Plautus and Terence wrote their plays to be performed in public festivals in Republican Rome during the 2nd century BC. As products of their time, these comedies reflected current events, in particular, Hannibal's invasion of Italy and Rome's initial conquest of Greece. Rather than treating history merely as context for Roman drama, this specialised study argues that history and drama should be seen as being `in constant dialogue with each other' and that the plays dramatise their authors' need to understand the transformations that were taking place around them. In addition to discussing the plays, Matthew Leigh examines and quotes from Greek and Roman histories, showing how the events described there can also be found in comic drama. Extracts are presented in original Latin or Greek with English translations.
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