aleator classicus

Reading at Random in Classical Literature

Suetonius, Life of Terence 4

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The comic playwright died on his way back from a visit to Greece. Suetonius quotes a poetic tribute by Volcatius Sedigitus.

post editas comoedias nondum quintum atque vicesimum egressus annum, causa vitandae opinionis qua videbatur aliena pro suis edere, seu percipiendi Graecorum instituta moresque, quos non perinde exprimeret in scriptis, egressus est neque amplius rediit. de morte eius Vulcatius sic tradit:

sed ut Afer populo sex dedit comoedias,
iter hinc in Asiam fecit, et navem ut semel
conscendit, visus numquam est; sic vita vacat.

After publishing his comedies before he had passed his twenty-fifth year, he departed from Rome – either to avoid gossip which claimed he was publishing others’ work as his own, or else to gain knowledge of the manners and customs of the Greeks, which he thought he had not yet properly put across in his writings – and he never again returned. Concerning his death Vulcatius has left us these lines:

But when [Terentius] Afer had produced six comedies,
he voyaged hence to Africa. When once he had embarked,
he was never again seen; so did he leave life.

Written by aleatorclassicus

March 28, 2011 at 12:00 PM

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