advocates, the same differentiation must be carefully observed. This is because we use imaginary persons and speak as it were with other men’s lips, and so have to provide the appropriate personalities for those to whom we lend our voice. Publius Clodius and Appius Caecus are imagined very differently, as are the father in Caecilius and the father in Terence, trnsl. Russell [2001]). 29 Cic. Cato 65: at sunt morosi et anxii et iracundi et difficiles senes. si quaerimus, etiam avari; sed haec morum vitia sunt, non senectutis. ac morositas tamen et ea vitia, quae dixi, habent aliquid excusationis, non illius quidem iustae, sed quae probari posse videatur: contemni se putant, despici, illudi; praeterea in fragili corpore odiosa omnis offensio est; quae tamen omnia dulciora fiunt et moribus bonis et artibus, idque cum in vita tum in scaena intellegi potest ex eis fratribus qui in Adelphis sunt. quanta in altero diritas, in altero comitas (But, the critics say, old men are morose, troubled, fretful, and hard to please; and, if we inquire, we shall find that some of them are misers, too. However, these are faults of character, not of age. Yet moroseness and the other faults mentioned have some excuse, not a really sufficient one, but such as it may seem possible to allow, in that old men imagine themselves ignored, despised, and mocked at; and besides, when the body is weak, the lightest blow gives pain. But nevertheless all these faults are much ameliorated by good habits and by education, as may be seen in real life, and particularly on the stage in the case of the two brothers in the play of that name.


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(e) sententiae Among the lines Terence puts into the mouth of his characters some can be seen to be of sentential or proverbial quality. Some of those are frequently cited by later authors and thereby acquire a relevance of their own (e.g. Cic. De Fin. 1.15, with Ter. Ph. 45: quot homines tot sententiae).30 For instance, in Laelius de amicitia (44 BCE) Cicero has the eponymous character cite a line from ‘his friend’s (Terence’s) Andria (also quoted by later writers) and use this as an element in his argument on how true friends should behave (Cic. Lael. 89).31 Taken on its own, the line can be seen to be a suitable starting point for Laelius’ argument that one should be truthful to friends and that they should accept it, though this sometimes may initially cause difficulties. However, in its original context the line is an ironic comment made by the freedman in an aside when the old man Simo extols the behaviour of his son, affirming that ‘he fell in with their pursuits, opposed nobody’; thereupon the freedman remarks that indeed truth would have made life difficult for him. Thus, in a way, the argument of Cicero’s Laelius agrees with the thoughts underlying the freedman’s comment; nevertheless Laelius’ considerations are put forward with a different tone, appropriate to the different genre. The famous line from Terence’s Heautontimorumenos “I’m human, and I regard no human business as other people’s” (Ter. Heaut. 77: homo sum; humani nil a me alienum puto [trnsl. Barsby (1999)]) is referred to by Cicero (and later writers) several times (e.g. Cic. De Leg. 1.33; De Off.

What a disagreeable nature one of them has, and what an affable disposition has the other!, trnsl. Falconer [1923]). 30 P.L.Schmidt [(1971) 792] describes this process as one of the key aspects of early literary reception. 31 Cic. Lael. 89: sed nescioquo modo verum est quod in Andria familiaris meus dicit, ‘obsequium amicos, veritas odium parit’ [Ter. An. 68]. molesta veritas, siquidem ex ea nascitur odium, quod est venenum amicitiae; sed obsequium multo molestius, quod peccatis indulgens praecipitem amicum ferri sinit; maxima autem culpa in eo qui et veritatem aspernatur et in fraudem obsequio impellitur. (I suppose it is in some way true, what my friend says in The Woman of Andros: The truth makes enemies: complaisance, friends’. Certainly, the truth can be a nuisance if it gives rise to dislike, which poisons friendship; but complaisance is much more so, in that it is indulgent towards wrongdoing, and allows a friend to rush away out of control. The greatest fault is in the person who ignores the truth, and is driven into self-deception by his friends’ tolerance, trnsl. Powell [1990]). – See Otto (1890) 368 (s.v. veritas 3).

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1.29-30; De Fin. 3.62-3).32 That this line has become common material is indicated by the fact that the construction might be changed to integrate the line into one’s own sentences. Interestingly, the line is most literally quoted in De officiis, where the poet Terence and the character Chremes are also named and the focus is on the relationship of one individual with the affairs of another. In the other two instances, Terence’s text is further adapted and the context is more general. As with less famous quotations, Cicero is obviously familiar with the context and can refer to it where appropriate, but may ignore it when he wishes to use the remark as such, while still claiming the poet’s authority as confirmation of the argument. 32 Cic. De Leg. 1.33: sequitur igitur ad participandum alium alio communicandumque inter omnes ius nos natura esse factos. … quodsi, quo modo st natura, sic iudicio homines ‘humani’, ut ait poeta, ‘nihil a se alienum putarent’, coleretur ius aeque ab omnibus. (The next point, then, is that we are so constituted by Nature as to share the sense of Justice with one another and to pass it on to all men. … But if the judgments of men were in agreement with Nature, so that, as the poet says, they considered ‘nothing alien to them which concerns mankind’, then Justice would be equally observed by all, trnsl. Keyes [1928]); De Off. 1.29-30: quando igitur duobus generibus iniustitiae propositis adiunximus causas utriusque generis easque res ante constituimus, quibus iustitia contineretur, facile, quod cuiusque temporis officium sit, poterimus, nisi nosmet ipsos valde amabimus, iudicare; est enim difficilis cura rerum alienarum. quamquam Terentianus ille Chremes ‘humani nihil a se alienum putat’; sed tamen, quia magis ea percipimus atque sentimus, quae nobis ipsis aut prospera aut adversa eveniunt, quam illa, quae ceteris, quae quasi longo intervallo interiecto videmus, aliter de illis ac de nobis iudicamus. (Now since we have set forth the two kinds of injustice and assigned the motives that lead to each, and since we have previously established the principles by which justice is constituted, we shall be in a position easily to decide what our duty on each occasion is, unless we are extremely self-centred; for indeed it is not an easy matter to be really concerned with other people’s affairs; and yet in Terence’s play, we know, Chremes ‘thinks that nothing that concerns man is foreign to him’. Nevertheless, when things turn out for our own good or ill, we realise it more fully and feel it more deeply than when the same things happen to others and we see them only, as it were, in the far distance; and for this reason we judge their case differently from our own, trnsl. Miller [1913]); De Fin. 3.62-3: quare ut perspicuum est natura nos a dolore abhorrere, sic apparet a natura ipsa ut eos quos genuerimus amemus impelli. ex hoc nascitur ut etiam communis hominum inter homines naturalis sit commendatio, ut oporteat hominem ab homine ob id ipsum quod homo sit non alienum videri (Hence as it is manifest that it is natural for us to shrink from pain, so it is clear that we derive from nature herself the impulse to love those to whom we have given birth. From this impulse is developed the sense of mutual attraction which unites human beings as such, this also is bestowed by nature, trnsl. Rackham [1914]). – See Otto (1890) 165-6 (s.v. homo 4).


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A related phenomenon is the practice of exploiting possibly humorous comments from a specific context as sententious philosophical statements. For instance, the old man Demipho in Terence’s Phormio, angry about his son’s wedding in his absence, tries to calm himself down by telling himself that one should always expect, even in prosperity, that adverse events may occur (Ter. Ph. 241-6). In Tusculan Disputations Cicero extols this as an apt expression of a lesson from philosophy (Cic. Tusc. 3.30-1; see above).33 Taken in isolation, with no regard to the dramatic framework, the lines may be read as such, but in their original context they are not primarily meant to convey a philosophical lesson, but are rather an indirect reference to philosophical doctrines in a surprising context, and they are ridiculed by the subsequent almost verbatim repetition of the key argument by the slave, when he describes his own expectations on his master’s return in the same way, where this phrasing appears even more inappropriate (Ter. Ph. 247-52).

VI. Conclusion: Cicero as an interpreter of Terence? Cicero refers to and quotes from Terence’s plays rather frequently in all types of works, which provides a substantial basis for looking at his 33 Cic. Tusc. 3.30-1: et nimirum haec est illa praestans et divina sapientia et perceptas penitus et pertractatas res humanas habere, nihil admirari cum acciderit, nihil, ante quam evenerit, non evenire posse arbitrati. ‘quam ob rem omnes, cum secundae res sunt maxume, tum maxume, / meditari secum oportet quo pacto advorsam aerumnam ferant: / pericla, damna, peregre rediens semper secum cogitet, / aut fili peccatum aut uxoris mortem aut morbum filiae: / communia esse haec, ne quid horum umquam accidat animo novum: / quidquid praeter spem eveniat, omne it deputare esse in lucro. ergo hoc Terentius a philosophia sumptum cum tam commode dixerit, nos, e quorum fontibus id haustum est, non et dicemus hoc melius et constantius sentiemus? (And do not doubt that here is found the ideal of that wisdom which excels and is divine, namely in the thorough study and comprehension of human vicissitudes, in being astonished at nothing when it happens, and in thinking, before the event is come, that there is nothing which may not come to pass. ‘Wherefore everyone, when fortune smiles her brightest, closely then / ponder should within his heart how hardship’s onset he may bear: / let him think on perils, losses, from abroad as he returns, / son’s missed or wife’s departing or disease of daughter loved; / think these things man’s common lot are, lest one strike the mind as strange: / luck that passes expectation should be reckoned all as gain.’ Now when Terence has given such apt expression to a lesson gained from philosophy, shall we, from whose springs the draught was drawn, fail to express it in better terms and feel it more steadfastly?, trnsl. King [1927]).

Cicero, an Interpreter of Terence


views on the playwright and his uses of the dramatic texts. Since Cicero also quotes lines from tragedies and comedies by other dramatists, the fact that he refers to Terence in this way is not particularly remarkable. However, because in this case the quotations can be compared with their meaning in their original context, they reveal insights into Cicero’s methods, which will then have to be borne in mind when looking at his references to fragmentary texts. Cicero does not provide something that approximates a treatise or commentary on Terence’s plays; his utterances remain comments in specific argumentative contexts: passages and scenes from Terence’s dramas are adduced to provide precedents or illustrations of points of style, of ways of argument, of forms of behaviour or of the treatment of models. While Cicero generally uses lines from Terence as a confirmation of his own views, the interpretative details mentioned in each instance need not represent Cicero’s true and full opinion, but may rather depend on what is effective in the respective context. Overall, Cicero’s recourse to Terence can be described as a paradigmatic use of quotations, since one of their functions is to illustrate, prove or confirm one’s own views by reference to an authoritative model. Accordingly, Terence’s aims in the actual context often seem to be less important to Cicero; instead, one aspect of a scene, passage or line suitable in the particular argumentative framework is singled out. This means that the ‘readings’ Cicero presents are not ‘wrong’, but they tend to be onesided and may not do Terence’s dramas full justice if they were to be interpreted for their own sake. It is, however, obvious that Cicero is aware of the original contexts and also expects his audience to know them, since he sometimes only quotes parts of a line or scene, does not always name the poet and apparently assumes that audiences recognise how phrases may be further developed. Cicero primarily points out rhetorical features in the style and structure of the comedies and the arguments of the characters and uses the characteristics and behaviour of the figures as examples. A rhetorical analysis of the plays is suggested by the prologues themselves; hence Cicero’s approach would not have seemed alien. That the characters in dramas are paradigmatic for Roman audiences Cicero states several times for both tragedy and comedy (Cic. Pro Planc. 59; Pro Rab. Post. 29; Pro Rosc. Am. 47; Pro Sest. 102). Hence this is one factor that will have made these plays set in Greece relevant to Roman audiences, and therefore it could be regarded as a natural further development to use the behaviour of figures of comedy in arguments in a variety of contexts. For comedy in particular this agrees with Cicero’s belief that comedy is a mirror of life,


Chapter Seven

which might not only be applicable to the characters and their experiences depicted, but also to the language used (Cic. Orat. 184).34 While Cicero acknowledges that Terence’s dramas are literary works based on Greek models, they are therefore also close to ‘real life’ in both plots and language; hence it is possible to approach them as depicting common situations and rhetorical set-ups and not as works of pure fiction. Nevertheless that Cicero no longer regarded these texts as ephemeral, but adduced them as constant reference points, contributed to establishing them as works of literature and as an element of a shared artistic heritage.35 Cicero’s way of having recourse to Terence’s plays shows that they could be seen to derive from a similar background in philosophy and rhetoric that Cicero assumes for himself and his own audiences once the pieces have been stripped of the dramatic layer that is due to their literary genre. Cicero has thus contributed to laying the groundwork for later generations, further removed, to study Terence’s comedies not only as dramas, but also as elements of the intellectual and cultural environment of their time.

34 Cic. Orat. 184: at comicorum senarii propter similitudinem sermonis sic saepe sunt abiecti, ut nonnumquam vix in eis numerus et versus intellegi possit. (But the senarii of comedy are often so lacking in elevation of style because of their resemblance to ordinary conversation that sometimes it is scarcely possible to distinguish rhythm and verse in them, trnsl. Hubbell in Hendrickson/Hubbell [1939]). 35 On this issue see Goldberg (2005) 87-114.


This chapter will investigate remarks in the Terence commentary of the fourth-century grammarian Aelius Donatus, on the rhetorical theory of the proprium, or ‘appropriate style’ as it applies to the language of Terence’s plays. The comments contain discussions of the stylistic level appropriate to comedy as opposed to tragedy, and the circumstances in which tragic diction could be employed in comedy. They also discuss the levels of language appropriate to the different character-types and dramatic situations in the plays. The emphasis will fall mainly on what Donatus sees as the literary function of these stylistic features. In a final section some general conclusions will be drawn on the purpose of the stylistic comments analysed, on their relation to the ancient tradition of commentary and on their role in aiding our modern interpretation of the plays. I have shown elsewhere in a discussion of ‘stylistic register’ in the commentaries of Servius on Vergil1 that ancient commentators on Latin had a keen sense of the type of language that was appropriate to different styles of writing. For moderns it is perhaps more obvious to see this at work in Greek literature where there are clear dialectal distinctions between, for example, tragic, epic, comic and pastoral styles, but for native speakers of Latin these distinctions were clearly also apparent in their own language. In his preface to the Aeneid commentary Servius speaks of three stylistic levels, the humilis (low), the medius (medium) and the grandiloquus (grand).2 Aeneid is of course assigned to the grandiloquus style and Servius tells us that this is characterised by high-style language alto sermone and elevated content magnis sententiis. In the Eclogues 1 2

Maltby (2011). Serv. Aen. praef. p. 4.8.


Chapter Eight

preface3 he tells us that the grandiloquus style is appropriate to Aeneid, the medius to Georgics and the humilis to Eclogues. He also tells us why the humilis style is appropriate for Eclogues, because they involve peasants who love simplicity and from whom nothing elevated, altus, should be demanded. This tripartite division of styles goes back in Roman rhetorical theory at least as far as Cicero4 and he no doubt would have been echoing earlier Greek and Roman traditions. Aristotle, in his Poetics (1458a), for example, compares the clear and simple style (ıĮij੽Ȣ ȜȑȟȚȢ), with the dignified style (ıİȝȞ੽ ȜȑȟȚȢ). The present chapter will demonstrate how these stylistic distinctions are just as important for Donatus in his Terence commentaries as they are for Servius in his comments on Vergil. In fact some of Servius’ comments in this area may have been taken from Donatus’ own lost Vergil commentary.

I. Tragic content5 Donatus and his near-contemporary Evanthius contain a number of discussions of what is appropriate in terms of both style and content to comedy as opposed to tragedy, and also of the circumstances under which potentially tragic material can be employed in comedy.6 Let us start with the comparison of comedy and tragedy found in Evanthius, whose commentary on Terence does not survive but a fragment of whose work on drama (De Fabula) is prefixed to Donatus’ Terence commentary. inter tragoediam autem et comoediam cum multa tum imprimis hoc distat, quod in comoedia mediocres fortunae hominum, parvi impetus periculorum laetique sunt exitus actionum, at in tragoedia omnia contra, ingentes personae, magni timores, exitus funesti habentur; et illic prima turbulenta, tranquilla ultima, in tragoedia contrario ordine res aguntur; tum quod in tragoedia fugienda vita, in comoedia capessanda exprimitur; postremo quod omnis comoedia de fictis est argumentis, tragoedia saepe de historia fide petitur. (Evanthius, De Fabula 4.2) (Between tragedy and comedy there are many differences, but this one in particular: in comedy the fortunes of the characters are modest, the dangers are of small import and the conclusion of the action is happy; in tragedy 3

Serv. Ecl. praef. p. 1.16-18 Cic. Orat. 20-1, 69. 5 This theme is also discussed by Karakasis, this volume (chapter 3), 75-82. 6 Earlier discussions of this topic in Latin are to be found in Horace Ars Poetica 89ff. (discussed below), Cic. De Opt. gen. 1 and Quint. Inst. 10.2.22; see Welsh (2011) 486. 4

Donatus on ‘Appropriate Style’ in the Plays of Terence


everything is the reverse of this, the characters are important, the fears are great and the conclusion is considered deadly. In comedy the beginning is turbulent and the ending peaceful; in tragedy the action runs in the opposite direction; then the life-style to be avoided in tragedy is the one to be adopted in comedy; finally all comedy is concerned with fictitious plots, tragedy often originates in historical truth.)

The main points then are that whereas comedy deals with the fortunes of average humans (mediocres fortunae hominum), undergoing only small dangers (parvi impetus periculorum) and has a happy ending (laeti exitus actionum), tragedy deals with important people (ingentes personae) undergoing great terrors (magni timores) and ends in death (exitus funesti). Whereas comedy begins in a turbulent manner but ends peacefully, tragedy follows the opposite route; and finally while comedy is concerned with fictitious matters tragedy often takes its theme from history. In an earlier passage Evanthius had praised Terence for keeping the feelings of his comedy in check and never crossing over into the tragic mode. He pursues in his comedy a middle path, avoiding the heights of tragedy and the depths of the mime: tum illud [sc. in Terentio] est admirandum, quod et morem retinuit, ut comoediam scriberet, et temperavit affectum, ne in tragoediam transiliret… illud quoque inter Terentianas virtutes mirabile, quod eius fabulae eo sunt temperamento, ut neque intumescant ad tragicam celsitudinem neque abiciantur ad mimicam vilitatem.7 (Evanthius, De Fabula 3.5) (Then this is to be admired [sc. in Terence], that he keeps the correct tone for writing comedy and tempers the passion so that he does not cross over into tragedy... This too is remarkable among the virtues of Terence, that his stories are of such a character that they neither swell up to the heights of tragedy nor descend to the depths of mime.)

The emphasis in both quotations is on plot and characters, rather than on style, but an inflated style is perhaps suggested by the phrase intumescant ad tragicam celsitudinem. Certainly style is mentioned specifically in Evanthius’ description of native Roman tabernariae plays being named from their humilitate argumenti ac stili: 7 Welsh (2011) argues convincingly that Evanthius’ mention of morem and affectum here suggests he is adapting to a new context a passage from Varro’s lost De Latino Sermone on ਵșȘ (‘character drawing’ – Lat. mores) and ʌȐșȘ (‘representation of emotion’ – Lat. affectus) in Roman drama, a passage also echoed at Charis. 315.3-23 Barwick.


Chapter Eight illud vero tenendum est, post ȞȑĮȞ țȦȝ࠙įȓĮȞ Latinos multa fabularum genera protulisse, ut… tabernarias ab humilitate argumenti ac stili. (Evanthius, De Fabula 4.1) (One must remember this that after Greek New Comedy the Romans produced many types of plays... such as ‘tavern plays’ named from their humble plots and style.)

How then were these theoretical ideas on the distinction between tragedy and comedy applied by Donatus in his individual comments on Terence’s plays? Consider first the opening lines of the prologue of Terence’s Phormio8: postquam poeta vetu’ poetam non potest retrahere a studio et transdere hominem in otium, maledictis deterrere ne scribat parat. qui ita dictitat, quas ante hic fecit fabulas tenui esse oratione et scriptura levi, 5 quia nusquam insanum scripsit adulescentulum cervam videre fugere et sectari canes et eam plorare, orare ut subveniat sibi. Ph. Prol. 1-8 (Since the old poet is unable to keep our poet from his profession and force him into retirement, he tries to deter him from writing through slander. He repeatedly asserts that the plays he has so far written are feeble in content and weak in style: this is because our poet never wrote about a demented youth who sees a hind in flight and hounds in pursuit and the hind begging and imploring him to come to her aid.)

The old poet referred to here is of course Luscius Lanuvinus, an older rival of Terence as a writer of comedy. He accuses Terence’s plays of being (5) ‘feeble in content and weak in style’ (tenui ...oratione et scriptura levi), a negative reaction to Terence’s studied elegance of style which for the most part prevented him from employing the highly coloured language and lively action associated with Plautus, Caecilius and the main tradition of Roman palliata. Terence does not answer this charge directly, but goes on to describe (6-8) a particular scene from a play by Luscius, which Terence thinks oversteps the bounds of comedy. The details of the plot are unclear but it seems to involve a delirious youth who had mistaken his beloved for a hind and pursued her with his own hounds, as in the Cephalus and Procris story. Terence criticises by implication both 8

A passage discussed also by Papaioannou, this volume (chapter 1), 45; and Welsh, this volume (chapter 2), 59-60.

Donatus on ‘Appropriate Style’ in the Plays of Terence


the content of Luscius’ piece and also its style which appears to be parodied in the tragic accumulation of the infinitives (7-8) fugere, sectari, plorare, orare all dependent on videre. Such exaggerated scenes are in fact not completely unknown in New Comedy; Menander’s TheophoroumenƝ 31-57 has a girl in an ecstatic state possessed by Cybele and in Plautus’ Menaechmi 835ff. Menaechmus (Sosicles) feigns madness. But by implication, Terence’s style, which Luscius criticises, is in fact perfectly appropriate for comedy. All these points are brought out clearly in Donatus’ commentary on this section of the Phormio prologue: TENVI ESSE ORATIONE ET SCRIPTVRA LEVI imperitum inducit criminatorem, qui hoc obiciat, quod proprium debet esse comici stili. (2) revera autem hoc deterior a Menandro Terentius iudicabatur, quod minus sublimi oratione uteretur; quod ipsum nunc purgat dicens in tragoedias altiora posse transire. [Don. ad Ph. Prol. 5 (1)] (‘feeble in content and weak in style’ he presents an ignorant accuser, since he finds fault with something that should be a characteristic of comic style. (2) However, Terence was judged inferior to Menander in this, that he used a style that was less lofty; a thing which he himself excuses by saying that elevated diction can cross over into tragedy.) QVIA NVMQVAM INSANVM SCRIPSIT ADVLESCENTEM ideo videmur leves tenuesque, inquit, quia in comoedia prodigia facta sunt nec tragoedias concitavimus (2) …sed etiam imperite scribere ostendit Luscium Lanuvinum…(4) ADVLESCENTVLVM ut comicam personam ostenderet, artificiose imminuit ‘adulescentulum’, quo magis persona a sublimitate tragica discessisset. [Don. ad Ph. Prol. 6 (1)] (‘because our poet never wrote about a demented youth’ we seem weak and feeble, he says, because in (my) comedy there were no miracles and I did not stir up tragic scenes (2) ... but he even shows that Luscius Lanuvinus is writing without skill... (4) ‘youth’ in order to show he is a comic person, he artificially uses a diminutive form, so that the character departed further from tragic sublimity.) CERVAM VIDERE FVGERE hic affectus a comoediis removendus est. [Don. ad Ph. Prol. 7 (1)] (‘sees a hind in flight’ such emotion should be removed from comedies.) ET EAM PLORARE ORARE VT SVBVENIAT SIBI haec omnis per…stasis tragica est et ideo in comoedia vitiosa ducitur. [Don. ad Ph. Prol. 8.])


Chapter Eight (‘and the hind begging and imploring him to come to her aid’ all these circumstances are tragic and so are considered wrong in comedy.)

First (5.1) Luscius is ignorant because the style he accuses Terence of adopting is indeed fitting, proprium, for comedy. Terence, he says (5.2), was criticised for using less elevated style than Menander, and it is certainly true that there is more mock tragic diction in Menander than in Terence; but Terence here defends his practice, as Donatus tells us, because elevated diction (altiora) can lead comedy to turn into tragedy (in tragoedias posse transire). Donatus’ note on prologue six simply repeats this point, Luscius is ignorant to call Terence’s style and content ‘feeble’ and ‘weak’ simply because he does not include prodigies and so turn his work into tragedy. He goes on to say that Terence here uses the diminutive adulescentulum to underline the incongruity between this character and the tragic events in which Luscius gets him involved. The notes on 7 and 8 similarly back up the incongruity of Luscius’ plot, which is incompatible with comedy. Donatus is of course well aware that Terence’s own play Phormio has in it elements that verge on the tragic and that it is only the poet’s art that manages to keep it within the bounds of comedy: et in affectibus constituta paene maioribus quam comicus stilus posceret, nisi quod arte poetae omnia moderata sunt; cf. ibid. I.5 ita variis leporibus asperguntur, ut etiam rerum tristium gravitatem poeta lepidus comica serenitate tranquillet. (Don. ad Ph. Praef. I.3) (and it is made up of emotions which would be almost greater than those demanded by the comic style, was not everything moderated by the poet’s art; cf. ibid. I.5 these parts of the play are so scattered with various delights that the charming poet calms even the gravity of sad matters with comic calm.)

What are then, these maiores affectus, ‘greater emotions’, that are likely to disturb the comic integrity of the play? If we look back to Evanthius’ comparison of tragedy and comedy above, we see that while comedy is supposed to be an affirmation of life, tragedy involves flight from life, i.e. death. Death within a comedy is often essential to the plot, but must be treated with extreme care in order to avoid the plot turning tragic. Phormio, of course, involves the old man Chremes in bigamy. He had a wife in Athens and a second wife on the island of Lemnos. When the second wife comes to Athens with her daughter to track him down she is unable to find him and eventually dies. When this death is reported to

Donatus on ‘Appropriate Style’ in the Plays of Terence


Chremes at line 750 Donatus has an interesting note on how the subject is treated: EX AEGRITVDINE MORS CONSECVTA EST: bene moderatus est, ut neque nimis aegre ferat neque rursum ܻʌĮșȒȢ. et haec Ƞ‫ݧ‬țȠȞȠȝȓĮ est, ne in eadem urbe duae uxores plus mali ex sollicitudine afferant Chremeti quam ex alterius morte tristitiae, nec in comoedia possunt nimis miserabiles mortes esse, ne res in tragoediam transiret. (Don. ad Ph. 750) (‘from her sadness death followed’: he keeps a good balance, so that he neither takes it too badly nor is he completely unaffected. And this is good plot management, so that two wives in the same city do not bring Chremes more trouble through worry than sadness at the death of one of them. For in comedy deaths cannot be too sad, lest the matter turn into a tragedy.)

Deaths cannot be too miserable in comedy, otherwise it would turn into tragedy. In this case Chremes neither fails to grieve nor grieves too much. In fact, in a sense the death of one of his two wives has let him off a very delicate hook. At Phormio 244, when Chremes’ brother Demipho returns from a trip abroad he ponders all the ills that may await a man on his return home and lists them as a son’s wrong doing, the death of a wife or the sickness of a daughter. Donatus comments: AVT FILII PECCATVM AVT VXORIS MORTEM AVT MORBVM FILIAE quamvis iratus filio non potuit tamen dicere ‘filii mortem’. Convenit autem seni uxoris mortem non putare magnum incommodum. (Don. ad Ph. 244) (‘either a son’s wrong doing or the death of a wife or the illness of a daughter’ although he is angry with his son he couldn’t say ‘a son’s death’. But it is alright for an old man not to consider the death of his wife as a huge misfortune.)

In fact there are three deaths in all in the comedies of Terence and these are all discussed as non-tragic in Donatus’ commentary. The first is the death of the meretrix Chrysis in Andria, who had posed a possible moral danger to Simo’s son; the second is the death of the old man Laches’ relative, himself an old man, in Hecyra, who leaves Laches his property and the third, as we have seen, is Chremes’ second wife in Phormio. Donatus’ comments on the death of the meretrix Chrysis in Andria and the death of the old relative in Hecyra bring all these cases together as non tragic deaths: CHRYSIS VICINA HAEC MORITVR …O FACTVM BENE animadverte ubique a poeta sic induci comicas mortes, ut cum ad necessitatem


Chapter Eight argumenti referantur, non sint tamen tragicae. nam aut meretrix sumitur (Andr. 105) aut senex (Hec. 171) aut de duabus simul uxoribus una uxor (Phorm. 750). itaque huiusmodi obitus aut mediocri tristitia excipiuntur aut etiam gaudio… 106 BEASTI artificiose, quod gaudium subiecit, ne mors in comoedia luctus, ut in tragoedia, personaret. (Don. ad An. 105) (‘Chrysis the neighbour here dies...what a piece of luck’ notice on all occasions comic deaths are presented by the poet in such a way that although they are demanded by the exigencies of the plot, they are nevertheless not tragic, for either a prostitute is taken (Andria 105) or an old man (Hecyra 171) or one wife from two contemporaneous wives (Phormio 750). And so such deaths are received with only slight sadness or even joy... 106 ‘you have made me happy’ skilfully, because it gave him joy, so that death should not represent grief, as it does in tragedy.) (MORITVR) COGNATVS SENEX bene quod ‘senex’, nam acerbum funus non conveniebat fabulae. in comoedia itaque apud Terentium aut meretrix molesta (Andr. 105) aut ex duabus una uxor (Phorm. 750) moritur aut senex (Hec. 171): ita ex huiusmodi mortibus vel incommodum vitatur vel lucrum insuper nascitur, ut non sit causa lugendi. (Don. ad Hec. 171) (‘an old relative dies’ it is good that he is old, for a bitter funeral would not suit the story. And so in Terence’s comedies either a troublesome prostitute (Andria 105) or one of two wives (Phormio 750) or an old man (Hecyra 171) dies. In this way from deaths of this kind either an inconvenience is avoided or some additional profit arises, so there is no reason for grief.)

There are a number of other instances in which Donatus praises Terence for avoiding potentially tragic content. At Andria 606, for example, the slave Davos, terrified at seeing his angry master Pamphilus entering from his house, threatens to throw himself into a pit. Donatus here comments on Terence’s avoidance of extravagant suicide threats involving a sword or a noose: VTINAM MIHI ALIQVID ESSET HIC QVO NVNC ME PRAECIPITEM DAREM non dixit ‘gladium’ aut ‘laqueum’, ne esset tragicum. (Don. ad An. 606) (‘I wish there were something here I could throw myself into’ he does not mention a ‘sword’ or ‘noose’, to avoid it becoming tragic.)

At Andria 865, his master Simo, angry at being deceived, has Davos bound hand and foot, and again Donatus notes the way in which Terence avoids the tragic by not taking the slave punishment beyond being tied up:

Donatus on ‘Appropriate Style’ in the Plays of Terence


CONSTRINGITO mire: ne quid fiat tragicum in comoedia, usque ad vincula ira progreditur nec quicquam temptat ulterius. (Don. ad An. 865) (‘tie him up’ admirable: in order that nothing tragic should occur in a comedy, his anger progresses as far as chains but does not attempt anything more.)

At Eunuchus 446 Donatus comments on the realisation by Thraso, the soldier, that the meretrix Thais prefers his rival, Phaedria: SIQVIDEM ME AMARET TVM ISTVC PRODESSET GNATHO: hic versiculus personam militis et Gnathonis continens pro oeconomia inducitur, qua verisimile fit facile militem ferre posse anteponi sibi Phaedriam, qui se semper intellexerit non amari. nam si hoc tollas, aut excludendus est Phaedria aut ex dolore militis in hac fabula fit exitus tragicus. (Don. ad Eun. 446) (‘If she loved me then this (plan of yours) would work, Gnatho’ this line illustrating the character of the soldier and Gnatho is introduced for reasons of plot structure: it makes it seem likely that the soldier can easily bear Thais’ preference for Phaedria, in that he has always realised that she does not love him. For, if you took it out, either Phaedria has to be excluded from her favours or the conclusion of the play becomes tragic because of the grief of the soldier.)

It is not impossible that Terence wished to avoid a tragic ending in this way, but it seems more likely, in my view, that he simply wished to add pathos to the soldier’s character here, perhaps reflecting a more sympathetic treatment of the soldier in Menander. A rather more puzzling comment, from a modern point of view, is made on Adelphoe 541 where a hired labourer tells the old man Demea that his son Ctesipho is not at the country villa: A VILLA MERCENNARIVM VIDI: sapientissime Terentius etsi proxima villa est, necessarium senem ad reliquos actus fabulae noluit ab urbe discedere personae senilis memor. nam et arduum fuerat dum redit et cruciabile, ne fatigatio eius in tragoediam transiliret. recte igitur invenit a mercennario illi in urbe narratum ruri non esse Ctesiphonem. at ubi persona est adulescens, et proficiscitur ad villam et continuo redit, ut in Eunucho Phaedria. (Don. ad Ad. 541) (‘I saw a labourer from the country villa’ very wisely Terence, although the country villa is close at hand, did not want an old man necessary for the remaining acts of the play to leave town, being mindful of the character of


Chapter Eight the old man. [He did this] so that his tiredness should not cross over into tragedy, for it would have been both hard and painful for him until he got back. Correctly, then, he came up with the idea of his being told by a workman in the town that Ctesipho is not in the country. But when the character is a young man, like Phaedria in the Eunuch, he goes off to the villa and comes back straight away.)

It is hard to believe that any such consideration of the possible tragic effects on his health of an old man’s visit to his country villa could have been Terence’s motivation here,9 but the fact that Donatus sees the need to comment on this detail of the plot in such a way shows how great a role considerations of appropriate content for comedy played in his literary critical judgments. At Hecyra 563 the old man Laches forbids Myrrina to move the new born child from the house, intending to prevent her from exposing the child, which would have been a tragic outcome: INTERDICO NE EXTVLISSE EXTRA AEDES id agitur, ne sub hoc incerto intercipiatur puer et tragoedia fiat ex comoedia. (Don. ad Hec. 563) (‘I forbid you from taking it out of the house’ this is done to prevent the child from being stolen away at this uncertain time and a tragedy being made from a comedy.)

At Hecyra 281 Pamphilus’ list of his bitter experiences is prevented from becoming tragic, because they were all caused by his being in love. NEMINI EGO PLVRA ACERBA CREDO ESSE EX AMORE nimis coturnati et tragici in hac scaena dolores essent, non comici, nisi adderet ‘ex amore’. (Don. ad Hec. 281) (‘no one, I believe, has had more bitterness from love than I’ the sufferings in this scene would have been more appropriate to the buskin and tragedy, not to comedy, if he had not added ‘from love’.)

Finally at Phormio 281 Donatus asks how the returning Demipho knew that Antipho had not spoken a word in his own defence at his trial. His answer is that it was better for Demipho to have learned this before his


Although the dangers of travel were real enough, especially for the old, in the ancient world.

Donatus on ‘Appropriate Style’ in the Plays of Terence


entry on stage, lest, hearing it for the first time on stage, he may have burst out in an insane emotional reaction more fitted for tragedy: ITA VT ILLE FECIT unde scit? an hic poetae virtus est, quod omnia ante inducatur cognovisse, ne in scaena haec ut nova audiens in tragicis motibus insaniret? (Don. ad Ph. 281) (‘the way he acted (in court)’ how does he know? Surely here it is the skill of the poet that presents him as having known everything beforehand, lest hearing this for the first time on the stage he would have gone mad with tragic passion?)

We may not be convinced by any of these remarks by Donatus on the avoidance of tragic content in comedy, but his comments throw an interesting light on the literary perspectives of his own time with its keen awareness of generic boundaries. What, one wonders would he have made of Plautus, with his frequent use of mock tragic or mock epic material? Plautus, of course, was not a school text and that must be part of the reason why.

II. Tragic diction As far as tragic diction and expressions are concerned, Donatus usually attempts to show either how they are well motivated and appropriate in their context or how they are skilfully avoided. At the climax of Adelphoe where the old man Demea learns at last that it was his own adopted son, Ctesipho, and not Ctesipho’s brother, Aeschinus, who had taken up with a courtesan, he breaks out in tragic language: o caelum, o terra, o maria Neptuni! (oh heaven, oh earth, a seas of Neptune!, 790).10 The use of o + vocative with inanimate objects, in this case the three elements earth, sky and sea, is clearly intended to be elevated and can be paralleled from Ennian tragedy: o pater, o patria, o Priami domus! [Ennius Andromacha fr. 27 (l. 87) Jocelyn (=trag. 81 R3)] (Ƞh father, oh fatherland, oh house of Priam!)

as well as in tragic out-bursts from Plautus and Menander:


This passage is also discussed by Karakasis, this volume (chapter 3), 80.


Chapter Eight [Chrysalus:] o Troia, o patria, o Pergamum, o Priame periisti senex Plaut. Bacch. 933 ([Chrysalus–slave:] oh Troy, oh fatherland, oh Pergamum, oh ancient Priam, how you have perished!) (Demeas:) ੯ ʌȩȜȚıȝĮ ȀİțȡȠʌȓĮȢ ȤșȠȞȩȢ, ੯ IJĮȞĮઁȢ ĮੁșȒȡ, ੯ - IJȓ, ǻȘȝȑĮ, ȕȠ઼ȚȢ; Men. Samia 325-6 ([Demeas–old man:] oh citadel of Kekrops’ land, oh thin-spread ether, oh...What are you shouting for, Demeas?11)

What characterises Demea’s outburst as ridiculously exaggerated is the fact that it occurs in iambic senarii, a meter usually reserved for restrained language. Furthermore, unlike Demeas in Menander’s Samia, whose selfapostrophe ‘What are you shouting for, Demeas?’ serves to deflate his reaction, there is no realisation on Demea’s part here of his excess. Donatus clearly on this occasion thinks the tragic outburst is wellmotivated and quotes in its defence Horace’s remark in Ars Poetica that comedy sometimes needs to raise its voice: et hoc est, quod ait Horatius in Arte Poetica (93) ‘interdum tamen et vocem comoedia tollit’. (Don. ad Ad. 790) (and this is what Horace refers to in his Ars Poetica (93) ‘sometimes, however, comedy raises its voice’.)

Other cases where Donatus feels a tragic expression is justified are at Andria 891 where Simo comments to Pamphilus, his son, that he has found his own house, wife and children against his father’s wishes. Here, interestingly, Donatus tells us that this elevated line was added by Terence and was not in his Menandrian model: DOMVS VXOR LIBERI INVENTI mira gravitate sensus elatus est; nec de Menandro, sed proprium Terentii. (Don. ad An. 891) (‘you found house, wife and children’ the sense is elevated by a surprising gravity; this is not in Menander, but is Terence’s own idea.)


Apparently a quotation from a lost Oedipus of Euripides; cf. Gomme/Sandbach (1973) ad loc.

Donatus on ‘Appropriate Style’ in the Plays of Terence


This provides a good counter example to what Donatus had said on Phormio prol. 5 (quoted above p. 205) about Terence being thought by some to use less elevated language than Menander. At Eunuchus 590 Chaerea makes a tragic outburst in his excited description of the picture of Danae being visited by Jupiter in the form of a shower of gold.12 Here Donatus comments that the line is a parody of Ennius, and that the tragic outburst was used by Terence ‘on purpose’, de industria, and not errore, ‘in error’: QVI TEMPLA CAELI SVMMA SONITV CONCVTIT …

‘sonitu concutit’ parodia de Ennio (Ribbeck3 Trag. 3 p. 79)…tragice, sed de industria, non errore. (Don. ad Eun. 590) (who strikes the highest heavenly regions with his sound’... ‘strikes with his sound’ is a parody of Ennius (Ribbeck3 Trag. 3 p. 79)... tragic in tone, but on purpose, not in error.)

At Adelphoe 638 Micio’s use of the reduplicated perfect form pepulisti, which probably sounded archaic by Donatus’ time, is characterised by Donatus as an expression more suited to the tragic buskin tragico coturno than to the conversation of comedy loquelae comicae, but he does not say what he sees as the purpose of its use here13: TVNE HAS PEPVLISTI FORES? …nota ‘pepulisti’ elatum verbum et tragico coturno magis quam loquelae comicae accommodatum. (Don. ad Ad. 638) (‘Was it you who knocked on these doors?’ ...note pepulisti (you knocked) is an elevated word and one more suited to the tragic buskin than to the conversation of comedy.)

Similar comments are found on the reduplicated for tetuli used by the old men Crito and Chremes respectively at Andria 808 and 832: NVMQVAM HVC TETVLISSEM PEDEM …sed critici adnotant altius esse charactere comico ‘tetulissem pedem’. (Don. ad An. 808)

12 13

See also on this passage Karakasis, this volume (chapter 3), 84. On this usage see also Karakasis, this volume (chapter 3), 76.


Chapter Eight (‘I would never have directed my steps here’...but critics note that the phrase tetulissem pedem (directed my steps) is too elevated for comic style.) DVM RES TETVLIT .. . et altius quam decet comicum characterem, dictum videtur. (Don. ad An. 832) (‘while circumstances allowed’ ...it seems to be said in a more elevated way than is fitting for comic style.)

Presumably for Terence, who uses both tuli and tetuli, the reduplicated form in this case could have had an archaic flavor suitable to the language of old men.14 Finally Antipho’s tragic expression at Phormio 201 quod si eo meae fortunae redeunt, Phanium, abs te ut distrahar is seen by Donatus as appropriate exaggeration for a lover (although here it could be argued that it is the exaggerated content rather than the way in which it is expressed that is at issue)15: QVOD SI EO MEAE FORTVNAE REDEVNT tragice amator hoc negotium ‘fortunas omnes’ dixit esse. (Don. ad Ph. 201) (‘but if my fortunes come to this’ the lover calls this business ‘all my fortunes’ in a tragic way.)

An earlier tragic outburst of Demea at 731 pro Iuppiter is mitigated in Donatus’s view by being spoken in aside (aversus): PRO IVPPITER ISTOCINE PACTO FIERI OPORTET ‘pro Iuppiter’ tragice adiecit aversus, ‘istocine pacto’ ad ipsum Micionem respiciens dixit. (Don. ad Ad. 731) (‘by Jupiter, is this the way it should happen?’ he added ‘by Jupiter’ in a tragic manner in an aside, he said ‘is this the way...’ looking directly at Micio.)

In two further examples of this oath in Adelphoe by Demea again at 111 and by the pimp Sannio at 197 Donatus argues that its tragic potential is undercut by the person using it claiming to be mad: 14 15

Maltby (1979) 138-40. See also Karakasis, this volume (chapter 3), 77.

Donatus on ‘Appropriate Style’ in the Plays of Terence


(Demea) quia ‘pro Iuppiter’ tragica exclamatio est, bene tamquam ipse se reprehenderet Demea adiecit ‘tu homo rediges me ad insaniam’. (Don. ad Ad. 111) ([Demea –old man:] because ‘by Jupiter’ is a tragic exclamation, it is good that Demea, as if excusing himself, adds ‘you, my good man, drive me mad’.) (Sannio) MINIME MIROR QVI INSANIRE OCCIPIVNT EX INIVRIA… insanire compellor adeo, ut exclamem ‘pro Iuppiter’. et simul animadverte vigilantem poetam, ubicumque in comoedia vocem tragicam extulerit, statim personam insanam dicere. (Don. ad Ad. 197) ([Sannio –pimp:] ‘I’m not at all surprised that men start to go mad through injustice’... (he means) I am forced to go mad to such an extent that I cry out ‘by Jupiter’. And at the same time notice how careful the poet is, whenever he raises a tragic voice in comedy, to say immediately that the character is insane.)

In other places Donatus comments on Terence’s successful avoidance of tragic expressions. So at Andria 642 Pamphilus forestalls an angry tragic outburst by Charinus by addressing him first: mire et artificiose Pamphilum fecit priorem alloqui ad perfringendam iracundiam Charini: alioquin si vociferari potuisset, tragica exclamatione usus fuisset. (Don. ad An. 642) (admirably and with consummate art he makes Pamphilus speak first in order to forestall Charinus’ anger: otherwise, if he had been able to speak, he would have used some tragic exclamation.)

At Adelphoi 686 Micio, in contrast to his brother Demea who is much given to tragic outbursts, manages to mention his son’s rape of a virgin without exclaiming in a tragic manner: (Micio) VIRGINEM VITIASTI: vide et rem dici et abesse tragicam exclamationem, et delictum ostendi et ad veniam festinari. (Don. ad Ad. 686) ([Micio:] ‘you violated a virgin’: see how the thing is mentioned, yet there is no tragic exclamation; the crime is pointed out and he hurries on to the pardon.)

Finally at Phormio 137 the slave Geta uses a high sounding phrase quod fors feret feremus aequo animo, but this, according to Donatus is


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justified by the slave’s bravery in a desperate situation (desperatione rerum) and the poet carefully prevents the whole thing from becoming tragic by not letting the slave make some tragic outburst, presumably such as pro Iuppiter (ne, si et hic eiularet, res tota migraret in tragoediam): (Geta) QVOD FORS FERET FEREMVS AEQVO ANIMO desperatione rerum fortis est servus. et simul vigilavit poeta, ne, si et hic eiularet, res tota migraret in tragoediam. (Don. ad Ph. 137) ([Geta:] ‘Whatever fate brings we will bear with equanimity’ the slave is brave in face of the hopelessness of the situation. At the same time the poet is careful lest, if he should cry out loud at this point, the whole thing would turn into tragedy.)

He gives as an alternative explanation on 138 that such high sounding sententiae are amusing in the mouths of slaves16: hae graves sententiae ex persona servorum cum dicuntur, ridiculae sunt et eo consilio interponuntur. (Don. ad Ph. 138) (These weighty aphorisms, when they are spoken by slave characters, are ridiculous and they are put in for that reason.)

After all, as Donatus himself comments on the slave Davos’ sententiousness at Phormio 41, comedy likes its slaves to be talkative and sententious, whereas in tragedy they tend to be sad and have little to say: (Davos:) QVAM INIQVE COMPARATVM EST VT HI QVI MINVS HABENT garrulos servos et sententiosos amat comoedia, tristes et parce loquentes tragoedia. (Donatus ad Ph. 41) ([Davos] ‘how unfair it is that those who have least’ comedy likes its slaves talkative and sententious, tragedy prefers them sad and taciturn.)

Nevertheless at Andria 61 he attempts to excuse the slave Sosia’s use of the aphorism ne quid nimis on the grounds that it is so well known: (Sosia) VT NE QVID NIMIS sententia non incongrua servo, quia et pervulgata…an magis quia convenit Sosiae cura eiusmodi, ȤĮȡĮțIJȒȡ in verbis? (Don. ad An. 61)


On this see also Karakasis, this volume (chapter 3), 91.

Donatus on ‘Appropriate Style’ in the Plays of Terence


([Sosia] ‘nothing in excess’ an idea not unsuited to a slave, because it is well known...or is it rather that a care of this kind suits Sosia, characterisation through words?)

III. High and low styles for the purposes of characterisation17 This discussion of slaves’ aphorisms leads neatly into the final section of this chapter on the use of ‘high’ and ‘low’ styles of writing in comedy for the purposes of characterisation. This is not the place to give a complete account of Donatus’ comments on linguistic characterisation. Much work has already been done in this area starting with Vally Reich, then by myself on old men, James Adams and Dorota Dutsch on women’s speech and Evangelos Karakasis on all these areas.18 It is by now common knowledge that old men are long-winded, women make use of blandishments, particularly in forms of address (blandimenta), soldiers use military imagery, parasites deploy food metaphors and young men to speak like lovers (amatorie). What I wish to consider here will be cases where elevated language, verging on the tragic, is used as a source of humour by slaves and where colloquial language, including grammatical mistakes, is considered appropriate for low characters, or is used to characterise particular young men or old men as rustic or unintelligent. According to Donatus it was the job of the poet to differentiate his characters by their speech. So at the beginning of a scene in the Eunuchus, which contains four speaking parts, a meretrix, a soldier, a parasite and a slave, Donatus comments on the way the speech of each is made appropriate for the character: hic inducitur multiplex concursus dissimilium personarum et tamen virtute et consilio poetae discretarum, ut confusio nulla sit facta sermonis. (Don. ad Eun. 454) (Here he introduces a multiple variety of different characters, yet distinguished by the poet’s art and skill so that there is no confusion in their speech.)


On linguistic characterisation in general see Welsh, this volume (chapter 2), 61-



Reich (1933); Maltby (1979); Adams (1984); Karakasis (2005); Dutsch (2008).


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Comments follow on the blanditia of the meretrix Thais’ speech in Donatus’ notes on Eun. 455, 456 and 463, the parasite Gnatho’s mention of food in the note on Eun. 459, the soldier Thraso’s rough military language in the notes on Eun. 455, and 479 and the slave Parmeno’s use of military terms when addressing Thraso on Eun. 466. Occasionally Donatus comments on the poet’s failure to make the language appropriate for the character in question; so at Eun. 736 the drunken young man Chremes makes a remark which, according to Donatus, is too clever and witty for his drunken rustic character. This he classes as a ‘mistake’ vitium resulting from the fact that authors sometimes speak in their own voice and so endow characters inappropriately with their own wit: hoc videtur sapientius et facetius dici quam ebrio rustico adulescentulo debuisset. hoc vitium tunc fit, cum ingenium suum poetae in personas conferunt. (Don. ad Eun. 736) (This seems to have been spoken in a wiser and wittier manner than was appropriate for a drunken rustic youth. This mistake occurs when poets transfer their own wit to their characters.)

We showed above (p. 216) that sententious expressions, bordering on the tragic, could be seen as permissible in the language of slaves if used to produce a humorous contrast between their low characters and their high sounding sentiments. Other high sounding expressions may be given to slaves and low characters for similar effect. At Adelphoi 286, for example, Syrus the slave uses high flown military language to refer to his mundane activities in preparing a party ego iam transacta re convortam me domum cum opsonio (when this has been done, I will direct my steps back home with the food). Donatus comments as follows: CONVERTAM ME DOMVM ‘convertam’ magnifice dictum…nam converetere se dicitur, quem pompa praecedit; et imperator proprie convertit exercitum. ex hoc spectatur, ut moribus arrogantes servi sint, cum laetantur. (Don. ad Ad. 286) (‘I will direct my steps back home’ convertam (direct my steps) is spoken in an arrogant manner...for that person is said to direct his steps whom a procession precedes; and it is the appropriate word for a general directing his army. From this it can be seen what arrogant characters slaves are, when they are rejoicing.)

Donatus on ‘Appropriate Style’ in the Plays of Terence


This use of military terminology by slaves of course is frequent in Plautus and belongs to the main tradition of the Roman palliata, but its use here in Terence is unusual enough to justify the explanatory comment from Donatus. Normally the language of low characters is marked by colloquial expressions, as Donatus explains in his note on the soldier Thraso’s use of the form emoriri instead of emori at Eunuch 432: RISV OMNES QVI ADERANT EMORIRI disciplina est comicis ut stultas sententias ita etiam vitiosa verba ascribere ridiculis imperitisque personis…itaque hic ‘emoriri’ dixit, at vero Atticus adulescens in Heaut. (971 Clitipho) ‘emori cupio’. vide igitur poetam pro loco et tempore scire quid dicat. (Don. ad Eun. 432) (‘all those present died of laughter’ it is the practice of comic writers to give faulty diction as well as stupid statements to ridiculous and inexperienced characters, so here Thraso says emoriri, but the Attic youth (Clitipho) in Heaut. 971 says emori cupio (I wish to die). See then how the poet knows what to say depending on the time and place.)

Both forms of the infinitive with morior are found in Plautus and it is uncertain whether Terence’s use of emoriri here for Classical Latin emori involves intentional linguistic characterisation or simply reflects the uncertainties in the verbal system of his time. Two further remarks on Thraso’s speech at Eunuch 429 and Eunuch 792 point to his linguistic faux pas. MEVM EST non sensu modo, sed verbis quoque ipsis agreste est, quod nunc dicit ‘meum est’. (Don. ad Eun. 429) (‘the joke’s mine’ not only the sense but also the words themselves are rustic, since he now says ‘the joke’s mine’.) CVM TIBI DO indiligenter ut veteres pro ‘cum tibi darem’. sed miles loquitur. (Don. ad Eun. 792) (‘when I gave you’ [cum + present indicative] said carelessly, as the ancients did for ‘when I gave you’ (cum + imperfect subjunctive), but the soldier is speaking.)

There is uncertainty about how intentional Terence’s use of emoriri was, but in the other cases mentioned by Donatus this is even less likely to be the case. Cum (more correctly quom) with the indicative (Eun. 792) is, as Donatus himself points out, quite normal in Early Latin. With meum est,


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‘the joke’s mine’, at Eunuch 429 the objection is more likely to be the boastful content than the form of expression used. Finally high characters like adulescentes (young men) and senes (old men) can sometimes be found using low style expressions, especially if like the young man Chaerea in Eunuch and the old man Demea in Adelphoe they are characterised as particularly rough and rustic specimens. So at Eunuch 588 Chaerea’s use of tegulas (tiles) instead of tectum (roof) is said to be comic in style comico charactere and of low register presso stilo: (Chaerea) TEGVLAS tectum. et satis comico charactere locutus est et presso stilo. (Don. ad Eun. 588) ([Chaerea–young man:] ‘tiles’ means ‘roof’. He spoke in quite a comic manner and in a humble style.)

Later at 853 and 858 Chaerea is found using language more appropriate to a runaway slave: OCCIDITO verba servorum, quibus nihil horribile est praeter praesentes plagas. (Don. ad Eun. 853) (‘kill me’ the language of slaves, for whom nothing is horrible except their present sufferings.) HANC METVI NE ME CRIMINARETVR TIBI perfecte imitatus est verba fugitorum, quae apud dominos faciunt comprehensi. (Don. ad Eun. 858) (‘I was afraid she would tell you what I had done’ he perfectly imitates the words fugitive slaves would speak in front of their masters when captured.)

The old man Demea’s speech in Adelphoe is similarly characterised as rustic and uncouth. So his use of ratio in 374 as a bad way is found fault with because according to Donatus ratio, ‘way’, should always be a good thing. But he comments sic loquitur populus this is how the common people talk: RATIONEM ‫ݧ‬įȚȦIJȚțࠛȢ dixit malam, cum non sit ratio nisi bona. sed sic loquitur populus. (Don. ad Ad. 374) (‘the way (ratio) you behave’ it is peculiar that he talks of ratio as being bad, since ratio can only be good. But this is how the common people talk.)

Donatus on ‘Appropriate Style’ in the Plays of Terence


And again at 432 Demea’s literal answer to the polite leaving formula numquid vis? (anything you need?) is taken to be agrestis (rustic): MENTEM VOBIS MELIOREM DARI ʌȡȩȢ IJȩ‘numquid vis?’ respondit agresti veritate; nam respondendum erat ‘recte’ aut ‘valeas’. (Don. ad Ad. 432) (‘yes, for you people to be more sensible’ in reply to their numquid vis? (anything you need?) he replies literally in a rustic manner: for he should have said ‘fine’ or ‘goodbye’.)

IV. Conclusion It is clear from the above discussion that the grammatical tradition to which Donatus’ commentary belongs preserves some well developed concepts of appropriateness of style. The language of comedy should belong to the middle style and only raise its voice for a particular, often mock-tragic, effect, which must be limited in scope, and it should lower its voice again only under special circumstances, particularly for linguistic characterisation. It is clear from what Terence says in the Phormio prologue and from his observable practice elsewhere that he would definitely have recognised these functions of appropriate style in his comedies. Obviously the distance in time between Terence and Donatus means that Donatus’ appreciation of different linguistic levels in Terence may on occasion be flawed. But as Donatus’ frequent remarks on archaism show, he was well aware that certain features that sounded archaic to him and his contemporaries would have been normal in Terence’s time.19 As a native speaker of Latin he would retain a keen sense of what features were being used by Terence for special effects, be they mock-tragic or colloquial. Furthermore he was heir to a long series of earlier commentators, such as Probus, some of them perhaps reaching back nearly as far as Terence’s own day and their comments would inform his own sense of Terence’s comic style. As our only link with this long critical tradition on Terentian drama Donatus’ commentary has much to teach modern scholars not only, as I hope to have shown here, on the style and language of the plays but also, as others will show elsewhere in this volume, on the way they were acted and produced.


For example, Don. ad An. 188 sivi for sii; An. 365 and Eun. 237 on the genitive forms ornati and senati; An. 580 and 855 on eccum, ellum and ollum; Ph.1028 sum for eum; Ad. 871 potior + acc.


Donatus’ commentary on Terence’s comedies, despite its transmission issues, remains a precious witness to Terence’s survival in late antiquity. The commentator does not simply paraphrase Terence’s works. The surviving text, although finding its roots in Donatus’ educational activity, very often contains scholia of a broader kind; the commentator’s observations often turn into a theoretical treatise on the nature of Terence’s comedy. Terence’s work is treated not only as a source of language instruction but also as a sample of exemplary literary production. Among various categories of comments found in the corpus of the scholia, observations on Terence’s characters occupy a prominent position in the analysis of the text. Donatus often elaborates on the playwright’s representation of comic characters, interpreting their attitudes, language, or even their (supposed) movement on stage.1 Jakobi summarises four central themes which govern Donatus’ observations on characters: a person’s behaviour must be consistent throughout the play, the representation of a character should be based on verisimilitude, a character’s behaviour can be the starting point for elaborating on moral issues, and Terence adheres in varying degrees to the traditional representation of a character-type.2 Similarly, Blundell points to 1

A short but comprehensive overview of the history of the commentary and its central themes is found in Barsby (2000) (in 506-9 he gives some examples of Donatus’ interest in characterisation from the scholia on Eunuchus) and now in Victor (2013) 353-8. See also Demetriou (2014); there are examples of Donatus’ observations on characters’ delivery style, action and, mainly, language (often in accordance with each role), used in exploring Donatus’ purposes and his audience’s interests (p. 784-9). 2 Jakobi (1996) 160.


Chapter Nine

Donatus’ interest in the uniform portrayal of comic characters in a play; Blundell also points out that, according to the commentator, a character’s behaviour should be realistic (e.g. it should be consistent with his/her status in society).3 Likewise, Hilger’s earlier study of Donatus’ exploitation of comedy in rhetorical teaching examines Donatus’ observations on characterisation mainly in relation to three of the four themes acknowledged by Jakobi: a character’s behaviour is based on verisimilitude and the audience’s expectations; at the same time, it forms a good base for moral instruction.4 This paper will focus on the fourth of Jakobi’s themes in regard to Donatus’ discussion of characters: the acknowledgement that Terence makes use of character-types. Jakobi gives a good overview of instances which demonstrate that Donatus is aware of the traditional, typical representation of well-known comic roles, as is mainly evident in his analysis of the way characters speak and act.5 Based on Donatus’ interest in Terence’s use of traditional types, I shall examine the way in which the commentator perceives the performance of well-known characters. Donatus’ commentary includes a number of comments on performance which have been received in various ways, mainly in regard to his sources and the purposes of his commentary, leading to a long discussion of his possible familiarity with theatrical traditions.6 In terms of literary analysis, it has been also noted that scholia which discuss hypokrisis (i.e. style of delivery), an important subset of comments on performance, are concerned with characterisation.7 It is indeed reasonable to suppose that Donatus’ visualisation of a character’s performance style derives from the text: the way a character performs (speaks, acts etc.) should be consistent with his general features as well as his emotional mood, and it is the text that gives us the necessary clues to these things. The aim of this paper is to discuss the way Donatus presents the overall appearance of specific character3

Blundell (1987) 47. Hilger (1970) 101-61. 5 Jakobi (1996) 163, 169-72. Similarly, Hilger [(1970) 104], in citing a passage from the preface to Andria (I.3), notes: “Donatus describes the characters in the play as types. […] In his commentary on the body of this play and the others, Donatus fills out these general categories by citing specific examples in the language and actions of the characters”. 6 For a short overview of different arguments, see Jakobi (1996) 10-14 and, more recently, Kragelund (2012), who argues that Donatus may be used as evidence for performances of traditional comedy in the theatres of his time. See also Demetriou (2014) 793. 7 Hilger (1970) 160; Jakobi (1996) 176. 4

Performing Terence’s Characters: a Study of Donatus’ Interpretation


types. In other words, how does the commentator imagine the performance of a number of standard roles? The study of selected moments of the commentator’s interpretation further provokes questions on the validity of Donatus’ comments and, where possible, investigates the concept which governs these descriptions.8 In discussing Donatus’ methodology and prototypes, Jakobi acutely points to a central methodological aspect of the commentator: Terence’s presentation of characters is not criticised; the commentator finds a reason for every choice.9 In this context, I hope to show that the commentator often attempts to ‘adjust’ a character’s stage representation to a set, sometimes narrow, framework. Donatus puts the characters’ performance into stereotypes, not only in regard to their reactions and language—a well-known feature of the commentary—but also their overall stage appearance. In this framework, the evidence found in the introductory discussion attached to the commentary cannot be overlooked; the paper argues that Donatus’ way of perceiving a comic character is evident in both the theoretical treatise on comedy (De comoedia) and the surviving corpus of the scholia. Can we assume that Donatus’ references to a character’s performance are influenced by theatre? There is no definite answer to this question and for the purpose of this paper it will be put aside.10 The emphasis will be placed upon the commentator’s methodology in interpreting a character’s performance rather than on the possible influence of stage practices on the commentary.11 In discussing a scene, the commentator often adds comments on the way a line is (supposedly) performed, with reference to the character’s voice, face or gesture. As expected, Donatus’ observations on a person’s delivery are strictly connected with the commentator’s interpretation of this person’s inner characteristics or emotions. For instance, a speaker’s facial expression reveals his sentiments (e.g. on Adelphoe 906, laetissimo 8

All quotations of Donatus come from the edition of Wessner (1962-1963) vol. III. The lemmata are omitted in this paper. 9 Jakobi (1996) 174-5. Blundell [(1987) 140] refers to instances in which Donatus’ discussion of linguistic characterisation seems to be influenced by his tendency to praise the playwright. 10 Some basic axes of Donatus’ possible relationship with theatre are discussed in Demetriou (2014) 793-4. 11 Descriptions of the stage action are also found in Greek scholia; see Nünlist [(2009) 352-3] who concludes that “these reconstructions are valuable sources for the reception of the text in question, but are not necessarily reliable witnesses for the original staging of the play” (p. 353).


Chapter Nine

vultu (with the most happy face)]; likewise, his gesture might indicate someone’s reactions (e.g. on Eunuchus 403.3: pro admirantis gestu (for a gesture of someone admiring)].12 Yet, in addition to interpreting isolated moments, Donatus seems to have a certain idea of what is appropriate for each character-type. This idea of appropriateness is certainly evident in Donatus’ observations on language style (see also Maltby in this volume). Yet, Donatus’ interest in what is appropriate or expected from a character extends beyond linguistic characterisation and reaches aspects of delivery style. For instance, Donatus comments on the moaning of the two lovers in Andria by using similar references: 245.2: amatorie amore nominato exsiluit in gemitus (amorously, when love was mentioned, he sprang into moaning); 306.2: hoc magis gemitu amatorio quam ut responderet Byrriae, et quasi magis Philumenam velit, quam vitam et lucem (this [is delivered] more in an amorous moaning than in order to reply to Byrria, and as if he wants Philumena more than his life and light). The situations which the two young men are dealing with are quite similar, since they are both in danger of losing the woman they love. Donatus does not simply paraphrase Terence’s text; he even assigns the two lovers a similar expression: a gemitus (a sighing).13 The similarity of the two scholia suggests that the commentator has a certain impression of this role and its enactment.14 Donatus’ observations do not add any critical, innovative dimensions to the interpretation of the text. Nevertheless, they demonstrate a deep understanding of the dramatic circumstances and indicate the uniform way in which the commentator perceives these two persons performing the role of the ‘young man in love’. A similar tendency is found in the commentator’s treatment of the comic courtesans. Donatus’ interest in comic courtesans’ speech is wellknown.15 As far as the construction of the role of the comic courtesan is 12 In the same play, in 427.1, the commentator notes that the soldier’s face and gesture reveal his confidence. Blundell [(1987) 180-1] in discussing this comment suggests that such observations (on vultus and gestus) should be mostly perceived as aiming at the instruction of school recitation—pronuntiatio (without rejecting the connection with the stage). 13 For these and other expressions of gemitus in Donatus see Basore (1908) 57-8. 14 Jakobi [(1996) 169] quoting scholium 245.2 among other examples notes Donatus’ insistence on portraying the young man as being in love (e.g. through the regular use of amatorie); similarly, Hilger [(1970) 113-4] points to Donatus’ understanding that the expression of love sentiments is a typical feature of a young man. Yet, it seems that even the young men’s style of delivery (gemitus), follows a uniform pattern. 15 See for instance Dutsch [(2008) 188-91] on Donatus’ comments on the differentiation among stock characters’ language style.

Performing Terence’s Characters: a Study of Donatus’ Interpretation


concerned, the discussion of this particular character is one of the most famous issues of the commentary’s position in literary criticism: Donatus’ discussion often features in modern explorations of Terence’s exploitation of earlier comedy.16 In the commentary on Eunuchus, Donatus refers to Terence’s innovation in presenting Thais as a bona meretrix (198), an idea found also in the scholia on Hecyra (especially 774.3).17 What is most striking is that the commentator perceives the role of a comic courtesan as a set of stereotyped characteristics: by arguing that Terence makes an innovation (see especially on Eunuchus 198: pervulgatas personas nove inducat ([the poet] introduces well-known characters in an unusual manner), he accepts that comic characters are governed by stereotyped features.18 In fact, in his comment on Hecyra (774.3), the commentator makes an explicit contrast between Terence’s statement in Eunuchus 37, where the playwright refers to well-known character-types, and the presentation of ‘good’ mothers-in-law and courtesans in this particular play (socrus bonas et meretrices honesti cupidas praeter quam pervulgatum est facit, he creates good mothers-in-law and courtesans fond of honesty, beyond of what is common). The commentator emphasises the innovative representation of characters in Hecyra already in his praefatio to the play (I.9 res novae) and his references extend beyond the courtesan (as for instance in Hecyra 727.1, where he refers to a ‘kindly old man’, mitis senex). The commentator’s effort to justify Terence’s ‘innovations’19 16

See for instance Gilula (1980) 142-3 and Barsby (2000) 508. On Donatus’ discussion of the portrayal of ‘exceptional’ comic courtesans in Terence see also Demetriou (2010). 17 Jakobi [(1996) 171-2] refers to these two passages as ‘programmatic’. He further indicates that Donatus’ acknowledgment of Terence’s ‘innovation’ is related to two of the commentator’s poetological principles: the use of stock characters and the fact that comedy reflects moments of reality. 18 On Donatus’ discussion of comic conventions manipulated by Terence, among them the meretrix see also Moorhead (1923) 81-7. On Donatus’ comments on Terence’s alteration of traditional features of comic character-types see also Duckworth [1952 (1994)] 251, 257 and 259 (on meretrix). 19 See for instance Donatus on Hec. 727.1 rarus hic vitae color in hac allocutione miscetur a poeta, nam meretrix loquitur et senex et, quod est admirabilius, b o n a meretrix, m i t i s senex, ut intellegas laborasse Terentium, ut et a lege comicorum recederet et in actu tamen consuetudinem retineret (here a rare colour of life is blended into this dialogue by the poet, for both the courtesan and the old man talk, and, what is more wonderful, a good courtesan and a lenient old man, so that you understand that Terence has striven to both deviate from the law of comic playwrights and nevertheless preserve customs in the play). On the term lex comicorum indicating genre conventions see also Moorhead (1923) 81. The terms


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by praising the playwright’s composing techniques, which finally lead to the preservation of realism, reveals his awareness of a traditional representation of character-types, evidently mentioned by the playwright himself.20 Yet, the commentator is interested in a character’s overall behaviour. Donatus’ visualisation of the courtesans’ nonverbal behaviour seems to form a part of the stereotyped perception of this role. The commentator describes a courtesan’s ‘approach’ in the scholia on Eunuchus: in 765.2-3 Thais is grasping Chremes, while in 536.2 and 95.3 Pythias’ and Thais’ flattering words are consistent with their nonverbal behaviour (of touching Chremes and Phaedria respectively).21 Thais is also imagined ‘touching’ Phaedria in 96: hoc totum nimis blande et cum contractatione adulescentis dicit meretrix (the courtesan says this whole thing in an extremely seductive way and while touching the young man).22 The meretrix is even represented ‘kissing’ Phaedria (90.4 and 191.2);23 needless to say, such

vitae color and consuetudo indicate instances which preserve moments of reality; see Jakobi (1996) 167. 20 On Donatus’ references see also Jakobi (1996) 171 and Moorhead (1923) 83-5. 21 On instances in which Donatus assigns an “endearing gesture” to the courtesans when words of blandishment are delivered, see Blundell (1987) 353. 22 Basore [(1908) 21] compares this comment with a “manuscript picture” which is nevertheless not specified. Basore (1908) generally traces correspondences between Donatus’ observations and the characters’ positions in the medieval illustrated Terence manuscripts and he considers these as evidence of the theatrical background of Donatus’ commentary. On the other hand, more recently, on Donatus’ descriptions of Thais’ nonverbal expressions (in 90.4 and 95.3), Panayotakis [(2005) 179] argues: “Donatus may not have seen performances of Terence’s Eunuchus, but his remarks make sense in their theatrical context; on the whole, however, they demonstrate not how actors acted in the early Republic, but how deeply rhetoric and declamation permeated Donatus’ thinking”. 23 These instances are taken by Basore as evidence of the way the scene would have been staged [(1908) 61]; he makes a connection with the well-known passage on Andria 716.1 in which Donatus refers to two cases, female roles played by women in contemporary performances and female roles enacted by masked male actors in earlier performances. Basore believes that the passages demonstrate that the lively representation of kisses enhances the possibility that “in Donatus’ time the female roles were taken by women”. Similarly, Kragelund [(2012) 418-20] against Jakobi [(1996) 12] regards the passage on Andria 716 as evidence of Terence’s performances in Donatus’ time. In discussing the passage, Cain [(2013) 381-2] points to the difficulty in determining the time when Terence’s comedies were no longer performed. Even if Donatus’ great ability in visualising a scene cannot stand as solid evidence of a contemporary staging of Terence, yet, the

Performing Terence’s Characters: a Study of Donatus’ Interpretation


indications are not found in Terence’s text. The commentator’s ‘sketch’ of the comic courtesan presents a role governed by certain characteristics that are evident in various aspects of her behaviour: her speech, character qualities, and even her body movement and gesture.24 Donatus’ comments are certainly consistent with the expectations created by such a role; yet, they simultaneously demonstrate the commentator’s ability to systematise a comic character’s features. As the scholia on characters show a strong interest in their nonverbal representation, Donatus’ perception of a character should be studied along with his programmatic passage in the introductory treatise ‘On comedy’, De Comoedia. Donatus here presents an interesting account of the external appearance of the comic characters (8.6): comicis senibus candidus vestitus inducitur, quod is antiquissimus fuisse memoratur, adulescentibus discolor attribuitur. servi comici amictu exiguo teguntur paupertatis antiquae gratia vel quo expeditiores agant. parasiti cum intortis palliis veniunt. laeto vestitus candidus, aerumnoso obsoletus, purpureus diviti, pauperi phoenicius datur. militi chlamys purpurea, puellae habitus peregrinus inducitur. leno pallio colore vario utitur, meretrici ob avaritiam luteum datur. (White dress is introduced for comic old men, for this is said to have been most traditional, while party-coloured dress is assigned to young men. Comic slaves are covered with a short mantle because of ancient poverty or in order that they act while being quicker. Parasites come with cloaks wound round them. A brilliant dress is given to a happy person, an old dress to a distressed person, a purple-coloured to the rich, a scarlet cloth to the poor. A purple military cloak is introduced for the soldier, a foreign attire for a maiden. The pimp makes use of a cloak with many colours on it; a saffron-yellow cloak is given to a courtesan, because of her avarice.)

Donatus’ account and the Greek testimony of Pollux constitute the two main sources for the costumes of comic characters in New Comedy. Pollux in Onomasticon 4.118-20 gives a description of the appearance of each comic character, primarily referring to the colour of their clothes and the stage properties accompanying their performance; the latter is not found in Donatus’ account. It has been pointed out that Pollux’s and Donatus’ accounts can be combined, although they do not agree in all above scholia (e.g. on courtesans) are certainly important in showing that the commentator assigns an appropriate nonverbal behaviour to each character. 24 On Donatus’ understanding of Thais’ behaviour as a reflection of her role see also the comment on Eunuchus 86, discussed in Victor (2013) 357.


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respects.25 The validity of the two accounts has been challenged: the reliability of their sources and their chronological framework has been strongly debated.26 However, what is most interesting is that both sources are based on the idea that each character-type’s appearance is standard. In the case of Donatus’ account, the references to the characters’ costume are accompanied by an explanation. For instance, Donatus interprets the choice of assigning short mantles to comic slaves not only by a reference to their poverty but also by explaining that in this way they would be able to move more easily (servi comici amictu exiguo teguntur paupertatis antiquae gratia vel quo expeditiores agant). As Wiles indicates, “while Pollux is more concerned with isolating a technical vocabulary, Donatus is concerned with what the costumes mean”.27 The commentator not only believes that each character has a stereotyped stage appearance but also that each role’s representation reflects his status, background, expected actions or even emotional state. The commentator’s description of the external appearance of a comic meretrix forms another good example: Donatus associates the yellow colour of her garment with her avarice (meretrici ob avaritiam luteum datur).28 It has been suggested that Donatus’ remark reflects social standards in women’s clothing.29 In any case, courtesans of New Comedy are indeed depicted in yellow garments 25 See for instance Wiles (1991) 189; also Beare [(1964) 187] on contradictions between the two sources and within Donatus’ account. 26 Donatus’ commentary dates back to the fourth century whereas Pollux’s original work was written in the second century AD [on Pollux’s work, its survival and sources, see Dickey (2007) 96]. Scholars have received the testimonies in Pollux’s and Donatus’ accounts in different ways. Beare [(1964) 184] concludes: “unfortunately all of this material is of doubtful value, interesting when it is supported by the evidence of the plays, but otherwise only too likely to give a wrong impression”. Marshall [(2006) 57] points to the possibility that the sources do not reflect practices of the original performances of known plays but later staging. He believes that Pollux describes Greek staging and Donatus Roman practices. Marshall also makes a very interesting point: the sources present a systematisation most probably not applied in a universal way. Poe (1996), on Pollux’s list of masks, argued that Pollux’s account is too limited and theatrical masks would have been much more flexible. On the other hand, Petrides [(2010) 84] describes Pollux as “the most comprehensive written source on material theatre at our disposal, which for all its limitations harks firmly back to authoritative early Hellenistic sources”. 27 Wiles (1991) 189. 28 Donatus insists on courtesans’ avarice; see Donatus’ references to Thais gathered by Blundell (1987) 248. 29 Wiles (1991) 192.

Performing Terence’s Characters: a Study of Donatus’ Interpretation


in some pictorial representations.30 Thus, despite the fact that there is no firm evidence that Donatus’ remarks on costumes reflect actual stage practices,31 it is very plausible that such statements conform to a long tradition of standardisation.32 Donatus’ description of the courtesan’s costume is certainly consistent with the commentator’s stereotyped conceptualisation of a comic role. Another interesting case of a character’s onstage representation is the description of the comic parasite. As the commentator suggests in De comoedia, the parasite comes on stage cum intortis palliis. The fact that the character wears a pallium is not surprising; the term directly points to the genre, the comoedia palliata. But, why is it specifically intortum, “twisted up”33 or “wrapped around”34 the parasites’ bodies? Does the commentator have a specific idea of how the cloak would be worn or, more interestingly, does he have any specific figures in mind? The comic character of the parasite is in fact reported to have had a stereotyped stage appearance.35 In this context, Donatus’ remark might find parallels in visual sources. Bieber refers to a statuette thought to depict a parasite 30

E.g. in the mosaic from the Villa of Cicero at Pompeii (dated around 100 BCE), which depicts a scene from Menander’s Synaristosai (Women at Breakfast). The same scene is depicted on a mosaic at the House of Menander (Lesbos, third century CE); on both see Dunbabin (1999) 44-7, 217-8 and Neiiendam (1992) 6471. On the correspondence between the courtesans’ representation in the mosaic of Pompeii and Donatus’ testimony see also Wiles [(1991) 202-3] who uses Donatus’ account in order to identify the figures’ identity. On these and other mosaics depicting this scene see now Gutzwiller and Çelik [(2012) 597-606] who discuss the mosaic from Daphne in detail, in regard to both its arrangement and its contribution towards the study of techniques associated with similar illustrations. 31 For instance, Beacham [(1991) 183] explains the difficulty to identify Donatus’ observations with reliable evidence: “Despite an attempt by the fourth-century CE commentator, Aelius Donatus, to codify comic costumes according to character type, neither the plays nor the visual evidence lends much support to this, and it seems likely that his description owes more to a somewhat muddled attempt to catalogue earlier practice than to record custom in his own day”. 32 Similarly, in regard to artefacts representing theatre, as Petrides [(2010) 85] puts it, “these images seem in most cases to be fairly accurate repositories of theatrical memory”. 33 Translation in Wiles (1991) 188. 34 See the translation by C.J. McDonough in Sidnell (1991) 82. 35 We have references to parasites’ props (e.g. Plautus, Persa 124, Stichus 230, Pollux 4.120), evident in archaeological data, as for instance in Bieber (1961) 100, fig. 372: “the statuette carries an oil flask and strigil, attributes of the parasite mentioned by Pollux”. On these references see Antonsen-Resch (2004) 137-8 and 212-3.


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(figures 374 a-b): “this low-class flatterer emphasises his fat belly by draping his himation tightly around his waist with a roll and an overfall. He stands in a clumsy position, holding the folds of his mantle loosely with both hands, has drawn his head to his shoulders and is looking down”.36 Thus, a pallium intortum could be possibly assimilated with the cloak wrapped around the parasite, around his waist, as shown in the statuette.37 The emphasis on the parasite’s belly alludes to a well-known characteristic, acutely acknowledged by Donatus in another instance: the comic parasite is greedy and well-known for his large belly.38 Consequently, it becomes plausible that Donatus’ description of a parasite’s comic costume belongs to a certain tradition of standardisation, as happens in the case of the comic courtesan. As Donatus’ discussion of comic slaves in De comoedia indicates, their external appearance is consistent with their overall behaviour. Donatus’ references to the representation of comic slaves in the corpus of the scholia have been studied in regard to possible correspondences with textual (e.g. Quintilian, Inst. Or. 11.3.83) or visual images (e.g. the illustrations in Terence’s medieval manuscripts).39 However, apart from the issue of Donatus’ possible correspondences with other sources, it is also very important to look at the commentator’s own understanding and concept in detail. Among Donatus’ comments on the comic slaves, of particular interest is the following, from the scholia on Andria 184.4: more servili et vernili gestu: sic enim vocati a dominis secum vultuose agunt (according to the character of a slave and with a slavish gesture: for when they are called by their masters, they act in this way in an aside, with exaggerated facial expression). This comment refers to Davus’ words, when the slave is wondering what his master is doing there (that is, onstage with him). According to Donatus, Davus expresses attitude and gestures appropriate for a slave, when acting in the framework of being called by his master, Simo. Does the comment indicate Davus’ fear, which is one of the aspects


Bieber (1961) 100. For a similar representation of the parasite, see also figure 301 in Bernabò Brea (2001) 215. 38 Donatus comments on Demipho’s order that Phormio is attacked at his belly: urbane ‘in ventrem’ quasi parasito (cleverly, ‘against the belly’ since he is a parasite, Phormio 988.1). 39 The issue was addressed already by Basore (1908) 37-8. In Demetriou [(2014) 790-4] I discuss Donatus’ references to the gestus servilis mainly in connection with the medieval manuscripts illustrations; this possible correspondence is significant in regard to Donatus’ sources, purpose and audience. 37

Performing Terence’s Characters: a Study of Donatus’ Interpretation


of the gestus servilis described by Quintilian (Inst. Or. 11.3.83)?40 The slave’s sentiments are not clearly indicated by Terence, and Donatus’ observation is certainly a personal interpretation. What is more, the commentator brings forth a general concept of a slave’s attitude which he attempts to apply to this particular instance.41 A similar comment is made for Parmeno in Eunuchus 274.5: similiter et Parmeno secum servili gestu (in the same way, also Parmeno, in an aside, with a servile gesture). Parmeno criticises Gnatho’s belief that the slave has become jealous on seeing his master’s present for Thais (line 274: uro hominem, I am vexing the man); the slave comments that the parasite is in fact mistaken (line 274: ut falsus animist, how wrong he is!). Donatus suggests that Parmeno delivers the phrase with a ‘servile gesture’, as in the previous example. The use of secum indicates that Donatus regards Parmeno’s words as an aside, a fact clearly evident from the context of the scene. However, we can reasonably ask what the purpose of the gestus servilis is, since Parmeno is not presented before someone imposing on him a servile behaviour, such as his master, as in the previous example. Thus, it seems that Donatus here refers to the gestus servilis as a stereotyped position, generally attributed to comic slaves regardless of the dramatic situation. As far as the commentator’s methodology of interpretation is concerned, not only does he represent a certain idea of a slave’s appearance, but this idea seems to be employed in various instances, with no discretion. A possibly more striking reference to a slave’s posture is found in the scholia on Adelphoe 567.2: hoc gestu servili et nimis leviori personae congrue dictum est (this is delivered with a servile gesture and in a way 40

Umerorum raro decens adlevatio atque contractio est; breviatur enim cervix et gestum quendam humilem atque servilem et quasi fraudulentum facit, quo se in habitum adulationis admirationis metus fingunt (lifting up and drawing together the shoulders is rarely becoming; for the neck is abridged and makes a gesture somewhat humble and servile and nearly fraudulent, by which people represent themselves as being in a state of flattery, wonder, fear); Latin text from Russell (2001). Quintilian here describes a posture that should be avoided by an orator. However, Quintilian’s description seems to be found in slaves’ representations [see Wiles (1991) 193-4]. 41 Basore [(1908) 38] in his detailed study of Donatus’ references to hypokrisis states that “the scholium implies that Davus by this attitude continues to manifest reluctant obedience to the call of Simo”. However, such an implication (in regard to the slave’s reluctance) does not clearly derive from Donatus’ comment. Basore’s explanation seems to make an effort to find the balance between Davus’ ‘servile’ behaviour described by Donatus and his overall crafty attitude towards his master during the play.


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extremely suitable for a humble character). At this point, Demea comes back from his farm and he is looking for his son Ctesipho, while the latter is hiding. Syrus therefore invents a way to prevent Demea from entering his house and pretends that he has been just beaten by Ctesipho. Demea approves of his son’s action and Syrus responds in irony, criticising Ctesipho’s victory over a poor girl and a servant “who did not have the courage to strike in return” (qui referire non audebam). The above scholium refers to the end of Syrus’ ironic response, when congratulating hypocritically Ctesipho’s supposed behaviour, thus criticising Demea’s reactions (line 567: hui perfortiter, hah! very bravely!). According to Donatus, this particular phrase should be again delivered accompanied by the ‘servile gesture’ (gestus servilis). The commentator does not explicitly note that Syrus is in fact pretending to be miserable and weak, since his purpose is to mislead Demea. Yet, it is very interesting that Donatus in fact suggests that the slave uses the appropriate gestures to justify his position and possibly stress his role as a humble servant, a statement which again implies a recognisable performance style suitable for the comic slave’s character. Standardisation is also evident in Donatus’ comments on the comic parasite’s performance. As shown above, in De comoedia, Donatus refers to a certain parasite costume arrangement. In the scholia in the Eunuchus, the commentator points to Gnatho’s ‘departure’ from his role (hic a persona discessit, at this point, he moved away from his character, 1070.2), thus implicitly acknowledging a comic parasite’s standard behaviour.42 Furthermore, he shows an interest in the nonverbal behaviour of the parasite: admirantis exclamatio est cum parasiti gesticulatione (this is the exclamation of someone in astonishment, with the gesticulation of a parasite, 232.3). Donatus’ reference (gesticulatione parasiti) could simply mean that the parasite gesticulates at this point. However, if we look at this case in the light of the commentator’s references to the slaves’ gesture, we can assume that this comment suggests a specified gesture that suits parasites. We can even assume that Donatus refers to a well-known form of gesticulation traditionally connected with the representation of parasites.43 In this framework, of particular interest is another comment on 42 Likewise, the commentator shows a strong interest in the language of the comic parasite; see Maltby [(2007a) 23-4] on the parasite’s language in Phormio. 43 Basore [(1908) 34] interprets gesticulatio as a reference to vivid gesture associated with pantomime. Jakobi [(1996) 171] quoting both Eunuchus comments on the parasite’s gesture suggests that Donatus refers to the traditional depiction of this character as reflected in contemporary mime performances or artistic representations.

Performing Terence’s Characters: a Study of Donatus’ Interpretation


Gnatho, in the same scene: sibi hoc gestu et vultu parasitico dicit (he says this addressing himself, with a gesture and facial expression suitable for parasites, 274.3). Gnatho believes that Parmeno is annoyed, and he expresses his satisfaction for that, while adopting a non-verbal attitude consistent with his role. However, what type of gesture and facial expression is suitable for a parasite?44 It is striking that this observation precedes 274.5 (quoted above), in which the commentator assigns the ‘servile gesture’ to Parmeno. These two instances are analogous: the commentator envisages both characters speaking in an aside (sibi in 274.3 and secum in 274.5),45 each one accompanying his speech with a gesture representative of his role. Donatus clearly envisages this scene as it could have been staged, recognising the fact that each character stands next to the other, not only as rivals in the same play, but also as representatives of their roles. Moreover, the point at which the first comment (232.3) is made is crucial: the beginning of Gnatho’s monologue, a speech in which the character of a parasite is extensively analysed and presented to the audience by a representative of this group, who claims that his name should be the epithet for the parasites of his type (lines 263-4 in Terence’s text: tamquam philosophorum habent disciplinae ex ipsis / vocabula, parasiti ita ut Gnathonici vocentur, just as philosophers’ schools have their names from the philosophers themselves, in the same way parasites should be called Gnathonici). Hence, the content of Gnatho’s monologue might suggest that the commentator makes his comment on the recognisable parasite gesture at this particular point on purpose. Whether or not Donatus’ comments are based on traditional (or contemporary) types of nonverbal behaviour connected with parasites in performance (of any kind), we again face the situation in which the commentator represents a character’s performance in a stereotyped manner.46 It remains a matter of 44 Thomadaki [(1989) 368-9] in regard to this comment argues that the reference to both face and gesture conveys a complete picture of the particular theatrical moment. 45 On references to asides in Donatus see Basore (1908) 82. Thomadaki [(1989) 370-1] also quotes instances which demonstrate Donatus’ interest in the way actors address their audience. 46 Both Donatus’ comments on Gnatho’s gesture are briefly discussed by Wiles [(1991) 194] in his examination of the comic parasites’ movement. Referring also to other sources, Wiles considers the parasite as “another type with a distinctive set of movements”, adding that “the striking feature of the parasite was his movement. Donatus refers to the writhing manner in which the parasite gathers up his cloak as he enters”. Yet, Wiles’ sources on parasites’ movement cover a long period (e.g. from Plutarch to Donatus) and our commentator unfortunately does not clearly describe the specific way of movement he is referring to.


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speculation why the commentator prefers certain cases to which he assigns the gestus parasiticus (as happens with the cases of the ‘servile gesture’). The fact that the speaking character is here stressing features of his role might be the answer. In any case, both here and in all the instances quoted above, Donatus presents a set sketch of each character’s performance, covering both his appearance and movement. The commentator, in elaborating on stock characters’ appearance (De comoedia) and expected gestures (various scholia) reveals the principles of his interpretation. A character’s appearance (in regard to both his costumes and performance) is codified according to stock types and reflects stereotypical views of his status. For instance, a parasite’s appearance should be consistent with his personality. This physiognomic principle lies behind most of the commentator’s observations.47 Unfortunately, the commentator gives almost 47

It is thus evident that, according to the commentator’s interpretation, a character’s movement should be visualised in a standard context. Quintilian’s description of the gestus servilis (11.3.83), presumably reflected in Donatus’ scholia, is found in Pseudo-Aristotle’s Physiognomonica 59 (Ƞ‫ݮ‬Ȣ į‫ ޡ‬ȕȡĮȤީȢ ܿȖĮȞ, ‫݋‬ʌȓȕȠȣȜȠȚ, those who have a very short neck are treacherous), a principle which is then mentioned in Anonymi De Physiognomonia 83: idem dicit insidiosos esse qui brevem habent cervicem, tamquam si infulciatur cetero corpora (he also says that men who have a short neck are deceitful, just as if it is crammed into the rest of the body) and in Pollux 2.135: ȕȣıĮȪȤȘȞ į‫ ݸ ޡ‬IJȠީȢ ȝ‫ޡ‬Ȟ ‫ޓ‬ȝȠȣȢ ܻȞȑȜțȦȞ, IJާȞ į‫ ޡ‬Į‫ރ‬ȤȑȞĮ ıȣȞȑȜțȦȞ, ‫ݺ‬Ȟ ‫݋‬ʌȓȕȠȣȜȠȞ ݃ȡȚıIJȠIJȑȜȘȢ ijȣıȚȠȖȞȦȝȠȞİ߿ (the man who draws his shoulders up and retracts his neck is called ‘short-necked’; Aristotle, studying his features, judges him as being treacherous); the parallel references to Quintilian’s passage are found in Förster (1893) vol. II, 330. Donatus’ concept might thus belong to this tradition. In this context, it would be interesting to look at a very striking comment by Donatus, found in the scholia on Hecyra 75: įİȚțIJȚțࠛȢ. simulque ostendit secundum ijȣıȚȠȖȞȫȝȠȞĮȢ difficile deformem reperiri bonum (demonstratively. And, at the same time, she shows, following physiognomists, that it is difficult for a deformed person to be found good). Donatus in this case attributes a demonstrative gesture to the speaker, associated with the delivery of pronouns. Syra, a retired courtesan is addressing a young professional, Philotis, and argues that all young lovers treat their mistresses in the same way; Syra finally wishes that Philotis could adopt her way of thinking (72-5: SY. iniurium autem est ulcisci advorsarios, / aut qua via te captent eadem ipsos capi? / eheu me miseram, quor non aut istaec mihi / aetas et formast aut tibi haec sententia? Is it unjust to punish your enemies or to entrap them in the same manner they seek to entrap you? Alas, woe is me! Why don’t I have your age and appearance or don’t you have this way of thinking?). The second part of Donatus’ comment is concerned with a general estimation. The commentator suggests that a deformis, a misshapen and shameful character, cannot be easily found to be good. The reference to physiognomy is particularly interesting: deformis allows for the possibility that the

Performing Terence’s Characters: a Study of Donatus’ Interpretation


no detail on the characters’ exact gestures, nor does he specify the reasons for choosing specific moments for attributing representative gestures. Nevertheless, the commentator’s observations suggest that he expected that some standard, possibly recognisable gestures would be used.48 In fact, the idea that each stage character is distinguished by his movement is often reported in ancient authors, such as Quintilian 11.3.112: in fabulis iuvenum senum militum matronarum gravior incessus est, servi ancillulae parasiti piscatores citatius moventur (in dramatic plays, the gait of young men, old men, soldiers and married women is more dignified; slaves, young maids, parasites, fishermen move more quickly),49 or even dramatic sources, such as Plautus, Poenulus 522-3: liberos homines per urbem modico magi’ par est gradu / ire, servoli esse duco festinantem currere (it is more proper for freeborn men to move around the city in a moderate gait, but I reckon that it is a sign of servility for someone being in a hurry to run). Similarly, Terence refers to the acting style that accompanies certain roles: commentator here refers to an ‘ugly’ person. The commentator seems to disapprove Syra’s advice, stressing that this would be expected from an ugly person like her (see also 74.4 […]: descripta est deformitas lenae et formam et voluntatem malam gerentis, there is a description of the deformity of the bawd whose both appearance and will are bad). In fact, the idea that the appearance of a person mirrors his inner state is indeed attested in treatises of physiognomists (e.g. Rases, Physiognomoniae, 33 Significationes faciei et formae [Förster (1893) vol. II, 168]: cuius facies est deformis, mores habere bonos non potest nisi raro, he who has a misshapen face cannot have good manners, unless rarely). Although we cannot verify Donatus’ sources, what is most interesting is that the commentator’s observations seem to be based on a central principle of physiognomonics: appearance must reflect the nature of a person. And in the case of Donatus’ interpretation of a comic character’s stage representation, a character’s nature is evident in his performance. 48 In this context see also Boegehold [(1999) 53-77] who examines some passages from Greek drama, which imply that certain gestures, among which some standard ones, would have been used by the actors. On the Roman use of specific gestures in certain, mostly social contexts see Corbeill (2004) (e.g. 41-66, on the use of the thumb). 49 Hunter [(2002) 191] traces a social dimension in Quintilian’s remarks: “In part, such prescriptions are to be seen within the long history of élite self-fashioning, characterised by remarkably close attention to ‘body language’, gait and gesture”. In 11.3.178-80, Quintilian also refers to roles performed by different actors, since each role required different appearance and type of movement. On the passage see Wiles (1991) 194-5, and Marshall (2006) 92-3, who points out that “each actor’s style of performance is tailored to particular types of characters, and their acting styles are very different” (p. 93).


Chapter Nine adeste aequo animo, date potestatem mihi statariam agere ut liceat per silentium, ne semper servo’ currens, iratus senex, edax parasitu’, sycophanta autem inpudens, avaru’ leno adsidue agendi sint seni clamore summo, cum labore maxumo. Heaut. 35-40 (Attend [the play] favorably, give me the authority to be permitted to perform this ‘quiet’ comedy in silence, so that not always a running slave, an angered old man, a greedy parasite, an impudent slanderer, an avaricious pimp have to be continually performed by an old man with a great deal of shouting and the greatest toil.)

Following on from the ancient texts,50 modern scholarship has analysed the extent to which the characters’ nonverbal behaviour served as a means for the audience to recognise each character-type of New Comedy. Wiles argued that “to each role type is attached not only a particular mask and costume but also a particular system of movement”,51 further demonstrating that a stock character’s movement is certainly a reflection of expected characteristics found in real life and often analysed in treatises on physiognomy.52 Similarly, Graf, in discussing the connection between Roman rhetorical and stage gesture, notes that “gesticulation varied according to character type—after all, Roman comedy employed stock characters”.53 Although we cannot guarantee that every actor would perform a stock role in the same way,54 nevertheless, as far as our commentator is concerned, it is evident that, according to his ‘visualisation’ of the action, the representation of characters’ movement is put into a specified pattern. Donatus’ observations clearly belong to a tradition that ‘visualises’ comic characters’ performance and appearance in 50 On the two passages from Plautus and Terence as well as their metatheatrical and social implications, see also Hunter (2002) 192-4. On the three passages above, see also Corbeill (2004) 117. 51 Wiles (1991) 192. 52 Wiles (1991) 192-6. 53 Graf (1991) 49. 54 Panayotakis [(2005) 180-1] challenges the idea that Roman Comedy was performed by a number of stereotyped gestures, pointing to the “actor’s originality, improvisation, and spontaneity” (p. 180); he accepts that “there may have been gestures attached to specific character-types” (p. 181) but he suggests that the employment of gestures was more flexible than what various sources on Roman Comedy assume.

Performing Terence’s Characters: a Study of Donatus’ Interpretation


a stereotyped, sometimes one-dimensional manner. This concept, evident in ancient texts and artefacts, undoubtedly survived up until modern concepts of ancient comic performance. In conclusion, Donatus’ interest in the uniform representation of Terence’s stock characters extends beyond comments on language style and (un)expected personality qualities. The commentator shows a certain conceptualisation of stock characters also in regard to their nonverbal behaviour and external appearance in general. In the comments on comic characters’ gesture, the commentator often follows a consistent pattern, evident in the fact that some stock types are assigned specific gestures and postures, reflecting their theatrical persona: a parasite should be enacted by employing a ‘parasite’s gesture’. This is certainly consistent with programmatic passages in Donatus’ scholia, which clearly suggest that comic characters are subject to certain features within the framework of a stereotyped role.55 The quotation from the De comoedia is crucial in showing this connection: a character’s external appearance should reflect basic characteristics of his role. This emphasis on a ‘uniform’ stage appearance often leads to the question of why the commentator chooses particular moments to assign stereotyped gestures. The answer is not always definite. Nevertheless, Donatus certainly succeeds in providing an interesting interpretation and thus visualisation of some stock characters’ overall performance.56


See for instance Donatus’ comment on Ad. 26.1, which explains that charactertypes receive standard names. For an evaluation of Donatus’ systematisation of names see Brown (2003/4) 6: “Donatus takes too simple a view of the matter: some cases straightforwardly support what he says, others do not”. 56 I would like to thank Peter Brown and Robert Maltby for their invaluable comments.


Introduction When David Hume wrote his essay Of the Standard of Taste in 1757, making the point that fashions come and go in abstract philosophy more than they do in aesthetic matters (or so he claimed), he said: “Aristotle, and Plato, and Epicurus, and Descartes, may successively yield to each other: But Terence and Vergil maintain an universal, undisputed empire over the minds of men”. Not much later in the same work, however, he allowed that “comedy is not easily transferred from one age or nation to another”, because audiences respond most readily to representations of a culture that closely resembles their own, and he said: “A Frenchman or Englishman is not pleased with the Andria of Terence, or Clitia of Machiavel; where the fine lady, upon whom all the play turns, never once appears to the spectators, but is always kept behind the scenes, suitably to the reserved humour of the ancient Greeks and modern Italians. A man of learning and reflection can make allowance for these peculiarities of manners; but a common audience can never divest themselves so far of their usual ideas and sentiments, as to relish pictures which in no wise resemble them”. A similar criticism was made of Roman comedies in general already in John Dryden’s An Essay of Dramatic Poesy (1668), where one of the complaints against the genre offered by Eugenius, one of the characters in the dialogue, is as follows: “As for the poor honest maid, whom all the story is built upon, and who ought to be one of the principal actors in the play, she is commonly a mute in it. She has the breeding of the old Elisabeth way, for maids to be seen and not to be heard; and it is


Chapter Ten

enough you know she is willing to be married when the fifth act requires it”. Four years before Hume published his essay, Jean François Marmontel in his article on Comédie in the Encyclopédie (1753) derived the type of comedy labelled le comique attendrissant from ancient comedy: “As to the origin of le comique attendrissant”, he said, “only someone who has never read the ancients could attribute its invention to our century; it is in fact incredible that this error could have arisen for a moment in a country where people are used to seeing performances of Terence’s Andria, which has us in tears right from the first act”.1 This suggests that Hume may not be altogether reliable as evidence for the reaction of Frenchmen to the play, and it shows that French and English audiences had similar tastes in comedy in the eighteenth century: earlier in the century in London Richard Steele based his hugely successful sentimental comedy The Conscious Lovers (1722) on Andria, and the audiences particularly enjoyed weeping at the recognition scene in the final act. More recently Thornton Wilder’s short novel The Woman of Andros (1930), again based on Terence’s play, was a sentimental and melancholy work with no comic elements at all. Marmontel would perhaps have seen Wilder as bringing out the pathos latent in Terence’s play;2 Wilder himself claimed that he was transforming it into something quite different: “There is a discrepancy in mood”, he said, “between Terence’s play—which is really a farce—and my novel ... I have shown a human soul in circumstances which are really more than the human soul can bear”.3 Similarly on another occasion he wrote that “Terence’s riotous farce had been changed into a reflective tragedy”.4 These introductory remarks make it clear that different readers have interpreted Terence’s Andria in different ways, and I shall examine a number of interpretations in the pages that follow. In a general way the fortunes of this play have been typical of the fortunes of all of Terence’s plays: they were admired, imitated, translated, performed and quoted, a reference point for anyone with any pretensions to learning or culture, for a great many centuries, and it was only in the twentieth century that they 1

“Quant à l’origine du comique attendrissant, il faut n’avoir jamais lu les anciens pour en attribuer l’invention à notre siècle; on ne conçoit même pas que cette erreur ait pu subsister un instant chez une nation accoutumée à voir jouer l’Andrienne de Térence, où l’on pleure dès le premier acte.” 2 If so, he would have been very much in agreement with Hanses (2013). 3 Interview in The Sunday Times (London), October 20, 1929, quoted on p. 243 of Wilder (2006). 4 Letter (not actually sent) to the Editor of the Saturday Review of Literature, December (1942): see Wilder and Bryer (2008) 415.

Interpretations and Adaptations of Terence’s Andria


ceased to ‘maintain an universal, undisputed empire over the minds of men’ and became a rather specialised taste even within the world of Classical scholarship. However, that subject is a vast one and has never yet been fully documented, so I hope it makes sense to limit myself to the study of one play as a representative example. Eckard Lefèvre covers much of the ground in his brief survey of what he calls “the verdict of writers” on this play;5 I shall not discuss everything he includes, but I shall go into more detail on some things. Nor shall I discuss the use made of Terence in Late Antiquity, on which there is a helpful survey by Andrew Cain.6 Andria (The Girl from Andros) was Terence’s first play, and also the first of his plays—indeed the first ancient Latin comedy at all—to be performed in the Renaissance, at Florence in 1476. It was the first Latin comedy to be translated into English, in the 1520s, and the first that is named as having been performed at Oxford, when the scholars of Trinity College put it on in 1559. It was translated into Italian by Ariosto and Machiavelli, into German by Mendelssohn. It was regularly performed at Westminster School in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and through to the 1930s, at a time when the Westminster Latin Play was one of the great social events of the year in London. Nicolai Abildgaard, one of the leading Danish artists in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, painted four scenes from Andria, now in the Royal Collection of Paintings in Copenhagen, as a wedding present for his second wife.7 Terence’s play was admired and quoted by Cicero8 and also quoted by Benjamin Disraeli in his maiden speech in the House of Commons in 1837 and in a telegram from Winston Churchill to President Roosevelt towards the end of the Second World War. In 1999 a quotation from the play was used as the title of songs by two different heavy metal groups in their debut albums.9 Not


Lefèvre (2008) 15-40, ‘Das Urteil der Dichter’—but commentators are included in the survey, and not all the literary echoes and adaptations are linked to a verdict. 6 Cain (2013). 7 See Kragelund (1987). 8 On Terence in Cicero, see Manuwald, in this volume (chapter 7). 9 The Austrian group Hollenthon gave its album the title ‘Domus Mundi’; each of the tracks was given both a label and a Latin quotation as its title, and the very first track was called ‘Enrapture—Hinc Illae Lacrimae’. The other group was called ‘Your Name in Vain’ and was from Greenville, North Carolina; it disbanded in 2009. Their number was called ‘Hence These Tears (Hinc Illae Lacrimae)’, and it came in their album called ‘Six Counts of Skin Deep Beauty’. For Hinc illae lacrimae see below on Cicero.


Chapter Ten

all of these uses of the play imply any kind of interpretation of it, but they testify in different ways to its continuing cultural importance. The ‘fine lady, upon whom all the play turns’, and who ‘never once appears to the spectators, but is always kept behind the scenes’ (as Hume puts it), is called Glycerium; she has come from the island of Andros to settle in Athens, where the play is set, and she is loved by an Athenian citizen boy called Pamphilus—in fact she is pregnant by him and gives birth off-stage in the course of the play. Pamphilus, however, is under much pressure from his father Simo to marry Philumena, the daughter of Simo’s wealthy friend Chremes; it had even been agreed by the fathers that they would marry, but Chremes has cancelled the arrangement on learning about Pamphilus’ affair with Glycerium. Simo none the less embarks on an elaborate scheme to trick Pamphilus into accepting that he must marry Philumena, by pretending that the wedding is still on and is indeed to take place this very day: if Pamphilus can be brought to see that resistance is futile, Simo is confident that he will be able to persuade Chremes to let the marriage go ahead as planned. After much plotting and counter-plotting it turns out that Glycerium is herself another daughter of Chremes who had left Athens as a small child and has long since been given up for lost. Naturally, Simo and Chremes are now delighted to let Pamphilus marry her, and fortunately there is another Athenian boy, Charinus, who has been keen to marry Philumena all along, so everyone is happy at the end of the play. What keeps the play going as a comedy is partly the differing reactions of the two boys to the danger that Pamphilus will marry Philumena, but above all the counter-plots initiated by Simo’s slave Davos: much of the play is essentially a battle of wits between the devious master and his devious slave. Glycerium had been brought to Athens from Andros by the courtesan Chrysis, who was widely believed to be her sister and who has died before the start of the play: her death and funeral are narrated in the opening scene, and Pamphilus at lines 282-97 quotes Chrysis’ dying words in which she entrusted Glycerium to his care. Some have seen Chrysis as the title figure of the play, but most have taken the title to refer to Glycerium.10 Terence tells us in his prologue (lines 9-14) that he has based his play on a Greek play by Menander of the same name but that he has added material from another play by Menander, Perinthia (The Girl from Perinthos); he has been criticised for ‘contaminating’ or ‘spoiling’ the plays by combining them in this way, and his prologue is a spirited reply 10

See Haber (1954).

Interpretations and Adaptations of Terence’s Andria


to his critics.11 It is possible that the additional material includes the second Athenian boy, Charinus, the one who is in love with Philumena, but it is also possible that Terence has added him entirely out of his own head: we are told by the ancient commentator Donatus that Charinus, together with his slave Byrria, has been added to the play by Terence and “did not come in Menander”,12 which clearly could and perhaps should mean that they did not come in either of the Menandrian plays used by Terence. In any case, by adding these characters to Andria, Terence has added a good deal of comedy. One of the most famous and most imitated scenes in the play is the very opening scene, in which Simo explains the background to his former slave Sosia, whom he has called in to help him with the preparations for the pretended wedding. This includes an account of Chrysis and of her funeral. Cicero cites this narrative four times in his rhetorical works to illustrate points about oratory that he wants to make;13 and at Pro Caelio 61 he quotes from it the expression hinc illae lacrimae (‘Hence those tears’, i.e. ‘That’s what those tears were for’), which is what Simo reports at line 126 that he said to himself at Chrysis’ funeral on realising why Pamphilus had been so upset at her death – not because of Chrysis but because of her beautiful sister, of whom Simo had known nothing until he saw her on this occasion. The expression is also quoted by Horace at Epistles 1.19.41 and had clearly become proverbial for conveying a sudden realisation even in contexts where tears were irrelevant. In addition, Cicero makes Laelius cite one of Sosia’s comments in this scene (lines 67–8) at De Amicitia 89, and he quotes lines from slightly later in the play in two of his letters.14 These examples show that a century or so after his death Terence’s play was an easily recognisable reference point; Cicero does not always name either the author or the play, so confident is he that his quotation will be recognised.15

Hrotsvitha of Gandersheim Rather closer engagement with Terence’s plays is to be found in the work of the tenth-century nun Hrotsvitha of Gandersheim, who wrote six 11

See Papaioannou, in this volume (chapter 1). Donatus on line 301: has personas Terentius addidit fabulae—nam non sunt apud Menandrum .... 13 De Inventione 1.27 and 33, De Oratore 2.172 and 326–8. 14 Ad Atticum 13.34, Ad Familiares 12.25.5, quoting lines 185 and 189 respectively. 15 See Manuwald, in this volume (chapter 7), 196. 12


Chapter Ten

Christian comedies in Latin in imitation of Terence—who had also written six comedies. Terence’s influence still shows itself largely in quotations and verbal echoes, but as part of a more thoroughgoing project. Hrotsvitha wrote a Preface to her comedies, in which she says that they are in imitation of Terence, but she also claims that she wrote them to be rivals to Terence’s comedies, since she could see that even people who in general valued Holy Scripture above pagan literature just could not resist the temptation to read Terence and thereby (as she puts it) ‘are corrupted by their acquaintance with wicked actions’.16 Her comedies are about the lives of Christian saints; they are called comedies only because they have a happy ending (at least in the next world, if not always in this), and for the most part their plots bear no similarity to those of Terence. Even the verbal echoes amount for the most part to the use of certain exclamations and idiomatic expressions here and there in what is clearly a completely different sort of Latin style, and Hrotsvitha’s plays are written in prose, whereas Terence had written in verse (though Hrotsvitha may well not have realised that). But some expressions, particularly in her first play, Gallicanus, suggest a more detailed acquaintance with Terence’s text, and it is striking that the opening scenes of Gallicanus include a number of quotations from the opening scene of Andria. Here are the passages: (a) Gallicanus I.I.2: obnixe manibus pedibusque cf. Andria 161 manibus pedibusque obnixe. (b) Gall. I.I.3: nam memoriae fixum teneo cf. An. 40 in memoria habeo. (c) Gall. I.I.4: nec iniuria cf. An. 60 non iniuria. (d) Gall. I.I.5: quod dignissimum omnique videbatur senatui gratissimum numquam tibi negabam aut negabo praemium; cf. An. 39: quod habui summum pretium persolui tibi ... haud muto factum. (e) Gall. I.I.5: immo aliud; cf. An. 30 immo aliud. (f) Gall. I.II.1: huc ades. O filia Constantia, paucis te volo; cf. An. 28-9: Sosia, ades dum: paucis te volo.

Not all of these passages are equally striking, but the first and last are undeniable, and in view of those it seems reasonable to include the others in the list as deriving from that scene of that play of Terence. There are 16 Sunt etiam alii, sacris inhaerentes paginis, qui licet alia gentilium spernant, Terentii tamen fingmenta frequentius lectitant et, dum dulcedine sermonis delectantur, nefandarum notitia rerum maculantur (Praefatio 2). (There is also another class of people, devoted to Holy Scripture, who, although they reject other pagan literature, are in the habit of reading and rereading the fictions of Terence: while they are delighted by the charm of his language, they are corrupted by their acquaintance with wicked actions.)

Interpretations and Adaptations of Terence’s Andria


even some similarities in the overall situation. Sosia has served Simo faithfully and has been rewarded by being given his freedom; Gallicanus (commander of the army) has served the emperor Constantine faithfully and has always been rewarded well [passage (d)]. Simo wants his son to agree to a marriage, but his son has already committed himself elsewhere; Constantine wants his daughter to agree to a marriage, but his daughter has already committed herself elsewhere, namely to God, to whom she has taken a vow of chastity. There are differences in the precise application of some of the expressions echoed [for instance passage (b) is spoken by Constantine, echoing words of Sosia, (e) by Gallicanus, echoing words of Simo], but this goes to show how creatively Hrotsvitha adapts her material. Helene Homeyer, who edited Hrotsvitha’s works, tells us that Andria was the most studied of Terence’s plays in tenth-century schools;17 I have been unable to discover what that is based on, though it is true that Andria is quoted more than any other of Terence’s plays in surviving texts of both Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages,18 and the great scholar and teacher Notker Labeo (c. 950-1022) says in a letter written between 1010 and 1020 that he has been asked to translate Andria (among other texts) into German for the benefit of his pupils.19 In any case, it looks as if Hrotsvitha has gone out of her way to establish her Terentian credentials at the start of her first play by reminding her readers of the Terentian scene that they are most likely to remember.20 (For further discussion of Hrotsvitha see the penultimate paragraph below.)

Translations 1. One of the earliest known translations of Andria is the Italian version by Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527).21 This survives in two versions, both in manuscript in Machiavelli’s own hand, and both in prose. The second is generally agreed to be an improvement on the first, above all in being more idiomatic and less tied to the structure of the Latin, and 17 Homeyer (1968) 975: “dem zu Hrotsvithas Zeit im Unterricht am meisten gelesenen Stück”. 18 See Jürgens (1972) 112-2; Theiner (1974) 237-40. 19 See Henkel (1988) 74-7. There is no evidence that Notker actually made a translation of Andria. I am grateful to Almut Suerbaum for help with bibliography on Hrotsvitha. 20 I have discussed Hrostvitha’s use elsewhere of Simo’s o factum bene at line 105 in Brown (2012) 38-9. 21 I am grateful to Martin McLaughlin, Nicola Gardini and David Wiles for help with these paragraphs on Machiavelli.


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that is the version that has been published, from the late eighteenth century onwards. The general view has been that there was not a very big gap in time between the two versions, probably two or three years, and that Machiavelli moved on pretty smartly from his first attempt at translating Andria in about 1517 to starting on his Mandragola (The Mandrake) in 1518. However, Pasquale Stoppelli argued in 2005 that the first version of the Andria translation is probably at least twenty years older than people have thought, partly on the grounds that it is rather clumsily written and therefore an immature work.22 If that is right, Machiavelli may be the first Italian we know to have translated this play; his slightly younger contemporary Ludovico Ariosto (1474-1533) is said to have translated it as a young man,23 but we do not know exactly when, and his version does not survive. Machiavelli’s other surviving comedy, Clizia, which Hume thought incompatible with English and French taste, was first performed early in 1525 and quite freely modelled on Plautus’ Casina. He is also said to have written a comedy in imitation of Plautus’ Aulularia at some unspecified date and an Aristophanic comedy modelled on Clouds called Le Maschere (The Masks) in 1504.24 Machiavelli did not translate Terence’s prologue, nor did he write a prologue of his own to explain his purpose in translating the play. In the prologue to Mandragola he says he has written that play to give himself something to do while he is exiled from Florence; the prologue to Clizia says more about the aims of comedy, namely that it should both delight and instruct. David Wiles suggests that the main significance of Machiavelli’s translation is the fact that he used the everyday language of Florence: “His text made the figures of Roman comedy talk not like coached schoolboys but like living people on the streets of Florence, demonstrating as in The Art of War that Florence could indeed be a latterday Rome”.25 Wiles also speaks of “the real function of his Andria, which is through language to celebrate and define a collective identity”.26 He cites the Dialogue on Language as evidence of Machiavelli’s patriotic devotion to the Florentine language; that work (if it is indeed by


Stoppelli (2005) 147-99. See Bucchioni (1911) 115. A German translation of all of Terence’s plays was published at Strassburg in 1499 [Cupaiuolo (1984) 167, no. 1467], a French translation at Paris in 1500-1503 [Cupaiuolo (1984) 138, no. 1117: see n. 33 below). 24 See Stoppelli (2005) 161. 25 Wiles (2011) 58. 26 Wiles (2011) 60. 23

Interpretations and Adaptations of Terence’s Andria


Machiavelli)27 certainly shows him arguing that Tuscan is the most effective language for the writing of comedy, but the point he makes there is that this is the language that will most effectively entertain the audience “so that the men who come eagerly to enjoy themselves, taste afterwards the useful lesson that lay underneath”.28 Clearly the author of the Dialogue did also take a patriotic pride in the language; also, in spite of uncertainties about the date of composition of many of Machiavelli’s works, it is likely enough that his political theories were running through his mind at least while he polished up his translation of Andria, even if not when he wrote the first draft. It does not inevitably follow that “the real function” of the translation was that stated by Wiles, but Wiles may well have identified at least part of what made this project important for Machiavelli. It is hard to generalise about Machiavelli’s translation. On the whole it is accurate, with only a few oddities. Sometimes it is more lively and colloquial than Terence’s text: Andria 851, crucior miser! (I can’t stand it!) is translated as io sono in su la fune (I’m on the rope); very occasionally (but only very occasionally) it introduces obscenities: Andria 914, perii, metuo ut substet hospes! (Help! I’m afraid the stranger won’t hold up!) is translated in the first version as Ehimé! Io ho paura che questo forestiero non si cacchi sotto (Help! I’m afraid this foreigner will shit himself), in the second version as Ehimé! Io ho paura che questo forestiero non si pisci sotto (Help! I’m afraid this foreigner will piss himself)—Machiavelli’s second thoughts here are subtly different from his first thoughts.29 In translating the famous expression at line 194, Davos sum, non Oedipus (I’m Davos, not Oedipus), which is Davos’ way of saying that Simo is talking too much in riddles to him, Machiavelli’s translation is Io son Davo, non profeta (I’m Davos, not a prophet); a note in the margin of the first version reads “vel non el frate”, showing that he considered writing “not the Friar”—which was how everyone referred to Savonarola—as an alternative to “not a prophet”.30 The second version shows that he abandoned the idea, evidently feeling that the reference to il Frate was just a bit too specific and anachronistic, but also apparently still feeling that Oedipus’ solving of the riddle of the Sphinx was too obscure a reference for whatever audience he had in mind. Savonarola had died in 27 Its authenticity is accepted and argued for by Shell (2000) 78-101. The link between the Dialogue and the Andria translation was made briefly by F. Gaeta on p. XI of his edition of Niccolò Machiavelli [=Gaeta (1965)] and (according to Lefèvre [2008] 27 n. 94) by P. Amelung in Amelung (1967) 176. 28 Translation by Hale (1961) 188. 29 This case is mentioned by Stoppelli (2005) 159 n. 42. 30 See Martelli (1968) 209-10.


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1498, and that is part of Stoppelli’s case for dating the first version before 1500. In the following line (195), where Simo replies to Davos with nempe ergo aperte uis quae restant me loqui? (So you want me to say the rest explicitly, then?), Machiavelli makes him say Quelle cose adunque che mi restano a dirti, tu vuoi che io te le dica a lettere di speziali? (‘So do you want me to say the rest of what I’ve got to tell you in chemists’ letters?’, i.e. ‘Do you want me to spell it out in block capitals?’). Edoardo Fumagalli has shown that Machiavelli was influenced in his translation by the commentary of Guy Jouenneaux, who published under the name of Guido Juvenalis, and that he was also aware of the older commentary by Donatus; these commentaries have clearly influenced his choice of expression at several points.31 The star example of the influence of Juvenalis is the translation of nodum in scirpo quaeris (You’re looking for a knot in a bulrush) at line 941 as Tu cerchi cinque piè al montone (You’re looking for five feet on a ram). This is not a Florentine idiom but clearly derives from the French chercher cinq pieds de mouton or chercher le mouton à cinq pattes, adduced by Juvenalis in his comment quod dici solet vulgo ‘tu quaeris in vervece quinque pedes’, cum tamen tantum sint quattuor (as the common saying has it, “you’re looking for five feet on a wether”, when in fact it has only four). Machiavelli’s knowledge of Terence’s play can also be seen to have been important for the composition of Mandragola: in particular (as is often the case in later plays showing the influence of Andria) it is the opening scene of that play that has echoes of the opening scene of Terence’s play; but there are others scattered throughout it.32 2. The first English translation of Andria dates from the 1520s and was published as ‘Terence in English’.33 It has a Prologue and an Epilogue, 31

Fumagalli (1997). For these echoes, see Martelli (1968), in his notes on the text; also Raimondi (1969) 749-53. 33 Terens in englysh. The translacyon out of latin into englysh of the first comedy of tyrens callyd Andria (London, 1520-30). There is an edition by Meg Twycross (1987), and extracts from a production of it may be seen at www.meg-twycross.co.uk (accessed July 25, 2014); a video of the complete production is also available. The title might seem to evoke that of the French translation of all of Terence’s plays cited in n. 23, published in Paris as Therence en francois, prose et rime, auecques le latin in 1500-1503 and containing two versions, one in prose and one in verse. But the English translation is far more accurate, and I see no sign that its authors knew the French versions, for a detailed and highly critical discussion of which see Lawton (1926) 350-425. In the same volume Lawton discusses (among other relevant things) two translations of Andria 32

Interpretations and Adaptations of Terence’s Andria


explaining and justifying what the translators have done—there was evidently more than one person involved in the translation. In the Prologue at lines 29-31 they say that they all discreet men now do beseech, And specially learned men, to take no disdain Though this be compiled in our vulgar speech.

And in the Epilogue at lines 15-21: And, for this thing is brought into the English tongue, We pray you all not to be discontent: For the Latin book which hath be used so long Was translated out of Greek: this is evident. And since our English tongue is now sufficient The matter to express, we think it best be may Before Englishmen in English it to play.

They say they have only treated Terence the way Terence treated his Greek source, and anyway if you are performing in England you might as well do it in English. This shows that they intended their translation to be performed, and it seems they envisage that at least some people in the audience have the learning to appreciate the play in Latin and will not altogether approve of its being put on in English. (For similar disapproval of Latin translations of Greek literature in Cicero’s time, see the section on ‘Greek models’ in Gesine Manuwald, chapter 7 in this volume.) But we do not know whether it was in fact performed, or in what sort of context they thought it might be. The whole thing is in verse, in seven-line stanzas with the rhyming scheme known as rhyme royal (ababbcc). The translation is mainly accurate (though Meg Twycross [see Twycross (1987)] draws attention to some occasional rearrangements and misunderstandings of the Latin text); the rhythm is not always very fluent, and it looks as if the translators were prepared to sacrifice that for the sake of accuracy. Overall, it is perhaps a bit more restrained than Machiavelli’s version but still pretty lively. At 194-5 the reference to Oedipus is kept (‘I am Davus, / Thy servant, and not Oedipus, truly’), and Simo then says simply ‘Why, wilt thou then, because thou sayst thus, / That the rest of my tale I speak plainly?’ (there is nothing by Charles Estienne published in 1541 and 1542 (pp. 426-49) and a verse translation of the play published in 1555 (pp. 459-82). A further English translation of Andria by Maurice Kyffin was published in 1588 and is discussed briefly by Lathrop (1933) 223-6.


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about chemist’s letters). At 851, where Machiavelli wrote ‘I’m on the rope’, we have simply ‘Alas, I am undone’; at 914, where Machiavelli introduced an obscenity, we have ‘I am lost, for I fear this / Stranger will be dumb’. On the other hand, at 82-3, for certe captus est: habet (He’s caught for sure, he’s out for the count) we find ‘He’s in love with that naughtypack’; at 229, for sane pol illa temulentast mulier et temeraria (She’s a real boozer, that woman, and careless), ‘She is a foolhardy quean and a drunken sow’; at 730, for nova nunc religio in te istaec incessit (That’s a new kind of scruple that’s just got into you), ‘Where diddest all this pope-holiness find?’—not the only place where the influence of Christianity can be detected in the choice of expression. 3. One further translation worth mentioning is that by the composer Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, who translated Andria in 1825 at the age of sixteen as his matriculation essay for Berlin University. He published it anonymously the following year,34 with a Preface by his tutor, K.W.L. Heyse, who describes Andria as one of the best-loved Latin plays and says that the young translator has devoted his leisure hours to this project, being naturally suited to and trained in “a different, related art of the Muses”. He does not identify him, but everyone knows that it was Mendelssohn, who just at this time was engaged on writing his Octet, one of the most remarkable works ever composed by a sixteen-year-old. The translation reproduces the metres of the original Latin text (to the extent that it is possible to do that in German). Much of the Preface discusses approaches to translation, insisting on the need to write idiomatically in the target language, and it is followed by a twenty-page account of the metres. As far as I can judge, it is a successful translation, and it includes stageinstructions, so Mendelssohn was clearly alert to the fact that he was dealing with a theatrical work. Mendelssohn certainly knew Latin well: by the age of eleven he was studying it for six hours a week, and he also wrote some 460 lines of German hexameters at about that age. So this sort of exercise held no fears for him, and he was pleased enough with it that he sent a copy to Goethe, who declared himself to be favourably impressed. There is a very sympathetic account of Mendelssohn’s translation by Leon Botstein,35 but I fear he misrepresents Barbara Kes36 when he says 34 Das Mädchen von Andros, eine Komödie des Terentius, in den Versmaßen des Originals übersetzt von F****. Mit Einleitung und Anmerkungen herausgegeben von K.W.L. Heyse (Berlin, 1826). 35 Botstein (2001) 6-9. 36 Kes (1988) 45-9.

Interpretations and Adaptations of Terence’s Andria


“Barbara Kes spends considerable time highlighting the originality of the young Mendelssohn’s translation. It represented an influential turning point within the world of nineteenth-century classical studies and education”. Kes in fact devotes rather little space to Mendelssohn and starts by pointing out that he was not the first to translate Terence into the original meters, though he was the first to do so for Andria. She then compares his with the subsequent verse translations of Terence by Benfey and Donner, concluding that Donner was the best of the three. Botstein sees the translation as emblematic of Mendelssohn’s whole approach to musical composition, using a strict classical model but combining it with contemporary language and also conveying what Botstein claims to be the play’s moral of reconciliation between warring families, strangers, and foreigners at a time when there were some manifestations of anti-Semitism in Berlin. “What may have caught his eye”, says Botstein, “... was the play’s famous prologue ... [where] Terence came forward with a truly Mendelssohn-like defense of himself ... Mendelssohn disagreed with Terence’s conservative critics of the day.... Innovation within tradition and the seemingly eclectic appropriation of models became the hallmark not only of the Terence translation but of the composition of music”. Botstein is very closely followed by John Cooper,37 so perhaps it is about to become the orthodox view in Mendelssohn scholarship that the Andria translation was of seminal importance in his intellectual and aesthetic development. That will be good, but I fear it is based partly on inaccurate reporting of Barbara Kes and partly on unverifiable speculation about what Mendelssohn thought of Terence’s play. Mendelssohn, unlike Machiavelli and the authors of ‘Terence in English’, does translate Terence’s prologue, but he does not attach a commentary.

Performances 1. During the carnival season of 1476 in Florence the schoolteacher Giorgio Antonio Vespucci got his students to perform Andria first in the school, then in the house of the Medici, and finally in the Palazzo della Signoria; and they are said to have acted very well with their heads, eyes, hands and feet in time with their voices, and to have fitted their facial expressions and their gestures perfectly to what they were saying.38 37

Cooper (2007) 41-2. This is all described in a letter by Pietro Cennini to Alamanno Rinuccini, quoted in Sanesi (1954) vol. I, p. 184: ita caput oculos manus ac pedes cum voce moventes in tempore, ita vultus gestusque sermoni accomodantes, ut nihil aliud spectare desiderares. (So well did they move their heads, eyes, hands and feet in time with



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Vespucci certainly started something, because other cities were not slow to follow the example of Florence, though for the most part it was Plautus rather than Terence that they put on. Once this had caught on in Italy, the practice of using ancient comedies as court entertainments spread to other countries too. The first play we can name as having been performed for Henry VIII was Plautus’ Menaechmi at Hampton Court in January 1527, though we know a play by Plautus had been performed at court before that.39 There were also regular performances of ancient comedy at Cambridge, starting with ‘a comedy of Terence’ at King’s Hall in 15101511,40 though we cannot name Andria as having being performed at Cambridge until 1609-1610.41 Oxford colleges too are known to have been putting Latin plays on from early in the century, often plays written by the students themselves, but the first play that is identified for us by name in any records is Andria performed at Trinity in 1559.42 However, our knowledge of these things is based largely on the fact that they feature as items in the financial accounts of the colleges, and those do not normally give us much clue to the nature of the performance, except to the extent that they tell us what equipment had to be paid for. 2. The tradition we know most about is the Westminster School tradition, where our first recorded performance of Andria is from the 1690s. After that it became one of the plays most frequently put on— always in Latin—, right through to the 1930s, but increasingly the school went in for some doctoring of the text. The word meretrix, for instance (prostitute), was at one point replaced by peregrina (foreign woman), and they omitted altogether the line in which Glycerium is heard off-stage crying out in the pain of giving birth. This was noted not altogether favourably by the reviewer in The Times in 1862, which I believe was the first year that Westminster went in for these changes, and we find similar changes and omissions in the Latin text prepared for performance at St Peter’s College, Radley in the 1880s and 1890s, and also in the version their voices, so well did they fit their facial expressions and their gestures to what they are saying, that there was nothing else you would rather wish to see.) 39 See Smith (1988) 117, 134-8, 150-1. 40 Smith (1988) 138; Nelson (1989) vol. I, 84 (cf. vol. II, 759: “the first known classical play in either Cambridge or Oxford”). 41 Nelson (1989) vol. I, p. 421: “to the Actors in Andrea”. 42 The only evidence for this is in Thomas Warton’s History of English Poetry, quoted in Elliott, Nelson, Johnston and Wyatt (2004) vol. I, 101: “In an audit-book of Trinity college in Oxford, I think for the year 1559 ...”. Unfortunately, as they say at vol. II, 678, “Warton has gained a reputation for forgery”.

Interpretations and Adaptations of Terence’s Andria


adapted by Cardinal Newman for performance at his Oratory School in Edgbaston and first performed there in 1886. The Radley text of 1887 cut entirely the lively scene in Act IV in which the baby appears on stage, but it restored it in 1899; Westminster kept it as one of the highlights of the production, and the Illustrated London News liked to depict this scene in its reviews of the Westminster productions; Newman kept it too, and he did not eliminate all references earlier in the play to the fact that Glycerium is on the point of giving birth. His plot-summary tells us that she had ‘by a secret marriage’ become Pamphilus’ wife, and I suppose that made it all right. The late nineteenth century was a good time for seeing school productions of Terence in England, even if the audiences were not given Terence impure and simple. The Westminster productions were regularly attended by royalty, by top politicians, by ambassadors, by anyone who was anyone; and they were reported at some length in the national press, often with quite detailed discussion of the finer points of the play.43

Dramatic Adaptations 1. The earliest Humanist Latin comedies contain many echoes of the language of Plautus and Terence but few attempts to reproduce their scenic situations. It has been claimed that Pier Paolo Vergerio’s Paulus (c.1390) combines Andria and Eunuchus, but only because the young lover has a slave helping him;44 there are several echoes of the language of these two plays, and others, but the plot bears no similarity to any of Terence’s. Similarly, Leon Battista Alberti’s Philodoxus (1426) has some verbal echoes of Andria, but the only plot similarity that has been suggested is that it shows two boys in love with the same girl.45 The seven comedies of Tito Livio dei Frulovisi, written in the 1430s, are steeped in Terentian language and preceded by Terentian prologues in which the author takes issue with his critics, but they contain little that is specific to Andria.46


I have discussed these productions in Brown (2008) 16-28. Bucchioni (1911) 133. There is a brief discussion of this play in RadcliffUmstead (1969) 25-6, with a plot-summary at 245-6. 45 Bucchioni (1911) 134. There is a brief discussion of this play in RadcliffUmstead (1969) 30-1, with a plot-summary at 247. 46 They were edited by Previté-Orton (1932). There is a brief discussion of them in Radcliff-Umstead (1969) 36-40, with plot-summaries at 249-53. 44


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2. The first Renaissance play to show structural engagement with Andria is the Stephanium of Giovanni Armonio (c.1500, in Latin and in verse). It is preceded by a prologue which starts and ends with echoes of Terence’s Andria-prologue but is otherwise quite different from it: it reproduces the commonplace that comedy is a mirror of life and both entertaining and morally instructive, outlines the history of Greek and Latin comedy, and summarises the plot (a feature of Plautine rather than Terentian prologues). The play is set at Athens. Niceratus (a name derived from Andria 87) is in love with Stephanium (who never appears on stage); their relationship is threatened by Niceratus’ father Hegio, not by putting pressure on Niceratus to marry but by sending him away on business. Stephanium turns out to be the niece of an old friend of Hegio’s, and it is agreed that Niceratus and Stephanium can marry and that there is no need for him to go on his journey. Niceratus is helped by the family slave Geta, but Hegio does not invent an elaborate plot, and there is no rival lover for the hand of Stephanium. Also, a number of elements derive from other plays: most notably, Hegio is modelled on Euclio in Plautus’ Aulularia, but his Amphitruo, Mercator and Pseudolus also contribute. On the other hand, there are several clear echoes of Andria, and Walther Ludwig has shown that it contributed more than the other plays to the basic structure.47 As he says, by eliminating the rival lover Armonio restores the structure of Menander’s original play, but by combining Andria with four Plautine plays he produces a far more complex mixture of source-plays than we believe Terence to have done: Terence’s Andria was still recognisably Menander’s Andria; Armonio’s Stephanium so transforms the material that the importance of Andria was not appreciated until Ludwig pointed it out in 1971. 3. A striking number of subsequent plays have combined elements recognisably derived from Andria with elements taken from other plays by Plautus and Terence. For instance, Vincenzo Gabiani’s I Gelosi (1545, adapted into French in 1579 by Pierre de Larivey as Les Jaloux) combines Andria with Eunuchus; Giovan Maria Cecchi’s La Moglie (1556) combines Andria with Plautus’ Menaechmi. The anonymous English comedy The Buggbears (c.1564) is an adaptation of Antonfrancesco Grazzini’s La Spiritata (1561, itself based on Plautus’ Mostellaria and Aulularia), with some additions from Andria and also from the anonymous 47 Ludwig (1971) 54-66. There is a brief discussion of this play in RadcliffUmstead (1969) 50-1, with a plot-summary at 258.

Interpretations and Adaptations of Terence’s Andria


comedy Gl’Ingannati (c.1531).48 Whereas Terence had claimed in his prologue that Menander’s Andria and Perinthia were extremely similar, these authors went out of their way to combine plays of quite different character. They also all set the plays in their modern world. 4. Not all authors proceeded in this way. The actor and playwright Michel Baron’s L’Andrienne (1703) does not draw on any other play and starts by appearing to be quite a close translation of Terence’s play into French rhyming couplets; the setting at Athens is retained. Gradually, however, it becomes clear that Baron has made a number of changes to adapt the play to contemporary French tastes. Glycerium and Pamphilus have been secretly married for a year; Glycerium (who appears on stage in Act IV) is not pregnant but seriously ill. In Terence, Glycerium gives birth to Pamphilus’ child off-stage in the middle of the play; there is one line in which she is heard crying out in pain, and either side of that there are scenes of arrival and departure for a midwife. All of this has been cut from Baron’s version, as has the scene in which the baby is brought on stage, which was all part of Davos’ plotting. To compensate for this, there are more scenes of verbal sparring between Davos and Simo; and Simo’s former slave Sosia, who appears only in the opening scene in Terence’s play, reappears later in Baron’s. 5. The best-known adaptation of Terence’s play is The Conscious Lovers, the last play by Sir Richard Steele, who is famous as the advocate and author of so-called ‘sentimental comedy’ in the first quarter of the eighteenth century.49 This too does not combine Andria with any other play, but it is very free in the use it makes of the Terentian material. It was put on in 1722 and is generally regarded as Steele’s best play. It was heralded by considerable advance publicity, starting nearly three years before the first performance, and finally proclaiming a month before the show “It is thought that this play is the best modern play that has been produced”; and it was indeed a great success, running for eighteen consecutive nights (which was a lot in those days) and receiving a further eight performances before the end of the season. But it divided the critics, and above all it was attacked by John Dennis even before its first night.50 48

See Clark (1979). On this play and its eighteenth-century reception, and also Daniel Bellamy’s roughly contemporary The Perjur’d Devotee, now see Goth 2014. On the reception of this play at the time, see also Aitken (1889) vol. II, 275-86. 50 John Dennis, A Defence of Sir Fopling Flutter, a Comedy written by Sir George Etheridge (published 2 November, 1722), in Hooker (1943) 241-50. 49


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Dennis was outraged by the publicity, and by the fact that the ticket prices had been increased for this production, but above all he thought sentimental comedy was no comedy at all: Steele appeared not to realise that the whole point of comedy was to expose characters to ridicule and to make the audience laugh. Several further pamphlets and letters were published in the following months, some defending Steele, some attacking him, including a more detailed criticism of the play by Dennis. So The Conscious Lovers did much to stimulate debate on the nature and point of comedy. The basic story pattern derives from Andria, and the opening scene is very clearly modelled on the opening scene of Terence’s play, except that there is no equivalent of Chrysis, Glycerium’s supposed elder sister, and no account of a death; Bevil’s love for Indiana has been revealed not at a funeral but at a masked ball. After the opening scene, the modelling is not nearly so close, and Steele has added quite a lot of additional comic material (since he had been persuaded that he should after all give the audience something to laugh at). Steele’s play is set in London. The equivalent of Pamphilus is Bevil Junior, played in the original production by Barton Booth, one of the leading actors of the day, who had played the part of Pamphilus at Westminster School in the 1690s with great success. Bevil Junior is to marry Lucinda today at his father’s command, but he is in love with Indiana, an orphan whom he met abroad and has been supporting—but very honourably: he has by no means made her pregnant; indeed he has never even told her that he loves her. Lucinda’s father has broken off the marriage on learning of young Bevil’s involvement with another woman, but his father maintains the pretence that it is still on. Meanwhile young Bevil’s friend Charles Myrtle is in love with Lucinda, so Myrtle is the equivalent of Charinus. It turns out that Indiana is the daughter of Lucinda’s father by a previous marriage, so all can end happily with Bevil marrying Indiana and Myrtle marrying Lucinda. The scene of which Steele was proudest was one in which Myrtle challenges Bevil to a duel, Bevil is provoked into agreeing but then calms down and manages to calm Myrtle down; this corresponds to nothing in Terence’s play and is part of Steele’s campaign against duelling. Audiences responded most warmly and with many tears to the recognition scene in the final act in which Indiana is reunited with her father. Much of the more obvious comedy comes from the fact that Lucinda’s mother has her own ideas of whom Lucinda should marry and has lined up a wholly unsuitable cousin for her; this is the plan that has to be thwarted by counter-plots in which Myrtle twice appears in disguise. But in the more strictly Terentian part of the story there is very little of the counter-plotting that kept

Interpretations and Adaptations of Terence’s Andria


Terence’s play going. Steele had originally planned to call the play The Fine Gentleman, and his main interest lay in presenting Bevil Junior as just that. Dennis in his more detailed discussion of the play had some very acute criticisms of certain improbabilities in the motivation and behaviour of the characters, and he compared Steele very unfavourably with Terence. Admittedly, he thought it was misguided to think of translating Terence for the English stage, because Terence had not included enough ridicule in his plays, but he did think Terence was excellent at creating characters, and he greatly admired his style and his skill at writing dialogue. Here above all he felt that Steele fell lamentably short: “The Sentiments of Terence are always true, are always just, and adapted to the Characters; His Dialogue is the most charming that is to be found among the Roman Authors. Where is there that Purity, that Elegance, that Delicacy, that Grace, that Harmony? ... But now the Sentiments in the Conscious Lovers are often frivolous, false, and absurd; the Dialogue is awkward, clumsy, and spiritless; the Diction affected, impure, and barbarous, and too often Hibernian.”51 As I have said, Dennis was by no means alone in criticising Steele’s play. Henry Fielding was probably not recommending it twenty years later in Joseph Andrews (Book III, chapter XI) when he made Parson Adams say “I never heard of any plays fit for a Christian to read, but Cato and the Conscious Lovers; and I must own in the latter there are some things solemn enough for a Sermon”. 6. The most recent adaptation of Andria as a play of which I am aware is Die Engländerin in Berlin (The English Girl in Berlin), which was published in 1777 and is a pretty close prose translation of the play by an anonymous translator into German, but transposed, as so many other adaptations have been, to a new setting—namely, the city of Berlin.52 The translator’s Preface, interestingly, starts by suggesting that Terence is not a particularly popular author, being less flashy than current taste favours, but of course argues that he does repay closer study. The equivalent of Glycerium is Miss Werney, who has come to Berlin from England but turns out in the end to be of respectable Berlin parentage, the daughter of the very man whose other daughter her beloved Erich is under pressure to marry. As in Baron’s play Miss Werney is suffering from an unspecified illness, and she is attended by a doctor (Dr Hippendick) who is given a 51

John Dennis, Remarks on a Play, Call’d, The Conscious Lovers, a Comedy (published late January, 1723), in Hooker (1943) 251-74, final paragraph. 52 Die Engländerin in Berlin. Eine moderne Uebersetzung der Andria des Terenz (Berlin, 1777).

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certain amount of medical hocus-pocus to utter that does not correspond to anything in Terence’s play; instead of her off-stage birth-pangs we get her maid Ulrike rushing out of the house to lament the fact that the doctor holds out no hope that Miss Werney will survive. But she does survive, and it later turns out that she and Erich have a baby son: the scene in which the baby is brought on stage does take place in Act IV, but there is no indication of precisely when the child had been born. Barbara Kes describes this as a “particularly crass example” of an adaptation, but she quotes from two very favourable reviews of it, both published in 1777,53 and it seems to me to be for the most part both accurate and idiomatic, though with consistent adaptation of several details to suit Berlin rather than Athens. One of the reviews says “You would think you were reading an original German work”, but at the same time it follows Terence’s text very closely.

Two prize-winning twentieth-century novelists 1. I mentioned Thornton Wilder’s novel The Woman of Andros in the second paragraph above. It was published in March 1930, less than four months after the Wall Street Crash. His second novel, The Bridge of San Luis Rey, had been published two years previously and had been a runaway best-seller; it was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. The Woman of Andros was not so successful, but it was at or near the top of the best-seller lists for twelve weeks, and by the end of the year it had sold about 70,000 copies. At the beginning of the book there is a brief paragraph saying “The first part of this novel is based upon the Andria, a comedy of Terence, who in turn based his work upon two Greek plays, now lost to us, by Menander”. The novel is set upon an imaginary Greek island, not long before the birth of Christ; Wilder stated in interviews that it was set in about 200 BCE, though the text itself is not so precise about the date. The main characters have exactly the same names as in Terence’s play, and it remains true that Pamphilus is expected to marry Philumena but makes Glycerium pregnant. Simo, on the other hand, is less domineering and less devious than he is in Terence’s play, and he does not initiate any pretence of a marriage in order to put pressure on Pamphilus; there are no plots, no counter-plots, no Davos to act as a foil to Simo, no rival for the hand of Philumena—in short, none of the elements that create the potential for comedy. In this version, the main character is Chrysis; in Terence’s play she has been widely believed to be Glycerium’s sister, in 53

Kes (1988) 24-5.

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Wilder’s novel she actually is so, and Glycerium does not turn out to be a daughter of Chremes. In Terence’s play Chrysis’ death and funeral are narrated in the opening scene as part of the background to the plot; in Wilder’s novel they come two thirds of the way through the story, and up to that point she has been very much the focus of attention for much of the time. It is common to both play and novel that Chrysis’ funeral is the occasion on which Pamphilus shows by his behaviour that he and Glycerium are lovers, but what had been the starting point of the complications in the play introduces something of a coda in the novel; only now do we start to focus on the relationship between Pamphilus and his father, which had been an important element in Simo’s exposition of the background in Terence’s play. As Wilder acknowledged, he has transformed the play into something far more sentimental and melancholy, and at the end Glycerium dies in childbirth, together with her baby. The novel was much praised for its craftsmanship, and above all for its ‘beauty’ (in this way showing Wilder to be a true heir of Terence), though some critics admitted they were not sure they understood it, and some found Wilder’s style affected. Above all, however, it was attacked by the communist critic and author Mike Gold, first of all in his periodical New Masses in April, then as part of a general onslaught on Wilder in New Republic in October.54 Gold’s fundamental objection was that he thought Wilder ought to be engaging with the urgent issues of the time in his own country; and in more moderate tones Edmund Wilson made a similar criticism in New Republic: “The Woman of Andros”, he wrote, “though it is very well done, strikes me as being a kind of thing there is no longer much point in doing”.55 Gold’s October article provoked a furious response: 27 letters were published in six issues of New Republic, before the editors decided to close the correspondence. Most of the letters supported Wilder and were deeply opposed to Gold’s Marxist approach, but not all of them; a recent study of the American literary scene in the 1930s says that this novel “precipitated one of the noisiest literary debates of the thirties ... Wilder’s work exemplified just about every bourgeois vice Gold could imagine”.56 Writing again in New Republic in 1932, Wilson said: “There is no question that the Gold-Wilder row marked 54

(a) Review of The Woman of Andros in New Masses in April 1930; (b) ‘Wilder: Prophet of the Genteel Christ’, New Republic, 22 October, 1930 [reprinted in Folsom (1972) 197-202]. 55 Edmund Wilson, New Republic, 26 March, 1930 (‘Dahlberg, Dos Passos and Wilder’); see also 26 November, 1930 (‘The Economic Interpretation of Wilder’); 4 May, 1932 (‘The Literary Class War’) [all reprinted in Wilson (1952)]. 56 Conn (2009) 46.


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definitely the eruption of the Marxist issues out of the literary circles of the radicals into the field of general criticism. After that, it became very plain that the economic crisis was to be accompanied by a literary one”. This row had nothing whatever to do with Terence: unlike John Dennis, no one was criticising Wilder on the grounds that he fell short of Terence. But indirectly Terence helped once again to spark off quite a significant literary debate. 2. Samuel Beckett won the Nobel Prize in Literature for 1969. His novel Watt, written between 1941 and 1945 and first published in 1953, includes at the end a number of miscellaneous notes under the heading ‘Addenda’, one of which is “Watt’s Davus complex (morbid dread of sphinges)”. This is clearly an allusion to Davos’ words at Andria 194 Davos sum, non Oedipus, discussed above under Machiavelli, since Oedipus had solved the riddle of the Sphinx. Beckett had already used the expression “Davus and the morbid fear of sphinxes” in a review in 1938, in a passage critical of people who were not receptive of the enigmatic in works of art.57 Watt is a servant in the employ of Mr Knott, and he constantly tries to work out solutions to the mysteries that life presents him with, though usually in a remarkably laborious way. Davos is a slave owned by Simo, and at line 194 he pretends that he does not understand the slightly enigmatic remark that Simo has just made to him; he makes no attempt to solve the riddle. Davos is thus not very much like Watt, and Beckett’s allusion to his words is not obviously appropriate. However, Beckett did not normally do the obvious. He did not need to know Terence’s play to have come across the expression, which is quoted or alluded to by others before him.58 But it would be interesting to know more clearly what he had in mind in penning this remark.

Conclusion The impact of Terence’s Andria as a play has sometimes been quite intriguing, but I cannot claim that it has been nearly as considerable overall as that of (for instance) Plautus’ Amphitruo, which has been imitated by many more playwrights and has inspired acknowledged masterpieces by Molière, Kleist and others. Where our play has left much 57

See Ackerley (2010) 214. e.g. by Lord Byron in Don Juan (1819-24), Canto XIII, xii.5-xiii.2: But Destiny and Passion spread the net / (Fate is a good excuse for our own will), / And caught them; - what do they not catch, methinks? / But I’m not Oedipus, and Life’s a Sphinx. // I tell the tale as it is told, nor dare / To venture a solution: “Davus sum!”


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more of a mark on subsequent cultures has in fact been in its provision of a number of quotations. I cannot go into much detail here, but I have quoted hinc illae lacrimae and Davos sum, non Oedipus, and I should like to end with brief remarks about two further quotations. 1. The expression omnes omnia bona dicere (all had nothing but good to say, 96-7) was used by Anthony Trollope in 1861 as the heading to chapter 1 of Framley Parsonage. But he went further than that, because the opening sentence of that work runs as follows: “When young Mark Robarts was leaving college, his father might well declare that all men began to say all good things to him, and to extol his fortune in that he had a son blessed with so excellent a disposition”; in other words, Trollope has extended the quotation in his heading to include a very close translation of the whole of lines 97 and 98 of Terence’s play, of which lines 96-8 run quom id mihi placebat tum uno ore omnes omnia / bene dicere et laudare fortunas meas, / qui gnatum haberem tali ingenio praeditum (Not only was I glad about this, but all men unanimously said all good things to me and extolled my fortune in that I had a son blessed with such a disposition). Trollope no doubt had in mind that Pamphilus was not in fact the model of upright behaviour that everyone believed him to be. Young Mark Robarts has not got a girl pregnant, but he does move in rather dubious circles, and he is rather weak in being unable to decide how to behave, just as Pamphilus is. Those who know Terence’s play can see immediately what a subtle game Trollope is playing.59 2. The fifth chapter of Framley Parsonage is headed with another quotation from Andria: amantium irae amoris integratiost (the tiffs of lovers are the renewal of their love, 555). William Makepeace Thackeray had already used the first two words of this quotation as the heading for the penultimate chapter of Vanity Fair in 1848, and Trollope himself was to use them again in 1869 for chapter LXXIII of Phineas Finn. It clearly is 59

Contrast the monumental inscription to the 21-year-old George Langley erected in the mid-eighteenth century in St Mary Magdalen’s Church, Taunton, U.K., which (without identifying the source) follows some lines from the opening scene of Andria extremely closely, particularly lines 96-8 with the words: In Arte Chirurgica adeo profecit, / Ut omnes uno ore omnia bona dicere; / Omnes fortunas eorum laudare, / Qui gnatum, eheu! haberent / Tali ingenio praeditum (In the art of surgery he made such progress that all men unanimously said all good things of him, all extolled the fortune of those who had—alas!—a son blessed with such a disposition). See The History of Taunton, In the County of Somerset, originally written by the late Joshua Toulmin, M.D. (new ed., Taunton, 1822). The author of this inscription presumably did not wish us to remember the details of Pamphilus’ behaviour in Terence’s play.


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a well-known quotation which can be applied at an appropriate stage of a narrative without evoking its original context (where the tiff in question is a supposed tiff between Pamphilus and Glycerium which has not in fact taken place), and it was so used by two British Prime Ministers. Benjamin Disraeli’s maiden speech in the House of Commons in 1837, on the subject of Irish Election Petitions, was a complete fiasco; the report of it in Hansard ends with the following editorial comment: “The impatience of the House would not allow the hon. Member to finish his speech, and during the greater part of the time the hon. Member was on his legs, he was so much interrupted that it was impossible to hear what the hon. Member said”. Towards the end Disraeli provoked laughter by saying “notwithstanding the amantium ira had resulted, as he had always expected, in the amoris integratio”. It is well known that he ended the speech by assuring the House that “the time would come when they would hear him”; it is probably not so well known that very shortly before that he aroused laughter by alluding to Terence’s Andria; whether they were laughing with him or at him at that point I could not say. The second Prime Minister was Winston Churchill. In April 1945 there was some tension between the British and the Americans, because General Eisenhower appeared to be making significant policy decisions about the future of Europe without consulting the British. Finally Churchill was persuaded that things were not as bad as he had feared, and he sent President Roosevelt an emollient telegram ending with the words: “I regard the matter as closed, and to prove my sincerity I will use one of my very few Latin quotations: Amantium irae amoris integratio est”.60 This telegram must have been one of the last things Roosevelt read, since he died a week after receiving it. The use of a quotation does not necessarily imply any engagement with the source from which it is taken; it can often be seen as a fairly blatant assertion of superiority by the person quoting, or at least as a symptom of a sort of clubbishness, which can be taken to imply the exclusion of those who are not part of the club. But it can also be a sign that someone has been moved by the quotation and thinks the matter cannot be put better; that surely applies to Churchill’s telegram and to the inscription cited in n. 59. Furthermore, all the people who have translated and adapted Terence’s Andria for their own purposes, in so many different ways, have clearly thought the play worth engaging with. I do not myself 60

Telegram from Churchill to Roosevelt (5 April 1945), quoted in Winston S. Churchill, The Second World War vol. 6 (Triumph and Tragedy), Mariner Books (1986) ch. xxvii.

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think that any of them have improved on Terence, but it would require real genius to do that. In most cases it is harder to say how they have interpreted Andria. Hrotsvitha’s Preface discusses Terence’s plays only in general terms, and even there, according to Peter Dronke, “she says little of what she really means and means almost nothing of what she says”.61 When she says that Terence’s plays show turpia lasciuarum incesta feminarum (the shameless unchaste actions of sensual women) and detestabilem inlicite amantium dementiam et male dulcia colloquia eorum (the loathsome lunacy of the love-struck and their wickedly sweet conversations), she may perhaps have some elements of Andria in mind, and Dronke reasonably suggests an echo of Andria 218: amentium, haud amantium (loonies, not lovers) in amantium dementiam.62 More generally, he regards one of Hrotsvitha’s most significant debts to Terence as residing in the fact that Terence “had presented with imaginative sympathy a number of young women who were innocent victims”; he cites Andria, Eunuchus and Adelphoe.63 Carole Newlands develops and modifies this point, arguing that there is “a greater final contrast between her [Hrotsvitha’s] heroines and their Terentian counterparts than Dronke allows”,64 and concentrating particularly on the use Hrotsvitha makes of Thais from Eunuchus. However, it is easier to say what elements Hrotsvitha derived from Terence, and what she has done with her Terentian material, than how she interpreted Terence’s plays themselves, except in very broad terms. The translators I have cited are even less forthcoming. The Prologue and Epilogue to ‘Terence in English’ offer no interpretation or evaluation of the play, and Machiavelli and Mendelssohn do not even write their own Prologue or Epilogue. It may be true that “all translation is an act of critical interpretation”,65 but in these cases it appears to be true in a rather limited sense: we can see what the authors understood the Latin sentences to mean and how they thought it most appropriate to convey that meaning to their audiences, but we can only speculate about what themes they thought there might be in the play or whether they thought it had a moral 61

Dronke (1984) 69. The translations from Hrotsvitha’s Preface in the text are taken from the same page of Dronke’s book. 62 Dronke (1984) 295 n. 37. Dronke sees a further echo in the phrase blanditiae amentium in the following sentence, where we should perhaps accept the conjecture amantium. 63 Dronke (1984) 72. 64 Newlands (1986) 372. But she should not have claimed lower down that page that Glycerium “is strangely ignorant of the fact” of her Athenian birth. 65 Holmes (1994) 24.


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of any kind. The places to look for discussion of such things are rather commentaries, histories of Latin literature, books on Terence and journal articles. Scholarship on the play has tended to concentrate on its use of material from Menander’s Andria and Perinthia, an approach which inevitably involves speculative reconstruction of those plays but which at its best also helps to bring out the distinctive qualities of Terence’s play. Lefévre (2008) provides a full analysis of the play, arguing for considerable differences both of scenic detail and of ethos between Terence and Menander. There is also a helpful overview of the play, and of scholarly discussion of it, by Peter Kruschwitz.66 To give just three examples, Terry McGarrity seeks thematic unity in the themes of responsibility and duty, particularly the duty of a father;67 Sander Goldberg sees Simo as the central figure, above all in his relations with Pamphilus (“a relationship between father and son as it is revealed under stress”);68 and Dwora Gilula offers an exceptionally clear-headed account of the conflict between Simo and Davos as the heart of the play.69 One hopes that Hrotsvitha, Steele and the rest would have been interested to read these discussions, but their own concern was not so much to interpret as to create.


Kruschwitz (2004) 25-50. McGarrity (1978). 68 Goldberg (1981-82) 142. 69 Gilula (1991). This aspect is also well discussed in Compagno (2002). 67


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adulescens (amans), 83, 97-9, 1534, 162, 171-2 Aetia prologue, 11, 48 agon/agonistic poetics, 1-4, 11, 14, 25-54 passim, 96, 99, 100, 104 allusion, 43, 76, 89, 90, 92, 93, 103, 120, 127, 130, 132 n.26, 136, 262 amalgamation (literary) 5 anxiety of influence, 14, 26, 95-117 Apollodorus of Carystus, 41, 42, 88, 95, 108, 109, 111, 117, 129-32 appropriate style, 18, 201-22 appropriation (literary), 3-7, 25-265 passim Aristophanes, 15, 25-8, 43, 76, 86, 99, 108, 130 Aristotle, 79, 80, 93, 202, 241 Armonio, Giovanni, 256 asides, 50, 81, 161, 196, 214, 225, 232-5 Bacchae (of Euripides), 86 Bacchis (of Hecyra), 86, 87, 89, 98, 143, 167, 169-75 bacchiacs, and the sermo comicus, 62-6 bad brother/good brother dichotomy, 78, 164 Baron, Michel, 257 bigamy, 129, 139, 142, 207 Callimachean poetics, 5, 11, 48-51 Cambridge University’s 1520 Andria performance, 20-1, 254 Casina (of Plautus), 8 n.8, 69, 70, 87, 138, 142, 171 n.61, 248

Chaerea (of Eunuch), 36, 70-73, 8387, 90, 93, 103-7, 152-4, 157, 213, 220 change of heart, 15, 78-82, 116, 125, 127, 148 characterisation, 4, 6, 10, 16-19, 31, 33, 34, 98, 126, 134-6, 139, 143-4, 156, 167, 169, 193, 194, 199, 223-4, 239 linguistic, 92, 202, 217-21 characters, appearance of, 103, 110, 158, 161, 174, 186, 190, 223-39 behaviour of, 16, 62, 67 n.26, 68-70, 78-9, 81, 88, 124, 125, 138, 141, 162, 164, 195, 196, 199, 200, 223-39, 258, 261, 263 representation of, 9, 10, 19, 126, 223-39 stock, 14, 16, 41, 84, 85, 140, 143-75, 193, 236-9 Cicero, 3, 4, 10, 17-18, 32, 36, 131 n.24, 202, 231 n.30, 179-200, 243, 245 Colax/Kolax, 9, 14, 37-40, 100-4 colloquial expressions, 10, 18, 77, 81, 96, 98 n.7 , 217-21, 249 commentary, 15, 18, 108, 109, 116, 117, 144, 249, 250, 253 of Donatus, 201-39 commentary tradition, 201-23 convention (and its reinterpretation), 2, 8, 16-19, 25, 28, 31, 34, 35, 40, 41, 80, 82, 100, 110, 111, 117, 138-75 contaminari/e, 32-6 contaminatio, 11, 29, 30-43 correction, 15, 119, 127, 134, 135


General Index

courtesan, 16, 19, 84, 87, 97, 99, 110, 143, 147-57, 163-75, 183, 211, 226-32, 244 criteria for assessing interpretation, 16, 42, 57, 61-2, 72-3, 107, 144 death, 4, 14, 71, 86, 130 n.21, 136, 188 n.18, 189, 203, 206-8, 244, 245, 258, 260 Demea (of Adelphoe) conversion of, 78-83 Donatus, 3, 4, 17-20, 31, 41, 48 n.45, 59 n.1, 60, 65 n.23, 76, 77 n.5, 84, 91, 102 n.20, 106, 123, 130-3, 144, 154, 158 n.35, 20139, 245, 250 dramatic technique, 15, 36, 59-62, 75-87, 125, 128 n.15, 135, 14375 drunken singing, 63-5 eavesdropping, 120, 125 elevated language, 46 n.43, 77, 87, 90, 92, 201-23 emotion and song, 12, 73-4 Ennius, 13, 30-5, 71 n.33, 75, 84, 91, 96 n.3, 192 n.24, 211, 213 Epidicazomenos, 41-2, 129-30, 132 Epidicus/Epidicus, 15, 42, 130-3, 135, 140, 161 epidikasia, 109, 112-3 epiklƝros law, 15, 91, 108, 113-7, 129 n.18, 136, 156 n.33, 157 epos/epic, 90-94, 143, 201, 211 Evanthius, 76, 202-4, 206 first century BCE, 4, 10, 17-18, 179-80 forced marriage, 87-8, 97, 99, 111, 146-9, 156, 158, 169-70, 173-4 furtum, 11, 29, 30-43, 52, 57, 104 generational conflict (see also: vetus vs. novus poeta dichotomy), 5, 15, 29-30, 33, 43-50, 129, 156, 174-5

generic interaction, 5, 13-14, 75-94, 104-7 gesture, 19, 223-39, 253 Geta (in Phormio), 90-3, 113, 1601, 216 Gnatho, 101-4, 120, 157, 209, 218, 233-5 grammatical tradition, 217-22 Guido Juvenalis, 20, 250 Heidegger, 1, 8 Hrotsvitha of Gandersheim, 4 n.4, 20, 246-7 imposture, 76-90, 94 innovation, 10, 15, 44 n.40, 51, 73, 94, 98, 109 n.36, 119-20, 128 n.15, 135 n.36, 138, 162, 227 (and passim) instauratio, 165 interpretation (principles of), 1-21 interpretative inferences, 2 intertextuality, 2, 15, 40-2, 75-94, 100-7, 119-42 Knemon (in Dyskolos), 81-2, 145 ‘krisis’, 26 language of Terence, 2, 4-5, 9-13, 18, 269, 46-7, 52-3, 55-8, 59-74, 75-7, 147, 155, 181-6, 201-22 of literary competition, 26, 43-7 levis scriptura, 45, 48, 53, 56, 59, 204 Luscius of Lanuvium, 33, 39, 59, 204-6 order of speakers, 59 n.3 Machiavelli’s Andria, 20, 243, 24753, 262, 265 madness, 76, 205 malevolence (poetic), 46-7, 57, 132 n.26

Terence and Interpretation Menander (and Terence), 8, 10-12, 14-15, 29, 33, 37-40, 55-6, 79-81, 85-9, 95-142, 145, 184, 192, 205-6, 209, 212-3, 244-5, 256-7, 266 Mendelssohn-Bartholdy’s Andria, 21, 243, 252-3, 265. metatheatre/metatheatricality, 14, 29 n.14, 97, 99, 127, 144 and the sermo comicus, 65 military imagery, 160, 217-9 movement, 135-6, 223, 236-8 Naevius, 13, 30-9, 75, 84, 101, 104, 106 Old Comedy, 1, 26-9, 43-4 oikos, 78, 88, 93, 108, 113-4, 116 orality-vs-literacy dichotomy, 50-8 Pamphilus (of Hecyra), 87-93, 97-9, 123, 146-9, 165-7, 170-4 parabasis, 27, 43 parasite, 14-15, 37-41, 77, 90, 92, 100-4, 120, 129-36, 157-8, 161, 164, 191-4, 217-8, 229-39 Parmeno (of Hecyra), 87-92, 168-74 performance, 2, 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, 19, 37, 40, 43, 45, 51-7, 63, 65, 150-4, 158, 163, 165, 173, 181, 193, 224-5, 229, 234-6, 239, 242, 253-5, 257 Plautus, 5, 8-17, 28-42, 53, 55-7, 60-2, 64, 67, 70-5, 85, 92, 96108, 119-20, 128-47, 155, 159, 169, 173, 175, 193, 204-5, 2112, 219, 237, 248, 254-6, 262 poeta/poiêtês, 5-7 poetics of competition, 26, 43-7 pre-understandings (of interpretation), 1, 7-8 programmatic poetics, 25-58 prologue(s) (of Terence), 6, 10-12, 14, 20-1, 25-58, 59, 100, 103-4, 130, 132, 184, 186, 199, 204-6, 221, 244, 246, 248, 253, 255-7


prosodic license (in song), 64-5, 72 Pyrrhus, 92 quotation, 4, 17-18, 60 n.4. 75-7, 80, 86, 92-3, 128 n.17, 131 n.23, 179-83, 191, 197, 199, 203, 212 n.11, 239, 243, 245-6, 263-4 rape, 36, 70-1, 83-9, 93, 97-8, 1047, 121, 124, 128, 136-7, 140, 153, 162, 169, 215 reading, 15-18, 34, 42, 50, 72, 75, 83, 103, 110, 119-20, 126-42, 165, 168, 179, 180, 181 reception (interpretative), of Callimachean poetics by Terence, 25-58 of Menander by Terence, 95175 of Plautus by Terence, 55-7, 602, 70-5, 96-108, 128-42, 143-7 of postclassical comedy, 146, 150, 151-62 of Terence by Cicero, 179-200 of Terence by Donatus, 201-40 of tragedy and epic by Terence, 75-93 recognition narrative, 76, 79, 93 rhetoric, 13, 18, 50, 77, 85, 124, 180, 184, 186-7, 190-2, 199200, 201-2, 224, 238, 245 scholia, 19, 223-9, 232-9 scriptedness, 29, 52 self-consciousness/self-awareness (literary), 3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 25-58, 83, 88, 91, 93, 95-117, 147, 161, 168, 173-4, 189 self-referentiality, 95-117 senex amator, 15, 70, 87, 112 n.43, 138-40 sententious expressions, 198, 21621 sermo comicus, 59-74 servus callidus, 16, 91-3, 98, 109 marginalisation/deflation of, 143-68


General Index

servus fallax, 92-3 slave(s), ‘epic’ and tragic, 90-3, 217-21 Steele, Richard, 257-9 stereotypes (comic), 16, 29, 98, 143, 165, 168, 225 stock characters, 14, 16, 140, 14375, 193, 236-9 style, 10-14, 18, 45-6, 48, 50, 53-6, 59-96, 106, 155, 157, 182-4, 199, 201-22, 224, 226, 234, 238-9, 246, 259, 261 stylistic levels, 201-2, 221 supersessionism, 103-4 ‘tacit pre-suppositions’ (of interpretation), 1, 7, 8 tenuis oratio, 45, 48, 56, 59, 204 Terence, Andria, (competing subplots) 99, 146-9; (translations) 241-65. Eunuchus, 36-9, 61, 70-73, 837, 90, 100-7, 130, 136, 138, 142, 143, 150, 152-4, 157, 164, 169, 180, 183, 186, 190-3, 209-10, 213-4, 21720, 226-8, 233-4, 255-6, 258, 265 Hecyra, 15-16, 54-7; (Philumena in Hecyra) 8790, 93, 95, 97, 109, 120-22,

129-30, 136, 142-3, 150, 156-9; (as interpretative commentary) 164-75; 180, 207-11, 227 Phormio, 14-15, 41-2, 54, 76, 78, 90-3, 108-17, 128-42, 156-62, 174, 180, 182, 1934, 198, 204-8, 211, 213-4, 216-7 Terentius et Delusor, 49-50 traditional comic language, 12-13, 59-73 and intradramatic deception, 63, 65, 70 polyvalence of, 60-1, 65 n.23 and subversion, 68, 72 and vulgarity, 10, 69-70 tragic/tragedy, 13-17, 75-90, 93, 119, 127-8, 142, 191, 199, 20122 tragic content, 75-90, 127-8, 201-22 tragic diction, 13, 18, 77, 80-2, 867, 92, 205-6, 211-7 transvestism, 84, 86, 93 vetus vs. novus poeta dichotomy, 11, 29, 43-50 vortere/vertere process, 5-7, 30, 35, 38-9, 42 women in Hecyra, 167-74


Aeschylus Danaids frr. 43-6 (TrGF 3): 107 n.29 Persians 365: 84 Afranius frr. 25-8 R(ibbeck)3: 155 n.28 fr. 29 R(ibbeck)3: 73 Andokides 1.117-21: 114 n.50 Anonymus De Physiognomonia 83: 236 n.47 Aristophanes Knights 85-140: 27 n.10 Knights 526-36: 27 n.10 Knights 531: 27 n.10 Knights 534: 27 n.10 Frogs 1119: 45 n. 42 Wasps: 43 Aristotle Poetics 1451a36-b11: 188 Poetics 1452a29-31: 79 Poetics 1452b19: 45 n.42 Poetics 1485a: 202 [Aristotle] Ath. Pol. 43.4: 114 n.50 Ath. Pol. 56.6: 114 n.49 Physiognomonica 59: 236 n.47 Athenaeus 244f-45a: 131

Beckett, Samuel Watt, Addenda: 262 Byron, Lord Don Juan, Canto XIII, xii.5xiii.2: 262 n.58 Caecilius Pall. fr. 258 R(ibbeck)2–3: 184 n.10 Callimachus Aetia fr. 1.21-2 Pfeiffer: 48 Victoria Berenices SH 254268C: 5 Cennini, Pietro Letter to Alamanno Rinuccini: 253-4 n.38 Charisius Gramm. p. 158.1 Barwick: 64 n.20 Gramm. p. 315.3-23 Barwick: 203 n.7 Churchill, Winston Telegram to President Roosevelt: 243; 260 Cicero Acad. post. 1.10: 181 Ad Att. 6.9.1: 184; 184 n.9 Ad Att. 7.3.10: 182; 184; 184 n.10 Ad Att. 13.34: 245 n.14 Ad Fam. 1.9.19: 191-2; 191 n.23 Ad Fam. 2.16.5: 181 n.5


Index Locorum Ad Fam. 12.25.5: 245 n.14 Brut. 258: 185 n.11 Cato 32: 181 n.5 Cato 65: 181; 195; 195-6 n.29 De Fin. 1.4: 192; 192 n.24 De Fin. 1.4-5: 181 De Fin. 1.15: 196 De Fin. 3.62-3: 197; 197 n.32 De Inv. 1.27: 188; 188 n.17; 189; 189-90 n.21; 245 n.13 De Inv. 1.33: 187; 187 n.16; 245 n.13 De Leg. 1.33: 196; 197 n.32 De Nat. D. 3.72: 190; 190-1 n.22 De Nat. D. 3.73: 190 De Off. 1.29-30: 196-7; 197 n.32 De Opt. gen. 1: 202 n.6 De Opt. gen. 18: 181; 192-3 n.24 De Or. 2.172: 189; 189 n.20; 245 n.13 De Or. 2.326-8: 183; 188; 188 n.18; 145 n.13 Lael. 89: 186; 196; 196 n.31; 245 Limon (fr. 2 FPL4): 184 n.8 Orat. 20-21: 202 n.4 Orat. 69: 202 n.4 Orat. 157: 182 Orat. 184: 200; 200 n.34 Phil. 2.15: 193; 193 n.25 Pro Caecin. 27: 194; 194 n.26 Pro Cael. 37-8: 194; 194-5 n.28 Pro Cael. 61: 245 Pro Planc. 59: 199 Pro Q. Rosc. 20.12: 131 n.24; 181; 199 Pro Rab. Post. 29: 181; 199 Pro Rosc. Am. 47: 199 Pro Sest. 102: 199 Pro Sull. 45: 36 Tusc. 3.30: 182; 198; 198 n.33

[Demetrius] On Style 153: 144 n.2 On Style 193: 96 Demosthenes 43.16; 51; 54: 114 n.50 46.18; 22; 23: 114 n.50 57.41: 114 n.50; 115 n.51 Dennis, John Remarks on a Play, Call’d, The Conscious Lovers, a Comedy: 257-8 Disraeli, Benjamin Maiden Speech in House of Commons: 264 Donatus ad Ter. Ad. 26.1: 239 n.55 ad Ter. Ad. 111: 215 ad Ter. Ad. 197: 215 ad Ter. Ad. 286: 218 ad Ter. Ad. 374: 220 ad Ter. Ad. 432: 221 ad Ter. Ad. 541: 209-10 ad Ter. Ad. 567.2: 233-4 ad Ter. Ad. 638: 76; 213 ad Ter. Ad. 686: 215 ad Ter. Ad. 731: 77; 214-5 ad Ter. Ad. 790: 212 ad Ter. Ad. 871: 221 n.19 ad Ter Ad. 906: 225-6 ad Ter. Ad. 992: 81 n.16 ad Ter. An. praef. I.3: 206 ad Ter. An. 61: 216-7 ad Ter. An. 105-6: 207-8 ad Ter. An. 184.4: 232 ad Ter. An. 188: 221 n.19 ad Ter. An. 245.2: 226 ad Ter. An. 301: 245 n.12 ad Ter. An. 306.2: 226 ad Ter. An. 481.1: 65 n.23 ad Ter. An. 580: 221 n.19 ad Ter. An. 606: 208 ad Ter. An. 642: 215

Terence and Interpretation ad Ter. An. 686: 215 ad Ter. An. 716.1: 228 n.23 ad Ter. An. 808: 213-4 ad Ter. An. 832: 214 ad Ter. An. 855: 221 n.19 ad Ter. An. 865: 209 ad Ter. An. 891: 212 ad Ter. Eun. 10.2: 60 n.4 ad Ter. Eun. 86: 229 n.24 ad Ter. Eun. 90.4: 228; 228 n.22 ad Ter. Eun. 95.3: 228; 228 n.22 ad Ter. Eun. 96: 228 ad Ter. Eun. 191.2: 228 ad Ter. Eun. 198: 227 ad Ter. Eun. 232.3: 234; 235 ad Ter. Eun. 237: 221 n.19 ad Ter. Eun. 274.3: 235 ad Ter. Eun. 274.5: 233; 235 ad Ter. Eun. 403.3: 226 ad Ter. Eun. 427.1: 226 n.12 ad Ter. Eun. 429: 219; 220 ad Ter. Eun. 432: 219 ad Ter. Eun. 446: 209 ad Ter. Eun. 454: 217 ad Ter. Eun. 455-79: 218 ad Ter. Eun. 536.2: 228 ad Ter. Eun. 588: 220 ad Ter. Eun. 590: 213 ad Ter. Eun. 736: 218 ad Ter. Eun. 765.2-3: 228 ad Ter. Eun. 792: 219 ad Ter. Eun. 853: 220 ad Ter. Eun. 858: 220 ad Ter. Eun. 1070.2: 234 ad Ter. Hec. praef. I.9: 227 ad Ter. Hec. 74.4: 237 n.47 ad Ter. Hec. 75: 236 n.47 ad Ter. Hec. 171: 208 ad Ter. Hec. 281: 210 ad Ter. Hec. 563: 210 ad Ter. Hec. 727.1: 227; 227-8 n.19 ad Ter. Hec. 774.3: 227 ad Ter. Ph. praef. I.3: 224 n.5 ad Ter. Ph. praef. I.3, I.5: 206


ad Ter. Ph. prol. 5.1, 2, 6.1, 7.1, 8: 76; 205-6 ad Ter. Ph. prol. 25: 41 n.32 ad Ter. Ph. prol. 25-6: 130-1 ad Ter. Ph. 41: 216-7 ad Ter. Ph. 137: 216 ad Ter. Ph. 138: 91; 216 ad Ter. Ph. 201: 76 ad Ter. Ph. 244: 207 ad Ter. Ph. 279: 158 n.35 ad Ter. Ph. 281: 211 ad Ter. Ph. 319: 158 n.35 ad Ter. Ph. 339-41: 102 n.20 ad Ter. Ph. 352: 158 n.35 ad Ter. Ph. 750: 207 ad Ter. Ph. 988.1: 232 n.38 ad Ter. Ph. 1028: 221 n.19 De comoedia excerpta 8.6: 229 Evanthi, De fabula 3.5: 76; 203 Evanthi, De fabula 4.1: 204 Evanthi, De fabula 4.2: 202-3 Dryden, John An Essay of Dramatic Poetry: 241 Ennius Ann. 1.37 Skutsch: 71 n.33 Ann. 1.48, 54-5 Skutsch: 84 Ann. 1.104 Skutsch: 92 Ann. 6.186-7 Skutsch: 91 trag. 81 R(ibbeck)3 = Andromacha fr. 27 (l. 87) Jocelyn: 80; 211 trag. 238 R(ibbeck)3 = Medea fr. 110 (l. 235) Jocelyn: 80 trag. 249-50 R(ibbeck)3 = Melanippa fr. 119 (l. 246) Jocelyn: 87 trag. 372 R(ibbeck)3 = fr. 161 Jocelyn: 84 Euboulos fr. 22 PCG 5, p. 202: 107 n.30


Index Locorum

Euripides Bacchae 824: 86 Danae fr. 372 (TrGF 5.1): 106 n.27 Evanthius (see Donatus) Fielding, Henry Joseph Andrews, Book III, chapter XI: 259 Hermogenes On Speaking in Comic Style 34: 144 n.2 Hesiod Op. 26: 6 n.7 Theog. 24-8: 6 n.7 Hieronymus Commentarii in Michaeam 2 p. 480 Migne: 34 Homer Od. 17.383-5: 6 n.7 Od. 19.203: 6 n.7 Horace Ars Poetica 89ff.: 202 n.6 Ars Poetica 93: 212 Epist. 1.19.41: 245 Epist. 2.1.50-62: 181 Hrotsvitha Gallicanus I.I.2, 3, 4, 5; I.II.1: 246-7 Praefatio: 246 n.16 Hume, David Of the Standard of Taste: 241 Isaeus 3.64, 74: 114 n.50 6.14: 114 n.50 11.1-2: 113 n.47

Juvenalis, Guido Commentary on Ter. Andria 941: 250 Lucilius fr. 901 Marx: 69 n.28 Machiavelli, Niccolò Andria, trnsl. of ll. 194, 195, 851, 914, 941: 249-50 Dialogue on Language: 248-9 Marmontel, Jean François Comédie (in Encyclopédie): 242 St Mary Magdalen’s Church, Taunton inscription for George Langley: 263 n.59 Menander (PCG) Andria fr. 40: 64 n.20 Dysk. 179-85: 145 Dysk. 183-5: 145 Dysk. 708-47: 81 Dysk. 747: 81 Epit. 238: 127 n.13 Epit. 325-30: 127 Epit. 883-7: 125 Epit. 894-9: 125-6 Epit. 919-22: 126 Fabula incerta (Inc.) 45-8: 137 Sam. 296: 171 n.60 Sam. 325-6: 80; 212 Sam. 589-600: 106 Sam. 923: 171 n.60 Theoph. 31-57: 205 Naevius Danae fr. 11 R(ibbeck)3 (= Non. 110.17): 84; 106 n.26 Pacuvius trag. 391 R(ibbeck)3 = 213 D’Anna = 294 Schierl: 89

Terence and Interpretation Plato Rep. 363a-367a: 6 n.7 Plautus Am. 850: 66 n.25 As. 746-8: 6 As. 748: 6 n.7 As. 927: 67 n.27 As. 943: 142 Aul. 264: 61 n.11 Aul. 745, 794-5: 85 Bacch. 875: 67 n.27 Bacch. 925-78: 92 Bacch. 933: 212 Capt. 768ff.: 161 Capt. 778-9: 161 Capt. 1033: 6 n.7 Cas. 5-20: 8 n.8 Cas. 12: 6 n.7; 8 n.8 Cas. 229a: 69 Cas. 568: 568: 67 n.26 Cas. 817-8: 87 Cas. 819-21: 87 Cas. 841: 6 n.7 Cas. 860-1: 6 Cas. 964: 70 n.31 Curc. 350: 66 n.25 Curc. 576: 134 Curc. 586-7: 133 Curc. 591: 6 n.7 Epid. 7: 64 n.19 Epid. 194: 161 Epid. 732: 132 n.26 Men. 3: 8 n.8 Men. 7: 6 n.7 Men. 582: 66-7 n.25 Men. 717: 67-8 n.27 Men. 835ff.: 205 Men. 888: 134 n.33 Merc. 73: 71 n.33 Merc. 203-4: 70 n.29 Mil. 1-78: 101 Mil. 200ff.: 152 Mil. 211: 6 n.7 Mil. 652: 70 n.30 Mil. 1063: 66 n.24


Mil. 1373: 61 n.11 Mil. 1402: 70 n.30 Most. 157-90: 175 Persa 124: 231 n.35 Persa 759: 64 n.19 Poen. 300: 66 n.24 Poen. 405: 61 n.11 Poen. 522-3: 237 Poen. 736: 66 n.25 Ps. 359: 68 n.27 Ps. 369: 68 n.27 Ps. 401: 6 n.7 Ps. 401-5: 6 Ps. 404: 6 n.7 Ps. 581-2: 132 n.26 Ps. 702-3: 92 Ps. 1175: 61 n.11 Rud. 424: 69 Rud. 493: 61 n.11 Rud. 1060-7: 59 n.3 Rud. 1285: 67 n.26 St. 207-8: 67 n.26 St. 230: 231 n.35 St. 394: 67 n.26 St. 558: 67 n.25 Trin. 53: 67 n.26 Trin. 403: 134 n.33 Trin. 1102: 61 n.11 Trin. 1171: 66 n.25 Truc. 8: 66 n.25 Truc. 91: 141 Truc. 355: 141 Vid. 7: 6 n.7 Pollux Onom. 2. 135: 236 n.47 Onom. 4.118-20: 229 Onom. 4.120: 231 n.35 Onom. 10.154: 131 Quintilian Inst. 6.3.56: 194 n.26 Inst. 10.1.99: 185; 185-6 n.12 Inst. 10.2.22: 202 n.6 Inst. 11.1.39: 195 n.28 Inst. 11.3.83: 232; 236 n.47

Index Locorum

302 Inst. 11.3.112: 233; 233 n.40; 237 Inst. 11.3.178-80: 237 n.49

Rases Physiognomoniae 33: 237 n.47 Rhetorica ad Herennium 1.8.13: 191 Sannyrion fr. 8 PCG 7: 107 n.30 Servius ad Verg. Aen. praef. p.4.8: 201 n.2 ad Verg. Ecl. praef. p.1.16-18: 202 n.3 Shakespeare Henry VI part II, Act IV, Scene II: 134 Sophocles Antigone 944: 85 Danae frr. 165-70 (TrGF 4): 107 n.29 Steele, Richard The Conscious Lovers: 242 Suetonius Vita Ter. 7 (=Cic. fr. 2 FPL4): 184 n.8 Supplementum Hellenisticum fr. 254-68C (Callimachi, Victoria Berenices): 5 Terence Ad. 1: 52; 54 Ad. 1-5: 186 Ad. 4-5: 186 Ad. 6: 54; 130 Ad. 6-14: 37-8 Ad. 7: 54

Ad. 8: 54 Ad. 11: 54 Ad. 12-14: 186 Ad. 13: 57 Ad. 14: 39 Ad. 15: 47; 57 Ad. 15-21: 186 Ad. 16-17: 47 Ad. 17: 53; 54; 57 Ad. 22: 54 Ad. 25: 54 Ad. 26: 53 Ad. 27: 54 Ad. 44-9: 78 Ad. 57: 181 n.5 Ad. 60-4: 189; 190 n.21 Ad. 111: 215 Ad. 120-1: 194-5 n.28 Ad. 155-69: 61 n.11 Ad. 197: 215 Ad. 286: 218 Ad. 374: 220 Ad. 432: 163; 221 Ad. 432ff.: 163 Ad. 470-1: 85 Ad. 529: 181 n.5 Ad. 541: 209 Ad. 567: 234 Ad. 570ff.: 163 Ad. 610-7: 73 Ad. 638: 76; 213 Ad. 686: 215 Ad. 731: 214 Ad. 763: 163 Ad. 763-86: 78 Ad. 763: 163 Ad. 781: 69 n. 28 Ad. 784ff.: 163 Ad. 787-854: 78; 79 Ad. 789-90: 79-80 Ad. 790: 211 Ad. 832: 157 n.34 Ad. 840ff.: 157 Ad. 855-81: 78; 80 Ad. 880: 82 Ad. 882: 163

Terence and Interpretation Ad. 882-98: 78 Ad. 899-946: 78 Ad. 957-83: 79 Ad. 958: 81 Ad. 985-9: 81 An. 1: 46; 48; 52; 54 An. 1-7: 45 An. 2-3: 47 An. 3: 54 An. 5: 48; 52; 54; 57 An. 6: 46; 57 An. 6-7: 47 An. 7: 46; 54 An. 9-14: 244 An. 11: 57 An. 12: 56 An. 13-21: 32 An. 15ff.: 30 An. 15-21: 9; 186 An. 16: 31; 53; 56 An. 23: 57 An. 24: 57 An. 24-7: 186 An. 26: 54 An. 28–9: 246 An. 30: 246 An. 39: 246 An. 40: 246 An. 48-50: 146 An. 49-50: 187 n.16 An. 51: 187 n.16; 188 n.17; 188 n.18; 189 An. 58-9: 146 An. 60: 246 An. 61: 216-7 An. 67–8: 245 An. 68: 196 n.31 An. 76ff.: 147 An. 82-3: 252 An. 87: 256 An. 91: 147 An. 96-7: 263 An. 96-8: 263 An. 105: 207-8 An. 110-12: 189; 189 n.20

An. 117: 183; 188 n.18 An. 126: 245 An. 128-9: 183; 188 n.18 An. 157: 187 n.16 An. 158: 66 n.25 An. 161: 246 An. 168: 187 n.16 An. 185: 245 n.14 An. 189: 245 n.14 An. 194-5: 249-50; 251 An. 195: 250 An. 196ff.: 147 An. 196-8: 63 n.15 An. 198: 147 An. 206-27: 148 An. 218: 148 An. 224: 148 n.11 An. 228-33: 63 n.16 An. 229: 63 n.17 An. 231: 63 n.17 An. 241: 66 n.25 An. 282-97: 244 An. 301-8: 73 An. 404: 63 n.15 An. 412-31: 120 An. 432f.: 63 n.15 An. 466-7: 63 An. 469-77: 65 n.23 An. 481-5: 63-4 An. 488-94: 65 n.23 An. 555: 263 An. 606: 208 An. 625-38: 66-7 An. 639-40: 67 An. 642: 215 An. 686: 215 An. 730: 252 An. 808: 213-4 An. 832: 213-4 An. 851: 249 An. 865: 208-9 An. 916-8: 148 n.12 An. 891: 212 An. 914: 249; 252 An. 920ff.: 148 An. 925: 148 n.13


Index Locorum

304 An. 941: 250 Eun. 1: 55 Eun. 2: 57 Eun. 3: 54 Eun. 6: 186 Eun. 7: 52; 57 Eun. 10: 54 Eun. 10-13: 59 n.3 Eun. 16: 57 Eun. 16-19: 186 Eun. 18: 57 Eun. 19-34: 37 Eun. 20: 130 Eun. 23f.: 104 Eun. 23-6: 101 Eun. 23: 54; 57 Eun. 25: 54 Eun. 25-6: 38 Eun. 27: 39; 57 Eun. 28: 54; 55 Eun. 30-4: 9; 100-1 Eun. 31: 38 Eun. 33: 54 Eun. 36: 52 Eun. 37: 227 Eun. 42: 57 Eun. 46: 190 n.22 Eun. 49: 190 n.22 Eun. 114-5: 183; 185 n.10 Eun. 197-206: 169 Eun. 246-53: 102 Eun. 263-4: 235 Eun. 274: 233 Eun. 354: 83 Eun. 363-90: 84 Eun. 376: 86 Eun. 377: 83 Eun. 391ff.: 101 Eun. 418-9: 120 Eun. 429: 219; 220 Eun. 431: 120 Eun. 432: 219 Eun. 440-5: 191; 191 n.23 Eun. 446: 209 Eun. 454-79: 217-8

Eun. 457-8: 120 Eun. 461: 120 Eun. 491: 171 n.60 Eun. 522: 31 n.18 Eun. 539: 184-5 n.10 Eun. 549-61: 70-1 Eun. 551-2: 36 Eun. 552: 35 Eun. 578-603: 104 Eun. 583-591: 83-4 Eun. 583-603: 105 Eun. 588: 220 Eun. 589-98: 85 Eun. 590: 83; 84; 106 n.26; 213 Eun. 590-1: 84 Eun. 607: 63 n.17 Eun. 689: 83 Eun. 736: 218 Eun. 792: 219; 220 Eun. 853: 220 Eun. 858: 220 Eun. 930: 83 Eun. 998-9: 67 n.26 Eun. 1041: 67 n.26 Heaut. 2: 44; 54 Heaut. 4: 54 Heaut. 7: 52; 54 Heaut. 7-9: 132 Heaut. 11: 56; 186 Heaut. 12: 56; 186 Heaut. 12-15: 56 Heaut. 13-15: 56 Heaut. 15: 52; 54; 56 Heaut. 16: 57 Heaut. 16-21: 32-3 Heaut. 17: 31; 57 Heaut. 22: 47; 54; 57 Heaut. 23: 55 Heaut. 28: 57 Heaut. 30-2: 59 n.2 Heaut. 35: 57 Heaut. 35-40: 238 Heaut. 40: 54 Heaut. 42: 54-5 Heaut. 43: 52; 54

Terence and Interpretation Heaut. 51-2: 44 Heaut. 52: 55 Heaut. 77: 197 Heaut. 311: 151 Heaut. 327: 151 Heaut. 335: 151 Heaut. 335-6: 149 Heaut. 381-409: 169 Heaut. 437-8: 150 Heaut. 470-4: 150, 151 Heaut. 476-89: 150 Heaut. 486-7: 66 n.25 Heaut. 561-90: 151 Heaut. 562-70: 68-9 Heaut. 562-90: 68-9 Heaut. 565: 69 n.28 Heaut. 596: 151 Heaut. 604: 151 Heaut. 611-12: 149 Heaut. 676-8: 149 Heaut. 709-11: 152 Heaut. 787-90: 149 Heaut. 971: 219 Hec. 4: 55 Hec. 6: 54 Hec. 9: 186 Hec. 9-10: 56 Hec. 11: 44 Hec. 12: 44 Hec. 13: 47; 53; 54 Hec. 14-15: 55 Hec. 16-17: 47 Hec. 17: 55 Hec. 19: 55 Hec. 21: 54 Hec. 21-3: 47 Hec. 23: 55 Hec. 24: 53; 54 Hec. 27: 53; 54 Hec. 28: 57 Hec. 45: 54 Hec. 53: 55 Hec. 63-5: 175 Hec. 67-70: 175 Hec. 71: 175

Hec. 71-2: 90 Hec. 72-3: 175 Hec. 72-5: 236 n.47 Hec. 85-7: 175 Hec. 123-9: 89 Hec. 128-9: 89 Hec. 148ff.: 170 Hec. 157-70: 174 Hec. 160ff.: 170 Hec. 164-6: 87-8 Hec. 171: 208 Hec. 177ff.: 168 Hec. 204: 123 Hec. 268-9: 168 Hec. 271: 168 Hec. 274-80: 168-9 Hec. 281: 210 Hec. 312-3: 168 Hec. 324ff.: 170 Hec. 327ff.: 171 Hec. 361-414: 174 Hec. 409-13: 171 Hec. 447-9: 171 Hec. 459: 63 n.17 Hec. 477-81: 171 Hec. 494-5: 171 Hec. 509ff.: 171 Hec. 563: 210 Hec. 566-76: 169 Hec. 587-9: 171 Hec. 607-12: 122-3 Hec. 620-1: 123 Hec. 688-9: 172 Hec. 706-7: 171 Hec. 786ff.: 173 Hec. 816-40: 174 Hec. 834-40: 173 Hec. 866-7: 128 Hec. 866-8: 172 Hec. 866-9: 97 Hec. 866ff.: 98 Hec. 880: 165-6 n.54 Ph. 1: 46; 54 Ph. 1-2: 47 Ph. 1-5: 45


Index Locorum

306 Ph. 1-8: 59 n.2; 204-5 Ph. 2: 46; 55 Ph. 3: 46; 52; 54; 57 Ph. 4: 54 Ph. 4-5: 48; 184 Ph. 5: 52-3; 54; 56; 59-60 Ph. 6: 53; 54 Ph. 6-8: 76 Ph. 11a: 54 Ph. 13: 54; 57 Ph. 15: 57 Ph. 16-17: 47 Ph. 18: 47; 55 Ph. 19: 57 Ph. 25: 54 Ph. 25-6: 41; 109 n.34 Ph. 27-8: 131 Ph. 29: 54 Ph. 30: 57 Ph. 34: 57 Ph. 41: 216 Ph. 45: 196 Ph. 51: 160 Ph. 71-2: 160 Ph. 72: 112 n.42; 156 n.33 Ph. 98: 63 n.17 Ph. 112-6: 138 Ph. 114: 111 n.40; 111 n.41; 139 n.43 Ph. 114-5: 157 Ph. 114-6: 111 Ph. 119-21: 158 Ph. 122-3: 194 n.26 Ph. 124-34: 112-3 Ph. 125-6: 113 n.45 Ph. 127: 133 Ph. 136-140: 91 Ph. 137: 216 Ph. 138: 216 Ph. 139: 91 Ph. 153-78: 160 n.44 Ph. 156-61: 88 Ph. 177: 161; 161 n.48 Ph. 179-82: 160 Ph. 184-90: 160 Ph. 201: 214

Ph. 210ff.: 160 Ph. 220-30: 160 Ph. 241-6: 182; 198 Ph. 244: 207 Ph. 247-52: 198 Ph. 273-4: 132 n.26 Ph. 276: 110 n.37 Ph. 278: 110 n.37 Ph. 281: 211 Ph. 295-8: 113 Ph. 329: 133 Ph. 339-42: 158 n.35 Ph. 341-3: 133 Ph. 348-445: 159 Ph. 381: 182 Ph. 384: 182 Ph. 409-10: 114 Ph. 414-7: 116 Ph. 438-9: 115 Ph. 446-59: 158 Ph. 450-2: 159 Ph. 460-1: 159 Ph. 542: 63 n.17 Ph. 567: 129 Ph. 567-90: 160 n.44 Ph. 727: 160 Ph. 750: 208 Ph. 778ff.: 161 Ph. 837: 136 Ph. 841ff.: 161 Ph. 844: 161; 161 n.48 Ph. 848: 161 Ph. 875-6: 142 Ph. 911-4: 116 Ph. 1018: 139 n.44 Ph. 1040-1: 139 n.45 Ph. 1053: 159 n.42 Terens in englysh Epilogue 15–21: 251 Prologue 29–31: 251 Trnsl. of Andria 82–3, 194–5, 229, 730, 851, 914: 250-2

Terence and Interpretation Thackeray, William Makepeace Vanity Fair penultimate chapter heading: 263-4 Tiberius (rhetor) De figuris 16: 144 n.2 Titinius fr. 78 R(ibbeck)3: 64 n.20 Trollope, Anthony Framley Parsonage, ch. I heading and opening: 263 Phineas Finn, ch. LXXIII heading: 264 Varro Sat. Menipp. 399: 98 n.7


fr. 306 Funaioli, ap. Diom. Ars 3, Gramm. Lat. I, p.498.18: 53 n.54 Vergil Aen. 11.259: 89 Geo. 2.22–34: 4 Geo. 3.1–48: 5 Volcacius Sedigitus Carm. fr. 1 FPL4 (ap. Gell. NA 15.24): 179 Wilder, Thornton The Woman of Andros: 242; 260-2