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date: 21 April 2024

comedy, Latinlocked

comedy, Latinlocked

  • Peter G. M. Brown


This term has come to be synonymous with fabula*palliata, since the palliatae of *Plautus and *Terence are the only complete Latin comedies to have survived from antiquity. But there were other types of comedy in Latin (see atellana; fabula; mime; togata), and there was clearly some overlap of subject-matter, titles, and style between the various types. Varro praised *Titinius, Terence, and *Quinctius Atta for their character-drawing, combining authors of palliata and togata in the same list, and both types were influenced by *Menander (1). The creative heyday of the palliata is thought to have been from *Livius Andronicus to *Turpilius, that of the togata from Titinius to Atta; most productions cannot be dated, but the two types probably flourished side by side in the mid-2nd cent. bce. This may reflect a development within the palliata; at first happy to allow the inclusion of Roman elements in its Greek setting (as seen most clearly in the plays of Plautus), it came to favour greater consistency (see luscius lanuvinus) and thereby perhaps encouraged the development of a separate type of comedy with an Italian setting.


  • Latin Literature

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