Rome and the Mysterious Orient: Three Plays by Plautus
Still funny after two thousand years, the Roman playwright Plautus wrote around 200 B.C.E., a period when Rome was fighting neighbors on all fronts, including North Africa and the Near East. These three plays--originally written for a wartime audience of refugees, POWs, soldiers and veterans, exiles, immigrants, people newly enslaved in the wars, and citizens--tap into the mix of fear, loathing, and curiosity with which cultures, particularly Western and Eastern cultures, often view each other, always a productive source of comedy. These current, accessible, and accurate translations have replaced terms meaningful only to their original audience, such as references to Roman gods, with a hilarious, inspired sampling of American popular culture--from songs to movie stars to slang. Matching the original Latin line for line, this volume captures the full exuberance of Plautus's street language, bursting with puns, learned allusions, ethnic slurs, dirty jokes, and profanities, as it brings...
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