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Greek and Roman Comedy

Translations and Interpretations of Four Representative Plays

Edited by Shawn O'Bryhim

Publication Year: 2001

Four plays that introduce ancient comedy to a modern audience.

Published by: University of Texas Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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Contents

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pp. v-

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Preface

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pp. vii-viii

Every year several new translations of ancient tragedy appear. If not for the relatively few translations of ancient comedy, the general reader might think that the Greeks and Romans were humorless wrecks, obsessed with death and disaster. Nothing could...

Aristohanes and Athenian Old Comedy

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pp. 1-82

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Introduction

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pp. 3-13

OFFICIAL performances of comedies began in Athens at the City Dionysia festival in 487 or 486 B.C. and at the Lenaia festival sometime around 442 B.C.1 The origins of the genre are obscure, and will most likely always remain...

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The Politics of Comedy and the Problem of the Reception of Aristophanes' Acharnians

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pp. 14-32

Acharnians was performed at the Lenaia festival in Athens in 425 b.c. and took first place in the balloting that came at the end, defeating Kratinos’ Storm-tossed and Eupolis’ New Moons, neither of which has been preserved. There can be little...

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pp. 33-34

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A Note on the Translation

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pp. 35-

Aristophanes’ language is quite colloquial and often explicitly sexual, and I have made no effort to disguise these characteristics. The comedies are also full of wordplay of various sorts, and I have generally attempted to translate these, although in a few...

Acharnians

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pp. 36-82

Menander and Greek New Comedy

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pp. 83-146

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Introduction

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pp. 85-95

ONLY a small fraction of the thousands of literary works produced in antiquity have survived intact to the present day. In fact, the works of many authors have completely disappeared, thus leaving entire genres with only one or two representatives...

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Dance, Old Man, Dance! The Torture of Knemon in Menander's Dyskolos

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pp. 96-109

IN 1959 the sands of Egypt surrendered a papyrus book that contained large portions of three plays by Menander, whose works had been lost since late antiquity. This find produced great excitement among scholars of ancient literature because...

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pp. 110-111

Dyskolos; or, The Grouch

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pp. 112-146

Plautus and Roman New Comedy

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pp. 147-239

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Introduction

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pp. 149-168

"PLAUTUS, with the name that barks,” quips the speaker of the prologue to Casina. An ancient commentator explains the joke by pointing out that “Plautus,” which literally means “flat,” here specifically alludes...

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Cleostrata in Charge: Tradition and Variation in Casina

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pp. 169-186

CASINA is certainly among the latest of Plautus’ plays, if not the very latest. This has important implications for our study: Casina is not the work of a novice, a playwright struggling to master the craft of turning Greek scripts into Roman...

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pp. 187-188

Casina

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pp. 189-239

Terence and Roman New Comedy

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Introduction

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pp. 243-252

ACCORDING to the ancient Roman biographer Suetonius, Publius Terentius Afer was born in Carthage, in modern-day Tunisia in North Africa. If Suetonius’ sources can be trusted (they are not always reliable), Terence may himself...

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Who is the Parasite? Giving and Taking in Phormio

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pp. 253-264

TERENCE’S prologues concern themselves principally with literary and theatrical polemics, not with the plays to come. The prologue of Phormio, however, includes one piece of information that is of great significance to the play...

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pp. 265-

Phormio

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pp. 266-320


E-ISBN-13: 9780292797901
E-ISBN-10: 0292797907
Print-ISBN-13: 9780292760547
Print-ISBN-10: 029276054X

Page Count: 330
Illustrations: none
Publication Year: 2001

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • Classical drama (Comedy) -- Translations into English.
  • Classical drama (Comedy) -- History and criticism.
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