We may miss the finer insight into human nature and the delicate touch in drawing character which Terence presents to us in his reproductions of Menander, but there is wonderful life and vigour and considerable variety in the Plautine embodiments of these different types.
Of English plays, the interlude called Jack Juggler (between 1547 and 1553) was based on the Amphitruo, and the lost play called the Historie of Error (acted in 1577) was probably based on the Menae-chmi; Nicholas Udall's Ralph Royster Doyster, the first English comedy (acted before 1551, first printed 1566), is founded on the Miles gloriosus; Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors (about 1591) is an adaptation of the Menaechmi; and his Falstaff may be regarded as an idealized reproduction or development of the braggart soldier of Plautus and Terence - a type of character which reappears in other forms not only in English literature (e.g.
That the passion which she inspired in him was tender, pure and fitted to raise to a higher level a nature which in some 1 The Journal for 1755 records that during that year, besides writing and translating a great deal in Latin and French, he had read, amongst other works, Cicero's Epistolae ad familiares, his Brutus, all his Orations, his dialogues De amicitia and De senectute, Terence (twice), and Pliny's Epistles.
In January 1756 he says: " I determined to read over the Latin authors in order, and read this year Virgil, Sallust, Livy, Velleius Paterculus, Valerius Maximus, Tacitus, Suetonius, Quintus Curtius, Justin, Florus, Plautus, Terence and Lucretius.
Tiro, the amanuensis of Cicero; Hyginus, the librarian of Augustus; Livius Andronicus, Caecilius, Statius, Terence, Publilius Syrus, Phaedrus and Epictetus.
The titles of most of them, like those of Plautus, and unlike those of Caecilius and Terence, are Latin, not Greek.
As a dramatist he worked more in the spirit of Plautus than of Ennius, Pacuvius, Accius or Terence; but the great Umbrian humorist is separated from his older contemporary, not only by his breadth of comic power, but by his general attitude of moral and political indifference.
Virgil, Statius, Terence, Juvenal, Horace, Persius and Lucan are specially named as entering into a course of training which was rendered more stimulating by a free use of open discussion.
If Terence was born in 185, he published his six plays between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five.
After bringing out these plays Terence sailed from Greek parts, either to escape from the suspicion of publishing the works of others as his own, or from the desire to obtain a more intimate knowledge of that Greek life which had hitherto been known to him only in literature and which it was his professed aim to reproduce in his comedies.
From this voyage Terence never returned.
Plautus, though, like Terence, he takes the first sketch of his plots, scenes and characters, from the Attic stage, is yet a true representative of his time, a genuine Italian, writing before the genius of Italy had learned the restraints of Greek art.
The whole aim of Terence was to present a faithful copy of the life, manners, modes of thought and expression which had been drawn from reality a century before his time by the writers of the New Comedy of Athens.
The extraordinary result obtained by Terence is that, while he has left no trace in any of his comedies of one sketching from the life by which he was surrounded, there is perhaps no more truthful, natural and delicate delineator of human nature, in its ordinary and more level moods, within the whole range of classical literature.
Though without claims to creative originality, Terence must have had not only critical genius, to enable him fully to appreciate and identify himself with his originals, but artistic genius of a high and pure type.
Yet Terence had no affinity by birth either with the Greek race or with the people of Latium.
Terence was by birth an African, and was thus perhaps a fitter medium of connexion between the genius of Greece and that of Italy than if he had been a pure Greek or a pure Italian; just as in modern times the Jewish type of genius is sometimes found more detached from national peculiarities, and thus more capable of reproducing a cosmopolitan type of character than the genius of men belonging to other races.
Terence justifies this practice by that of the older poets, Naevius, Plautus, Ennius, whose careless freedom he follows in preference to the "obscura diligentia" of his detractor.
But the gossip, not discouraged by Terence, lived and throve; it crops up in Cicero and Quintilian, and the ascription of the plays to Scipio had the honour to be accepted by Montaigne and rejected by Diderot.
A consequence of this change of circumstances was that comedy was no longer national in character and sentiment, but had become imitative and artistic. The life which Terence represents is that of the well-to-do citizen class whose interests are commonplace, but whose modes of thought and speech are refined, humane and intelligent.
Julius Caesar's lines on Terence, the "dimidiatus Menander," while they complain of lack of comic power, characterize him as "puri sermonis amator."
Horace, so depreciatory in general of the older literature, shows his appreciation of Terence by the frequent reproduction in his Satires and Odes of his language and his philosophy of life.
Sainte-Beuve calls Terence the bond of union between Roman urbanity and the Atticism of the Greeks, and adds that it was in the r 7th century, when French literature was most truly Attic, that he was most appreciated.
The chief manuscript of Terence is the famous Codex Bembinus, of the 4th or 5th century, in the Vatican.
Among critical estimates of Terence may be mentioned Sainte-Beuve's in Nouveaux lundis (3rd and 10th of August 1863), and Mommsen's in the History of Rome, book iv., chapter xiii.
Terence was translated into English verse by George Colman (2765).
The one complete survival of the generation after the death of Ennius, the comedy of P. Terentius Afer or Terence (c. 185-159), exemplifies the gain in literary accomplishment and the loss in literary freedom.
Terence has nothing Roman or Italian except his pure and idiomatic Latinity.
By looking at them together we understand how much the comedy of Terence was able to do to refine and humanize the manners of Rome, but at the same time what a solvent it was of the discipline and ideas of the old republic. What makes Terence an important witness of the culture of his time is that he wrote from the centre of the Scipionic circle, in which what was most humane and liberal in Roman statesmanship was combined with the appreciation of what was most vital in the Greek thought and literature of the time.
The comedies of Terence may therefore be held to give some indication of the tastes of Scipio, Laelius and their friends in their youth.
Although the artistic product of the first period of Latin literature which has reached us in a complete shape is limited to the comedies of Plautus and Terence, the influence may most appropriately be taken as marking the end of one period and the beginning of another.
The hexameter no longer, as in Lucilius, moves awkwardly as if in fetters, but, like the language of Terence, of Catullus in his lighter pieces, of Cicero in his letters to Atticus, adapts itself to the everyday intercourse of life.
Somewhat later are the commentators on Terence and Horace, Helenius Acro and Pomponius Porphyrio.
The tradition was continued in the 4th century by Nonius Marcellus and C. Marius Victorinus, both Africans; Aelius Donatus, the grammarian and commentator on Terence and Virgil, Flavius Sosipater Charisius and Diomedes, and Servius, the author of a valuable commentary on Virgil.
Had he been a "semi-Graecus," like Ennius and Pacuvius, or of humble origin, like Plautus, Terence or Accius, he would scarcely have ventured, at a time when the senatorial power was strongly in the ascendant, to revive the role which had proved disastrous to Naevius; nor would he have had the intimate knowledge of the political and social life of his day which fitted him to be its painter.
The story is probably, like that of the visit of the young Terence to the veteran Caecilius, due to the invention of later grammarians; but it is invented in accordance wtih the traditionary criticism (Horace, Epp. ii.
But, notwithstanding the attempt to introduce an alien element into the Roman language, which proved incompatible with its natural genius, and his own failure to attain the idiomatic purity of Naevius, Plautus or Terence, the fragments of his dramas are sufficient to prove the service which he rendered to the formation of the literary language of Rome as well as to the culture and character of his contemporaries.
But the authors whom he quotes most frequently are Virgil, and, next to him, Terence, Cicero, Plautus; then Lucan, Horace, Juvenal, Sallust, Statius, Ovid, Livy and Persius.
Priscian's three short treatises dedicated to Symmachus are on weights and measures, the metres of Terence, and some rhetorical elements (exercises translated from the Hpoyvµvaaµara of Hermogenes).
Recensions of Terence, Lucretius and Persius, as well as Horace and Virgil, were produced by Probus (d.
420), the most scholarly representative of Christianity in the 4th century, the student of Plautus and Terence, of Virgil and Cicero, the translator of the Chronology of Eusebius, and the author of the Latin version of the Bible now known as the Vulgate.
The Latin poets to be studied include Virgil, Lucan, Statius, Ovid's Metamorphoses, and (with certain limitations) Horace, Juvenal and Persius, as well as Plautus, Terence and the tragedies of Seneca; the prose authors recommended are Cicero, Livy and Sallust.
An educational aim is also apparent in his editions of Terence and of Seneca, while his Latin translations made his contemporaries more familiar with Greek poetry and prose, and his Paraphrase promoted a better understanding of the Greek Testament.
At the grammar school of Stratford-on-Avon, about 1671-1677, Shakespeare presumably studied Terence, Horace, Ovid and the Bucolics of Baptista Mantuanus (1502).
157) a line is quoted as from Terence (Andria, 74): " redime to captum quam queas minimo."
Ro, the right reading habitior, " more portly," has been preserved to us by Donatus, an ancient commentator on Terence (Eunuchus, 2.2.
The elements of this Christian Latin language may be enumerated as follows: - (i.) it had its origin, not in the literary language of Rome as developed by Cicero, but in the language of the people as we find it in Plautus and Terence; (ii.) it has an African complexion; (iii.) it is strongly influenced by Greek, particularly through the Latin translation of the Septuagint and of the New Testament, besides being sprinkled with a large number of Greek words derived from the Scriptures or from the Greek liturgies; (iv.) it bears the stamp of the Gnostic style and contains also some military expressions; (v.) it owes something to the original creative power of Tertullian.
Some critics also maintain that his hand is to be recognized in several series of small blocks done about the same date or somewhat later for Bergmann and other printers of Basel, some of them being illustrations to Terence (which were never printed), some to the romance of the Ritter vom Turm, and some to the Narrenschiff of Sebastian Brandt.
Terence also tells us that he introduced into the Adelphi (ii.
Seneca was chosen as the model of tragedy; Plautus and Terence supplied the groundwork of comedy.