Terence’s Heautontimorumenos

Terence (c. 195 – c. 159? BC), translated by Kelk, Christopher (contributor-contact-email)

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Heauton Timorumenos, The Self-Tormentor, is a play written in 163 BC by the Latin dramatist Terence. The story unfolds in a village in the countryside of Attica. The neighbours Chremes and Menedemus each have sons, Clitipho and Clinia, who are respectively enamoured of Bacchis and Antiphila. Syrus, a crafty servant of Chremes, tricks his master into settling the debt of the prostitute Bacchis. Antiphila turns out to be Chremes’ biological daughter and is pledged to Clinia in matrimony. Academic scrutiny of the play has raised uncertainties. It’s inconclusive if this work is Terence’s second or third offering. Terence claims in the prologue to have doubled the complexity of Menander’s original play of the same name. Given the limited preservation of Menander’s original, assessing how much of Terence’s work is translation, as compared to invention, is challenging.

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Kelk, Christopher

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