Titus Maccius Plautus: Truculentus [The Fierce One]

(817 words)

According to Cicero (De Senectute 50), Truculentus was produced in Plautus' still vital last years. Cicero lumps Truculentus together with Pseudolus, securely dated to 191 BCE, and so we may assign a date of ca 190 BCE to the play. Truculentus thus debuted about ten years after the defeat of Hannibal in the Second Punic War, and falls within a period of unprecedented wealth in Rome.

Truculentus is a relentless satire featuring a clever prostitute (Phronesium; the root of her name means “wisdom” in Greek) who is masterful in her manipulation of her customers; for the satirical nature of the play see Dessen (1977) and Konstan (1983: 142-64). In the Roman moral tradition,…

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Citation:
Christenson, David M.. "Truculentus". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 May 2009
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=26473, accessed 20 April 2014.]