T. Macci Plauti Comoediae

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Cambridge University Press, Jul 8, 2010 - Drama - 728 pages
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The foundation for the modern study of Titus Maccius Plautus rests on this monumental four-volume edition, begun by the eminent German philologist Friedrich Ritschl and completed by his colleagues Gustav Loewe, Georg Goetz, and Fritz Schöll. Scrupulously edited from existing manuscripts, including the famed Ambrosian palimpsest, this edition offers valuable insights into the metrics, literary and historical contexts, and textual history of the Latin comedic playwright. Volume 2 (1881-1884) includes editions of Aulularia, Amphitryon, Mercator, Stichus, and Poenulus. Each play is provided with a thorough preface, analysing the work's structures and themes and explaining its reconstruction from manuscript. A central contribution to the study of Plautine drama, Ritschl's Comoediae is also a remarkable achievement of textual criticism, a model of nineteenth-century philology at its most ambitious.
  

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About the author (2010)

Plautus and Terence used stock characters (the young lovers, the clever slave, the irate father) and devices (mistaken identity), but each handled these conventions in his own distinct manner. Plautus was the son of a poor Umbrian farmer who may have fought in the Second Punic War. The playwright Plautus is said to have been a popular actor, true comedian, jovial, tolerant, rough of humor. He not only modeled his plays on the Greek New Comedy, but unhesitatingly inserted long passages translated from the Greek originals. He was the master of comic irony and, as its originator, copied by Moliere, Corneille, Jonson, Dryden and Fielding. Shakespeare based his Comedy of Errors on Plautus's Menaechmi. Of more than 100 plays, 21 survive.