Terence

Terence
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TERENCE (Publius Terentius Afer, c. 195-159 B.C.), was a north African of Carthage. He was brought to Rome as a household slave of the Roman Terentius Lucanus, who had him educated and freed. Terence was then admitted to the society of Roman nobles who liked literature; for them chiefly he composed six Latin comedies (based on Greek models), all of which are extant. Gifted with an intimate knowledge of human nature, but preferring the kindly to the cruel, he presents us, in polished poetry, with loving parents and children, gentle masters, and faithful slaves, well suited to the Roman circle for which he was writing. Even where social behavior is not high, there is refinement and subtle humour. At least one of the plays has a very modern look. Indeed none of them is specially related to his own time; all however are meant to reproduce life as presented by playwrights of the "New Comedy" (especially Menander) at Athens about a century earlier.

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