Plautus in Roman Biography

Plau'tns, [Fr. Plaute, plot ; It. Plauto, plow'to,] (Marcus Acciusor Attius,) the most celebrated of the Roman comic poets, was a native of Sarsina, in Umbria. It is supposed that he was born about 254, or, as some say, in 224 B.C. In his youth he served a baker by grinding corn with a hand-mill. Little is known of his history. According to Cicero, he died in 184 B.C. His plays were very popular in his own time, and are generally admired by modern critics. His elegance, re-' finement, and wit are commended by Cicero and other ancient critics. Horace censures his coarse jests and his versification. The titles of his extant plays are "Amphitruo," "Asinaria," "Aulularia," " Bacchides," "Captivi," "Curculio," "Casina," "Cistellaria,"' "Epidicus," "Menaschmi," "Mercator," " Miles Gloriosus," "Mostellaria," " Persa," " Poenulus," " Psettdolus," " Rudens," "Stichus," "Trinummus," and "Truculentus." There is a good English version of Plautus by Bonnel Thornton. The "Captivi" was pronounced the most perfect of comedies by Lessing, who, as a critic, had scarcely any superior. See Gronovior, " Lectiones Platitinse/' 1740; Loman. "Specimen critico-literarium in Plautum et Terentium," 1845 ; Andesrn, •' De Vita Plauti," 1843: Lessing, "Von dero Leben und den Werken des Plautus," in the third volume of his works, Berlin, 183S : " Nouvelle Biographie Ge'ne'rale ;" " Foreign Quarterly Review" for April, 1843.

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