This contribution by Gesine Manuwald provides an introduction to all varieties of ‘Roman comedy’, including primarily fabula palliata (‘New Comedy’, as represented by Plautus and Terence) as well as fabula togata, fabula Atellana, mimus and pantomimus. It examines the major developments in the establishment of these dramatic genres, their main characteristics, the performance contexts for them in Republican Rome, and their reception. The presentation of the key facts is accompanied by a description of the influential turns and recent trends in scholarship on Roman comedy. The essay is designed for scholars, teachers and (graduate) students who have some familiarity with Roman literature and are looking for (further) orientation in the area of Roman comedy.

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Gesine Manuwald is Professor of Latin at University College London (UCL). Her research interests include Roman drama, Roman epic, Roman oratory and the reception of the classical world especially in Neo-Latin literature; she has published widely on all these areas.
"Manuwald talks about more than just Plautus and Terence, Roman comedy’s usual suspects. Her discussion of Quellenforschung, Greek originals, Italian influences, and interpolation (pp. 23–27) is very clear and helpful. And her overview of the rest of comedy beyond the big two—other authors of palliata, plus togata, Atellana, and mime and pantomime (pp. 43–54)—is excellent, clear, crisp, and engaging. If you’re a Plautus/Terence scholar looking to branch out to other areas of the genre, or looking to get back into Plautine & Terentian studies after a couple of decades away, this is a great tool for the job. [...] Ultimately, Manuwald’s Roman Comedy is a grand synthesis of more than a century of scholarship, a synthesis undertaken by a scholar at the top of her field—clear proof, to be sure, of the importance of the genre and its study, despite longstanding short-selling of it by classicists." - T. H. M. Gellar-Goad, Wake Forest University, in: Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2020.12.07

Roman Comedy
Gesine Manuwald

 1 Introduction
 2 Performance Contexts
 3 Editions, Commentaries, and Translations
 4 Surveys and Reference Works
 5 Fabula palliata
 6 Fabula togata
 7 Fabula Atellana
 8 Mimus / Planipes
 9 Pantomimus
 10 Reception of Roman Comedy
 11 Conclusions
Editions, Commentaries, Translations
Secondary Literature
Academic libraries as well as students and scholars interested in Roman drama, Roman literature, comparative literature and theatre history.
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