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date: 20 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses Plautus's fragmentary predecessors and contemporaries in Rome, focusing on Naevius, Caecilius, and Titinius. Fragments are inherently problematic: they are most commonly quoted because of linguistic peculiarities, but they do not allow us to draw far-reaching conclusions about the language of these authors, and in very few cases are we able to reconstruct plots with any degree of certainty. This can be seen clearly in the case of Naevius, whose language and stock scenes seem to resemble those of Plautus closely. Like Naevius and Plautus, Caecilius adapted lost Greek plays, but Gellius transmits three parallel passages from the Plocion / Plocium, where direct comparison is possible and instructive, showing a creative adaptor rather than a slavish translator. Titinius's Setina belongs to the fabula togata, a different genre of comedy; while the language and individual stock scenes are reminiscent of Plautus, we are unable to reconstruct the entire plot.

Keywords: fabula palliata, fabula togata, Plautus, Naevius, Caecilius, Titinius, ancient grammarians, fragments

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