Terence (Publius Terentius Afer)tĕr´əns [key], b. c.185 or c.195 BC, d. c.159 BC, 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).
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