Terence (Publius Terentius Afer)tĕrˈəns, b. c.185 or c.195 B.C., d. c.159 B.C., Roman writer of comedies, b. Carthage. As a boy he was a slave of Terentius Lucanus, a Roman senator, who brought him to Rome, educated him, and gave him his freedom. Six comedies by him survive— Andria, Heautontimorumenos, Eunuchus, Phormio, Adelphi, and Hecyra. All are adapted (with considerable liberty) from Greek plays by Menander and others. The writing is polished and urbane, the humor broad, and the characters realistic.
See G. E. Duckworth, The Complete Roman Drama (1942); W. G. Arnott, Menander, Plautus, and Terence (1965).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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