The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Terebra – Terentianus Maurus – Terentini Ludi – Terentius



TSr6bra. A military engine for boring into the walls of a besieged town. (See abies.)

Tgrentianus Manms. A Latin gram­marian, born in Mauritania. At the close of the 3rd century b.c. he wrote a didactic poem on prosody and metre, composed in ] the most varied forms of verse (De LittCrls, Sylldbls, Metrls), The estimation in which he was held by later grammarians is proved by their frequent quotations from him.

Terentini Lull. See s.ecui.ahes Lupi.

Tgrentlus. (1) Publlus Terentius Afcr (or the African) A celebrated Roman comic poet. He was born in Carthage about 185 b.c., and came to Rome as a slave in the possession of the senator Terentius Lucanus, who, on account of his promising talents and handsome person, gave him a good education and set him free. As early as 166, on the recommendation of the poet Cseclllus Stating, he produced his first play, the Maiden of Andrtis (Andrict), which met with great success. He succeeded in win­ning the favour and friendship of the most distinguished men, such as the younger Scipio and Laelius. He was less successful with his next piece, The Mother-in-Law (ffecyra), which came out in the following year, and was without doubt his feeblest production. It was only on its third repre­sentation in 166 that it met with any success. Meanwhile, in 163, two years after the first production of the Hecyra, he ventured to appear before the public with a new piece, The Self-Tormentor (HautontlmorttmSnfis'). This was followed in 161 by the Eunuchns, which was very warmly received, and by the Phormlo. In 160, after bringing out another play, The Brothers (Adelphi), he went to Greece, where he died 159 b.c.

Terence, like the other poets who wrote palliates (see comedy, 2), borrowed from the older Greek poets, especially from Menander (only the Hecyra and Phormio being taken from ApollSdorus). This he } did however with a certain freedom ; and sometimes by fusing together similar Greek compositions, and borrowing appro­priate scenes from other poets, he managed to expand the simple plot of the Greek original. Evidently of a refined mind, he had no taste for the lively realism of a Plautus. On the contrary, he aimed at artistic correctness of plot, delicate deli­neation of character, and elegance of form. He had nothing of the vivacity, force, and wit of Plautus, and fell far behind Menander in freshness and vigour, for which reason

Csesar pertinently called him Menander's half [o dlmWMif, Menander, quoted by Suetonius in his life of Terence].

In his style, although a foreigner, he caught the refined tone of Roman society so successfully as to cause his detractors to maintain that he had been assisted in his compositions by his noble patrons, a reproach from which he does not entirely exonerate himself in the prologue to the Adelphi. His works do not appear to have main­tained their reputation on the stage with the public at large for any length of time after his death. They have, nevertheless, remained for all time the favourite litera­ture of cultivated readers. Ancient critics also made them a subject of study, and wrote many commentaries on them. We still possess the important commentary by jElius Donatus, belonging to the middle of the 4th century a.d., as well as the less valuable one by Eugraphius of the 10th century, when Terence was (as for some time previously) a favourite text-book. These have come down to us besides the didascdliai (q.v.) to the several pieces, and the metrical arguments by Sulplclus Apollmaris.

(2) Publiutt Terentius Varro Ataclnus. A Roman poet, born 82 B.C. by the river Atax in Gallia Narbonensis; he died before 36 b.c. According to an ancient authority, he only began to study Greek literature in his 35th year. Accordingly his satires on the model of Luclllus, and his epic poem on Caasar's war with the Sequani (Bellum Sequanicum) must belong to his earlier years. He after­wards followed the fashion of imitating the Alexandrian School, which was just coming into vogue, and composed, besides elegies and didactic poems after Greek models, his epic poem, entitled the ArgOnautas, in four books, a free imitation of the Argonautlca by Apollonius RhSdlus. This masterpiece, which has been much praised by later poets, and of which (as of his poems in general) only scattered fragments remain, appears to have been the most remarkable produc­tion in the domain of narrative epic poetry between the time of Ennius and that of Vergil.

(3) Marcus Terentius Varro Reatinus(i.e. a native of Reate in the Sabine territory). The most learned of the Romans; born 116 B.C. of an ancient senatorial family. He devoted himself to study at an early age, under the direction chiefly of the learned antiquarian and philologist ^Elius Stllo, without how­ever withdrawing from public life either

About | First | Index



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.