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Amphitryo, Asinaria, Aulularia, Bacchides, Captivi Amphitryon, The Comedy of Asses, The Pot of Gold, The Two Bacchises, The Captives   By: (254 BC - 184 BC)

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[Transcriber’s Note: Footnotes are collected at the end of each play. Where a footnote refers to an omitted passage, the verses before and after the omission have been numbered in parentheses: (182) (184) All other line numbers are from the original text.]

P L A U T U S

With an English Translation by

PAUL NIXON Dean of BOWDOIN COLLEGE, Maine

In Five Volumes

I

AMPHITRYON THE COMEDY OF ASSES THE POT OF GOLD THE TWO BACCHISES THE CAPTIVES

Cambridge, Massachusetts HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS

London WILLIAM HEINEMANN LTD

First printed 1916

CONTENTS

Greek Originals of the Plays........vii Introduction.........................ix Bibliography.......................xvii I. Amphitruo, or Amphitryon..............1 II. Asinaria, or the Comedy of Asses....123 III. Aulularia, or the Pot of Gold.......231 IV. Bacchides, or the Two Bacchises.....325 V. Captivi, or the Captives............459 Index...............................569

[Transcriber’s Note: The Index of Proper Names is not included in this e text.]

THE GREEK ORIGINALS OF THE PLAYS IN THIS VOLUME

In this and each succeeding volume a summary will be given of the consensus of opinion[1] regarding the Greek originals of the plays in the volume and regarding the time of presentation in Rome of Plautus’s adaptations. It may be that some general readers will be glad to have even so condensed an account of these matters as will be offered them.

The original of the Amphitruo is not now thought to have been a work of the Middle Comedy but of the New Comedy, very possibly Philemon’s Νὺξ μακρά. A clue to the Greek play’s date is found in the description of Amphitryon’s battle with the Teloboians,[2] a battle fought after the manner of those of the Diadochi who came into prominence at the death of Alexander the Great. The date of the Plautine adaptation of this play, as in the case of the Asinaria , Aulularia , Bacchides ,[3] and Captivi , is quite uncertain, beyond the fact that it no doubt belongs, like almost all of his extant work, to the last two decades of his life, 204 184 B.C. The Amphitruo is one of the five[4] plays in the first two volumes whose scene is not laid in Athens.

The Ὀναγός of a certain Demophilus,[5] otherwise unknown to us, was the onginal of the Asinaria. The assertion of Libanus that he is his master’s Salus[6] is thought to be a fling at the honours decreed certain of the Diadochi, who were called, while still alive, Σωτῆρες. This possibility, together with the fact that the Pellaean[7] merchant and the Rhodian[8] Periphanes travel to Athens northern Greece and the Aegaean therefore being pacified and Athens at peace with Macedon would indicate that the Ὀναγός was written while Demetrius Poliorcetes controlled Macedon, 294 288 B.C.

Very slender evidence connects the Aulularia with some unknown play of Menander’s in which a miser is represented δεδιὼς μή τι τῶν ἔιδον ὁ καπνος οἴχοιτο φερων. Euclio’s distress[9] at seeing any smoke escape from his house seems at least to suggest that Plautus may have borrowed the Aulularia from Menander. The allusion to praefectum mulierum ,[10] rather than censorem , would seem to show that in the original γυναικοι ομον had been written; this would prove the Greek play to have been presented while Demetrius of Phalerum was in power at Athens (317 307 B.C.), where he introduced this detested office, which was done away with by 307 B.C.

Ritschl[11] has shown clearly enough that the original of the Bacchides was Menander’s Δὶς ἐξαπατῶν... Continue reading book >>




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