Terence (Publius Terentius Afer) (tĕr´əns), b. c.185 or c.195 BC, d. c.159 BC, Roman writer of comedies, b. Carthage. As a boy he was a slave of Terentius Lucanus, a Roman senator, who brought him to Rome, educated him, and gave him his freedom. Six comedies by him survive—Andria, Heautontimorumenos, Eunuchus, Phormio, Adelphi, and Hecyra. All are adapted (with considerable liberty) from Greek plays by Menander and others. The writing is polished and urbane, the humor broad, and the characters realistic.

See G. E. Duckworth, The Complete Roman Drama (1942); W. G. Arnott, Menander, Plautus, and Terence (1965).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Terence: Selected full-text books and articles

Plautus and Terence
Gilbert Norwood.
Longmans, Green, 1932
The Roman Stage: A Short History of Latin Drama in the Time of the Republic
W. Beare.
Methuen, 1950
Librarian’s tip: Chap. XII "Terence"
Writing down Rome: Satire, Comedy, and Other Offences in Latin Poetry
John Henderson.
Clarendon Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 2 "Entertaining Arguments: Terence, Adelphoe"
Shakespeare and Classical Comedy: The Influence of Plautus and Terence
Robert S. Miola.
Clarendon Press, 1994
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