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date: 13 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the six Roman comedies of Terence (P. Terentius Afer) in modern understanding. After a critical examination of his “Menandrianism” and traditional ascription high in the canon of Latin literature, the titles, Greek models, and festival occasions of Terence’s complete output are listed. Discussion then turns to intertextuality. Seemingly “neoteric” allusions to the works of Plautus, Livius Andronicus, and Ennius are linked to the avant-garde Greek poetics of Alexandria via the poetry of Ennius, who died three years before Terence’s debut. With an eye to the academic context of Hellenistic education, it is argued, Terence posed as the Roman Menander to complement Ennius’s recent pose as the Roman Homer. In uniting Menander’s reflection of life with the Alexandrian literary reflexivity so esteemed by Rome’s succeeding generations of Latin poets, Terence emerges as a pivotal figure in the history of Latin literature.

Keywords: Terence, Menander, Apollodorus of Carystus, Aristophanes of Byzantium, Ennius, Alexandrianism, Intertextuality, Adelphoe, Hecyra, Eunuchus, Phormio, Lex Fannia

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