Carlo M. Lucarini - Playwrights, actor-managers and the Plautinian text in antiquity
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Carlo M. Lucarini
Playwrights, actor-managers and the Plautinian text in antiquity
A detailed account of the history of Plautus’ text in antiquity has been given by Marcus Deufert (2002), whose book is characterized by accurate knowledge of the previous literature and by sober judgement. Few years ago I undertook a new inquiry on this matter, focusing on the Plautinian philology of the republican age, and my conclusions turned out to differ from those of my predecessors on some crucial points (see Lucarini 2012).
In the present article I will consider again the problems discussed in my previous work, but the bulk of this paper will be the examination of a stage of the Plautinian text that I have neglected before, namely the relations between Plautus and the actor-managers who staged his comedies, as well as those between the poet and the magistrates who ruled the ludi. The sources state unanimously that the poets used to sell their dramas (see below), but it is difficult to determine who was the buyer. The main sources about this matter are Terentius’ prologues, especially that of Eunuchus and Hecyra. In addition some passages of Terence’s biography by Suetonius premitted to Donatus’ commentary as well as this commentary itself offer important stuff. The most relevant passages are:
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