Titus Maccius Plautus, Truculentus [The Fierce One]

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According to Cicero (

De Senectute



was produced in Plautus' still vital last years. Cicero lumps


together with


, securely dated to 191 BCE, and so we may assign a date of ca 190 BCE to the play.


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, the employment of prostitutes for sexual gratification generally was not frowned upon, as it was considered a

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Citation: Christenson, David M.. "Truculentus". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 May 2009 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=26473, accessed 05 March 2024.]

26473 Truculentus 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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