Plautus (Titus Maccius Plautus) (plô´təs), c.254–184 BC, Roman writer of comedies, b. Umbria. His plays, adapted from those of Greek New Comedy, are popular and vigorous representations of middle-class and lower-class life. Written with a mastery of idiomatic spoken Latin and governed by a genius for situation and coarse humor, Plautus' comedies achieved a great reputation. Characteristic of his plays are the stock comic figures—the knavish, resourceful slave, the young lover and his mistress, the courtesan, the parasite, and the braggart soldier. His plots and characters have had great influence upon later literature, with adaptations and imitations by many writers, e.g., Molière, Corneille, Jonson, and Shakespeare. The chronological order for Plautus' plays is unknown; 21, more or less complete, survive: Amphitruo (Amphitryon), Asinaria, Aulularia, Bacchides, Captivi, Casina, Cistellaria, Curculio, Epidicus, Menaechmi, Mercator, Miles gloriosus, Mostellaria, Persa, Poenulus, Pseudolus, Rudens, Stichus, Trinummus, Truculentus, and Vidularia (in fragments).

See G. E. Duckworth, The Complete Roman Drama (1942) and other translations by P. Nixon (5 vol., rev. 1952–62) and J. Tatum (1983); study by E. Segal (1968).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Plautus: Selected full-text books and articles

Plautus and Terence By Gilbert Norwood Longmans, Green, 1932
Rome and the Mysterious Orient: Three Plays by Plautus By Plautus; Amy Richlin University of California Press, 2005
A primary source is a work that is being studied, or that provides first-hand or direct evidence on a topic. Common types of primary sources include works of literature, historical documents, original philosophical writings, and religious texts.
Slaves, Masters, and the Art of Authority in Plautine Comedy By Kathleen McCarthy Princeton University Press, 2000
The Edinburgh Companion to Ancient Greece and Rome By Edward Bispham; Thomas Harrison; Brian A. Sparkes Edinburgh University Press, 2010
Librarian's tip: Chap. 40 "Roman Comedy"
Encountering Plautus in the Renaissance: A Humanist Debate on Comedy By Hardin, Richard F Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 60, No. 3, Fall 2007
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Domestic Sexual Labor in Plautus By Marshall, C. W Helios, Vol. 42, No. 1, Spring 2015
Writing down Rome: Satire, Comedy, and Other Offences in Latin Poetry By John Henderson Clarendon Press, 1999
Librarian's tip: Chap. 1 "Hanno's Punic Heirs: Der Poenulus-Neid des Plautus"
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