Rome and the Mysterious Orient: Three Plays by Plautus / Edition 1

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Overview

Still funny after two thousand years, the Roman playwright Plautus wrote around 200 B.C.E., a period when Rome was fighting neighbors on all fronts, including North Africa and the Near East. These three plays—originally written for a wartime audience of refugees, POWs, soldiers and veterans, exiles, immigrants, people newly enslaved in the wars, and citizens—tap into the mix of fear, loathing, and curiosity with which cultures, particularly Western and Eastern cultures, often view each other, always a productive source of comedy. These current, accessible, and accurate translations have replaced terms meaningful only to their original audience, such as references to Roman gods, with a hilarious, inspired sampling of American popular culture—from songs to movie stars to slang. Matching the original Latin line for line, this volume captures the full exuberance of Plautus's street language, bursting with puns, learned allusions, ethnic slurs, dirty jokes, and profanities, as it brings three rarely translated works—Weevil (Curculio), Iran Man (Persa), and Towelheads (Poenulus)—to a wide contemporary audience.

Richlin's erudite introduction sets these plays within the context of the long history of East-West conflict and illuminates the role played by comedy and performance in imperialism and colonialism. She has also provided detailed and wide-ranging contextual introductions to the individual plays, as well as extensive notes, which, together with these superb and provocative translations, will bring Plautus alive for a new generation of readers and actors.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520242753
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 12/12/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 302
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Amy Richlin, Professor of Classics at the University of California, Los Angeles, is author of The Garden of Priapus: Sexuality and Aggression in Roman Humor (revised edition, 1992), editor of Pornography and Representation in Greece and Rome (1992), and coeditor, with Nancy Sorkin Rabinowitz, of Feminist Theory and the Classics (1993).

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix
Acknowledgments xi
Introduction 1
Why This Book 1
Why Translate This Way 2
Conventions of Reference and Abbreviations 4
How These Plays Got from Plautus to Us 4
Other Translations 9
Historical Background 9
Translation Issues 30
Performance Issues 48
Suggestions for Further Reading 53
Weevil (Curculio) 55
Notes 97
Iran Man (Persa) 109
Notes 160
Towelheads (Poenulus) 183
Notes 251
Biblography 273
General References 273
Translations, Commentaries, and Special Studies 278
Historical Background 279
Index 283
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