Dancing in chains: The stylistic unity of the comoedia by John Wright

By John Wright

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447, numquam quicqiwn jacinus feci; Bacch. 194, aniniast arnica amanti: si abest, mlius est; Pseud. 673, hie argentum, hie arnica amanti erili filio; 239, nam ecastor numquam sati dedit suae quisquatn aniicae aviator; Persa 55, nam numquam quisquatn meoruni maiown juit; and many more. The implication that a w o m a n shoidu be morigera to her husband or lover is typically R o n n n ; i Cas. ; Amph. 842, til)i nioripra dtque ut munijica sim bonis; and Men. 20 A possible ending to the play is suggested by the following fragment, spoken by o n e of the fathers (Com.

G . , Bacch. 646, quicutn ego bibo, quicimi edo ct amoy a n d Pseud. scortantur. 1134, edunt, bibunt, pears with s o m e e x a m p l e s : Poen. adfatim; Adfatim also a p - 867, quod edis, quod antes Poen. 534, tibi bibas, edas de alieno quantum ueis usque ad fatim\ a n d Men. 90-91, dttni tu illi quod edit et quod potet praebeaSy / stto arbilratu ad fatim cottidie. T h e s o u n d of t h e line, with its jingling rhyme, is also very Plautine; compare the following spectacular example f r o m the liacchides (1088): stulti, stolidi, fatui, fungi, singular dedi, perfects, Bacch.

381, where Pscudolus say: o f the j u s t - d e p a r t e d leno Ballio, il lie homo mens est, nisi ontnc di me atque homines deserimt; cf. also Miles 3 3 4 , also spokei b y a senilis eallidus, mens illie homo est, deturbabo iam ego illttn - de pugnaeulis. F r o m these parallels we can easily deduo that the homo in Naevius' line is one of the standard villain r o f R o m a n c o m e d y , a leno, a miles gloriosus, o r a senex. 13u^ more important than the stylistic parallel is the typicall y " Plautine " jauntiness of the line, and especially its impli cation that the gods arc on the side of the scheming slav< It has been said that " Plautine slaves ...

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