Rome and the mysterious Orient : three plays by Plautus by Plautus, Amy Richlin

By Plautus, Amy Richlin

Nonetheless humorous after thousand years, the Roman playwright Plautus wrote round two hundred B.C.E., a interval whilst Rome used to be scuffling with friends on all fronts. those 3 performs faucet into the combination of worry, loathing, and interest with which cultures, fairly Western and jap cultures, usually view one another, constantly a efficient resource of comedy.


nonetheless humorous after thousand years, the Roman playwright Plautus wrote round 2 hundred B.C.E., a interval while Rome used to be scuffling with associates on all fronts, together with North Africa and the close to East. This Read more...

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S), a freeborn person winds up working in the quarries, which were even worse than the mills. Gellius says that Varro and his other, unnamed sources say that Plautus wrote three plays while actually working in the mill; Jerome says Plautus wrote and sold his plays in his spare time at the mill. Again, this is the kind of story people tell about writers now (think of Quentin Tarantino in the video store), but how normal was it for the period? Never mind the question of how you would write plays in your nonexistent spare time, by the light of an oil lamp—maybe in your head, this was an oral culture—is this story consistent with the time?

Like radio, at the beginning of broadcast media in the United States, the plays had to be funny for farmers as well as New Yorkers as well as greenhorns, and Plautus’s plays definitely include mixed levels of humor. We might assume that, if a grex really did go on tour to Umbria, the humor would have been less mixed and the whole effect would have been less elaborate, because we do know that the games cost the aediles a lot of money, that Terence was paid a record amount for one of his plays, and that the play’s producer/director rented costumes and props through the aediles (there’s a famous example of this in Weevil and another in Iran Man).

But maybe so; maybe popina is not the only word that came into Plautus’s Latin from the north. ) Habinek argues that the Roman elites, in their search for linguistic hegemony, could at least build on a state of basic mutual intelligibility; for the Hannibalic wars, Livy emphasizes the “incompatibility of Punic with the languages of Italy,” but the Roman allies can talk to each other (1998: 41). And Livy did come from the north himself; but then he was teased about his accent. What has always stood out in Plautus is the use of Greek words, some naturalized into Latin, some still in Greek letters.

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