Theatre flourished in the Roman Republic, from the tragedies of Ennius and Pacuvius to the comedies of Plautus and Terence and the mimes of Laberius. Yet apart from the surviving plays of Plautus and Terence the sources are fragmentary and difficult to interpret and contextualise. This book provides a comprehensive history of all aspects of the topic, incorporating recent findings and modern approaches. It discusses the origins of Roman drama and the historical, social and institutional backgrounds of all the dramatic genres to be found during the Republic (tragedy, praetexta, comedy, togata, Atellana, mime and pantomime). Possible general characteristics are identified, and attention is paid to the nature of and developments in the various genres. The clear structure and full bibliography also ensure that the book has value as a source of reference for all upper-level students and scholars of Latin literature and ancient drama.
Gesine Manuwald is a Lecturer in Latin at University College London. Her research interests include Cicero's orations, Flavian epic and neo-Latin literature, on which she has published several books and many articles. Her main focus of research is Roman drama. She has written extensively on the subject, including several articles on Roman comedy, a book on fabulae praetextae, Roman Historical Dramas (2001) and, most recently, a reader on Roman drama (2010).
Introduction: previous scholarship and the present approach; Part I. The Cultural and Institutional Background: 1. The evolution of Roman drama; 2. Production and reception; Part II. Dramatic Poetry: 3. Dramatic genres; 4. Dramatic poets; 5. Dramatic themes and techniques; Overview and conclusions: Republican drama.