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C. 3. lElmer




THOUGH the Phormio is admittedly one of the best of
the plays of Terence, no annotated edition of it suitable
for college use has yet been published in America. This
fact alone makes it unnecessary, I hope, to apologize
for the present volume.

While the text of this edition is, in general, based
upon that of Dziatzko, I have often ventured to deviate
from his readings, prompted sometimes by suggestions
that have been made since his edition was published,
sometimes by a conviction that the testimony of the
manuscripts, unless demonstrably false, is entitled to
more consideration than arbitrary alterations. The
Appendix is devoted almost exclusively to a defense of
these deviations from Dziatzko's text and to the citation
of authorities for statements made in the notes.

In preparing the commentary, I have had before me
all important editions of the play and have taken
occasional notes from that of Sloman and less frequently
from that of Bond and Walpole.

I would here express to Professor Karl Dziatzko my
grateful appreciation of his courtesy in giving me per-


mission to use, in any way that might suit my purpose,
the very valuable material collected in his own edition
of the Phormio, representing as it does a thorough study
of all the literature upon Terence and allied subjects
that had appeared up to 1884. Much, however, has been
done in this field during the last ten years, and the
results of such labors have, so far as seemed desirable,
been incorporated in the present volume. I have
thought it worth while to append below a classified
bibliography of the literature especially concerned with
Terence that has appeared since the completion of
Dziatzko's edition.

I feel myself under lasting obligations to Professor E.
M. Pease, Editor-in-chief of the series to which this book
belongs, to Professor C. E. Bennett of Cornell University,
and to Professor H. N. Fowler of the Western Keserve
University, for the searching criticism to which they
have subjected all parts of the book. I am further
indebted to Professor Pease for his kindness in placing
at my service his collation of the Codex Parisinus.


ITHACA, 1895.


A. & G. Allen & Greenough's Latin Grammar.

B. Bennett's Latin Grammar.

G. Gildersleeve's (Lodge) Latin Grammar.

H. Harkmtss' Latin (irainmar.




The Origin of the Greek Drama ix

The Early Greek Comedy ...... x

The Later Greek Comedy xi

Roman Comedy xiii

History of the Text of Terence xxv

Dramatic Entertainments, the Actors, the Stage, etc. xxviii
Division of Plays into Acts and Scenes . . . xxxii

The Metres of Terence xxxiii

Adaptability of the Various Metres to Different Moods xxxvi
Differences in the Manner of Rendering Various

Rhythms ; Musical Accompaniment, etc. . xxxvii

Prosody of Terence xxxix

Language of Terence xliii

The Phormio xlvi









The Origin of the Greek Drama.

THE Greek drama had its origin in the village festival that
was wont to be held each year, at the vintage time, in honor
of Dionysus, the god of wine, the bringer of good cheer. Dio-
nysus, in the popular fancy, was supposed to have wandered
through the world, accompanied by a band of satyrs and
nymphs, spreading his worship among men, encountering
countless dangers and hardships in his progress, now falling
into the hands of pirates and thrown into chains, now aiding
the gods in their war with the giants, now being torn to
pieces at the command of the jealous Hera, but springing up
again with new life, and finally triumphing over all obsta-
cles and bringing joy and blessing to all mankind. It was
customary among the country folk, when they gathered in the
grapes, to celebrate tha adventures of this god, whose bounty
they were about to enjoy. One member of the company
would impersonate the god himself, and the others would act
the part of his attendant satyrs; and the story of the god's
adventures would thus, in a rude and impromptu fashion, be
enacted. Some parts of this story were bright and gay,
while others were sad and tragic ; and it was in these rude
attempts to represent its different aspects that both comedy
and tragedy had their origin. Tragedy, however, was earlier
than comedy in reaching maturity.


The Early Greek Comedy.

The word comedy (Kco/AcoSia) means literally the "song of
revelry " (KU>P>?, aSeiv), or possibly the song of the KOJ^,
i.e. "village song." The Dorians, and especially one Susa-
rion (about 580 B.C.), seem to deserve the credit of having
first dramatized the rude dialogue, in which comedy had its
origin, and given it something like a literary form. The prin-
cipal representative, however, of that branch of literature, be-
fore it reached the perfection it attained during the period
of Pericles, was Epicharmus, a contemporary of Aeschylus.
He was born on the island of Cos about 540 B.C., and from
there, at the age of three months, was taken to Megara in
Sicily, where he spent most of his life and where he died
about 450 B.C. But comedy did not reach any high degree
of development until it was taken up by the master artists
of Athens in the time of Pericles. The conditions of Greek
life at this period were peculiarly favorable for developing this
branch of writing. The intellectual activity and the highly
developed political life of the times worked together to bring
it rapidly to a position of great importance and influence.
Cratinus, Eupolis, Phrynichua, are the first to be men-
tioned as writers of the old Attic comedy, but these are of
little importance in comparison with Aristophanes (fl. 427-388
B.C.), who soon appeared upon the scene and became by far the
most important representative of this school. It lies, of course,
in the nature of comedy to depict the gay and humorous ; and
at the time with which we are now dealing, the keen and .ab-
sorbing interest taken by all classes in politics gave direction
to the popular comedy. Public men and affairs formed its
material. These were subjected to that keen wit with which
the Athenians, above all others, were endowed. With refer-
ence to form and technique, it was natural enough that comedy
should for the most part be modeled after the outlines marked
out by writers of tragedy, which already existed in a highly
developed form. From tragedy, too, comedy largely drew its
material for parodies.


The unfortunate result of the Peloponnesian War, -which
broke the fresh, self-conscious vigor of Athens, forms a turning-
point in the history of Attic comedy. With eager participation
of the people in public affairs, died out also their interest in
them ; other and narrower interests above all, material inter-
ests began to engross their attention. They had been wont to
spare neither pains nor expense in organizing, equipping and
training a chorus as an essential feature of every play. But
now, while they still continued for a time to furnish the chorus,
they no longer felt the old pride in providing it with an elabo-
rate outfit, or in training it when equipped; and their growing
indifference ultimately resulted in its being given up altogether.
In fact the Plutus of Aristophanes, the latest of the eleven plays
of that author which have been preserved to us, shows that
a decided change in this respect has already taken place. In
lieu of choral parts having an organic connection with the
play, is found between the acts a song, borrowed from some
other source.

The Later Greek Comedy.

The new Attic comedy, which does not appear fully developed
till the latter part of the fourth century, is almost wholly sev-
ered from all connection with public life and shows, in compari-
son with the old comedy, a lack of variety in the subjects
treated, a decline in powers of invention, and lack of the old
boldness in handling materials. We have, however, some com-
pensation for this loss. As a result of continual painstaking
practice, there is greater smoothness, a more artistic finish in
language and action, a treatment showing closer attention to
detail, and a more polished technique. Comedy now is a tame
society play, dealing merely with the manners and customs of
family life. Even the materials that chance to be borrowed
from other sources, e.g. from mythology, are treated in like man
ner. The abuses practiced in public life no longer receive notice
even by so much as an allusion. At the same time personal


attacks upon individuals have ceased; only typical characters,
such as bragging soldiers, sponging parasites, and insolent syco-
phants, are held up to ridicule. As compensation for this nar-
rower range of subjects, appears invention of new situations
and of amusing complications out of which the same ever-re-
curring characters have to extricate themselves. In this respect
the fruitful, untiring genius of the poets of the new comedy
challenges our admiration, though our estimate of them is based
upon mere fragments from their plays and upon Latin plays that
are modeled after them.

With, reference to dramatic arrangement and technique, the
new comedy as well as the old is modeled after tragedy, and
especially after the tragedy of Euripides. It is characterized by
the same moralizing tone prevalent in the works of that author.
The numerous maxims, however, which lend this color are, in
the new comedy, brought into the play only incidentally, while
in the old Attic comedy, with its vigorous assaults upon every-
thing that was blameworthy, they seemed an organic part of the
play itself.

Among the poets of the new Attic comedy, of whom there
were more than sixty, the most distinguished in the judgment of
antiquity was Menander (312-290 B.C.). Next to him, Phile-
mon, Diphilus, Philippides, Fosidippus, and Apollodorus of
Carystus, are to be named as the favorite writers of comedy. Of
the original productions of these poets only a few fragments
have come down to us. We have, however, Latin adaptations
from some of their plays in the two great comic poets of Rome,
Plautus and Terence.

Of course the transition from the old to the new comedy was
a gradual one. It extended over a period of fifty years, from
the Plutus of Aristophanes (presented first in 408 and again,
this time in a revised form and without chorus and parabasis,
in 388) to about the time of the Macedonian sovereignty (338).
The best known poets of this period are Antiphaiies and
Alexis. Whether we should look upon this so-called middle
comedy as forming a distinct type by itself may be questioned ;


but at any rate the division into the old and the new is an im-
portant one, and each of these two classes is marked by well-
defined characteristics.

The new comedy, in its development, coincides with the
political decline of Greece and with the gradual decay of her
art. As compared with the old comedy, ~ it shows in many re-
pects unmistakable retrogression. As a natural result, how-
ever, of the conditions already indicated, it is free from that
distinctly local coloring, which makes even a play of Aris-
tophanes often unintelligible to one who is not familiar with the
condition of affairs in Athens at the time the play was written ;
it has the cosmopolitan character, which becomes, during the
fourth and third centuries before Christ, more and more
peculiar to Greek life. It was owing to this peculiar cosmo-
politan character that the new comedy, about the middle of the
third century before Christ, found a welcome in Rome a city
highly developed politically, but as yet without a literature.
That the comic poets of Rome chose the material for their
translations and adaptations exclusively from the new (and the
so-called middle) comedy, is not then due wholly to the fact that
that kind of writing was still nourishing when Roman litera-
ture began.

Roman Comedy.

The ancient Romans, like the Italians of to-day, had, as one
of their notable characteristics, a fondness for the dramatic,
and especially for the comic. Vergil, in Georg. II. 385-396 (cf.
Hor. Ep. II. 1, 139 ff.), pictures the gaieties of rural festivals,
at which improvised jests, in rude verse, were exchanged in
animated dialogue. These versus Fescennini, as they are
commonly called (after the town of Fescennia), had no liter-
ary importance ; but still we see in them germs similar to
those from which the Greeks developed their artistic comedy.
It is interesting also to note that a process of development
seems to have set in on Roman, much as it did on Greek,


soil. As a demand was felt for something less rude than
these versus Fescennini, a form of representation arose for which
preparation was made beforehand and less was entrusted to
improvisation. To add to the interest of the entertainment,
the verses were now accompanied by music and dancing, and
the whole performance in this improved form took the name
of Satura. These performances, if we may accept the com-
mon view regarding the meaning of the term saturae, 1 seem to
have been devoid of any connected plot, but they demanded
a certain amount of care and skill on the part of the per-
formers, and accordingly a class of people began to devote
special attention to acting as a profession. We must of course
look upon these saturae (of which the contents were of a purely
local character, and the structure even yet not artistic) as
entirely different from the Greek comedies as far as their
contents and their structure were concerned. A ne'arer ap-
proach to dramatic form was made in the fabulae Atellanae,
so-called because they are said to have originated in the Cam-
panian town of Atella. The fabulae Atellanae were broad farces
in which figured stock characters analogous to the clown, pan-
taloon and harlequin of a modern pantomime. Rude as all
these performances were, they nevertheless awakened in the Ro-
man public an interest in dramatic representations. Under
favorable circumstances they might have developed into an
artistic drama that would have been truly Roman in thought
and feeling.

But there now appeared on the scene an influence that was
destined to dominate the whole course of Roman literature.
After the war with Pyrrhus, the Romans came into closer con-
tact with the Greek cities of southern Italy and Sicily, and had
their attention called to the creations of Greek genius. They

1 In an interesting paper on " The Dramatic Satura and the Old
Comedy at Rome" (Am. Journ. Phil., Vol. XV.), Hendrickson further
develops the theory of Leo that satura in Livy (7, 2) is merely the
designation of an assumed Roman parallel to the old Greek comedy.


never recovered from the spell that was thus cast about them.
Instead of attempting to create a literature of their own along
independent lines, they now devoted themselves chiefly to copy-
ing the masterpieces of Greece. The first fruits of this new
influence were seen in mere translations and adaptations from
the Greek. The comedies that were thus translated, or adapted,
are called fabulae palliatae, from the Greek cloak (pallium)
worn by the actors, to distinguish them from the fabulae togatae
in which Roman manners were represented. The first writer
to be mentioned in this connection is Livius Andronicus,
who was born at Tarentum about 284 B.C. After the capture
of his native city in 272 B.C., he became the slave of M. Livius
Salinator, who, charmed by the talents of the young man, soon
afterwards gave him his freedom. In 240 Livius was engaged
to produce, as one of the attractions of the ludi Romani, two
Latin plays, a tragedy and a comedy, adapted from Greek origi-
nals. Such dramatic entertainments had for a long time been
regularly given in the original Greek in the towns of southern
Italy and so were more or less familiar to the Romans. These
performances found such favor at Rome that from this time on
they became a regular part of the games. Livius Andronicus
must then be looked upon as having introduced d" new era for
the Roman people. In Livy the historian (7, 2), the existence
of a connected plot and the systematic arrangement of the con-
tents are designated as the features that distinguished the new
drama from the old satura. It was further distinguished by
the employment of Greek metres and by differences in the
form of representation. Only a few fragments of the plays of
Livius have come down to us. We know, however, that he was
held in so great esteem at Rome that, in honor of him, the tem-
ple of Minerva on the Aventine was appropriated to the use of
scribae et histriones, who organized themselves into a sort of poets'

Another writer, likewise active in both tragedy and comedy,
was Cn. Naevius, a native of Campania, born about 265 B.C.
Being a Latin by descent, he took part in the First Punic War,


a conflict which he afterward described in Saturnian verse.
After 235 B.C., we find him noted at Rome as a fiery and
popular poet, especially in the field of comedy. Fragments of
thirty of his comedies have come down to us. The violent
attacks which he made on the highest families of Rome led
to his imprisonment and later to his banishment. He died
in exile in 201 B.C., or, according to some authorities, a little

T. Maccius Plautus was a writer of comedies only. He was
born at Sarsina in Umbria, about 254 B.C. On coming to Rome,
he found employment at the hands of certain theatrical mana-
gers. What he saved from his earnings here he subsequently
lost in foreign speculation, after which he returned penniless
to Rome and was compelled to earn his bread at hard labor in
a mill, a duty generally reserved for the lowest slaves. His
employment in the theatre, however, had interested him in the
stage, and he resolved to turn to account the knowledge this
experience had given him. He accordingly found time, even
amid the unfavorable conditions surrounding him, to write
comedies, and in a short time he became the most popular of
comic poets. His death came in 184 B.C., but the popularity of
his plays remained undiminished ; and when, after the middle
of the second century B.C., it became customary, instead of pre-
senting new plays, to bring the old again and again upon the
stage (see p. xxv), the comedies of Plautus long continued to
be among the chief attractions of the theatre. So great indeed
was his popularity that plays of other writers were frequently
given out under his name, to create a prejudice in their favor.
One hundred and thirty plays were at one time ascribed to him.
Of these Varro pronounced twenty-one as certainly genuine,
nineteen others as probably so. All but one l of these twenty-
one genuine plays have come down to us, although some are
in a more or less fragmentary condition. The Ambrosian
palimpsest of Plautus (of the fifth century) originally con-

n-he Vidularia,


tained also the lost play, as three leaves of this Ms. still bear

We hear of a certain M. Plautius, belonging to about the
same period, who was also a writer of comedies, but we know
nothing very definite about him. The similarity between his
name and that of Plautus may easily have brought it about
that his plays were ascribed to the better known poet.

Q. Eiinius is chiefly noted for his epic poem called Annales
in which he relates, in eighteen books, the entire history of Rome
from the earliest times down to his own for his saturae, and
his tragedies. But he also attempted comedy, and so deserves
mention here. He was born at Rudiae in Calabria in 239
B.C. He was brought to Rome from Sardinia in 204 by the
quaestor M. Porcius Cato, and here he seems to have lived
in moderate circumstances as teacher of Greek and as stage
poet. In 184 B.C. he received the right of Roman citizenship
which he lived to enjoy for fifteen years. None of his come-
dies have come down to us not even in fragments of any

The next poet worthy of mention in this connection is
Statins Caecilius, who enjoyed an enviable reputation among
the ancients as a writer of palliatae, and who was an important
forerunner of Terence. An Insubrian by birth, he came to Rome
about 194 B.C., probably as a captive taken in war. Later, how-
ever, he was given his freedom. His first attempt at comedy
failed and was not even heard to the end by the impatient
audience ; but he toiled on till he won literary fame and a
name among comic poets second only, as yet, to that of Plautus.
He died soon after Ennius, with whom in life he had been on
the most intimate terms.

We now come to a poet who calls for a more extended notice,
one whose name is always coupled with that of Plautus as one
of the two greatest names in Roman comedy, Publius Teren-
tius Afer. He was a native of Carthage. His surname, Afer,
however, makes it probable that he was not of Phoenician
blood, but that his parents belonged to one of the African


tribes subject to the Carthaginians. 1 The date of his birth was
about 190 B.C. 2 At an early age, lie came to Rome as a slave
of the senator Terentius Lucanus, though how this fact should
be explained is a disputed question. He can hardly have been
taken captive in war, as he was born after the end of the Second
Punic War and died before the beginning of the next war with
Carthage. Possibly he was carried off by enemies of his native
city, in early youth, and later brought to Rome. Be this as it
may, his master, struck by the talent and the prepossessing ap-
pearance of the boy, not only caused him to be carefully edu-
cated, but also gave him his freedom. The associations to
which he had been accustomed in the house of his master

1 For the meaning of Afer, see Em. Baehrens (N. Jahrb. f. Phil. 1881,
p. 401 f.). His attempts, however, to show that this is inconsistent with
the tradition that Terence was born at Carthage, is far from convinc-
ing. There must have been many enslaved Afri (Greek AJ/3ues) in
Carthage, and if we suppose Terence to have been the son of one of
these, to have been brought to Rome and to have been named, as was
customary in the case of slaves, after the nation to which he belonged,
he would naturally have been called Afer (not Foenulu.s, even though
born at Carthage). For parallel instances in the case of soldiers of
imperial times, cf. Th. Mornmsen, Herm. XIX. 29 ff., especially p. 35 f.

2 The date generally given is 185 B.C., in accordance with Suetonius
in his vita Terenti, p. 32 (ed. Ritschl in Reifferscheid, Suet. p. 2(5 ff. and
481 ff. = Opusc. Ill, 204 ff.). But H. Sauppe (Nachr. d. Gott. Ges. 1870,
p. Ill ff.) has made this seem very improbable. The year of Terence's
birth, like that of many other famous men of antiquity, was not definitely
known even to the scholars of ancient Rome. In attempting to estab-
lish the date they acted on the supposition that Terence was of the same
age as P. Scipio Africanus the younger. But we know that Terence
brought out his first piece, the Audria, as early as KiG B.C., in view of
which fact we are, Sauppe thinks, forced to conclude that he must have
liccn several vr;irs older than Scipio. Otherwise the Andria must have
been produced when the author was only nineteen years of age, and such
a production would have required several years of careful preparation.

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