c. 195/190-159 BC
Roman Poet

Terence, full name Publius Terentius Afer, became after Plautus the greatest Roman comic dramatist, the author of six verse comedies that were long regarded as models of pure Latin and deeply influenced the development of Western comedy.

Terence was born in North Africa. As a child he was taken to Rome as a slave to a Roman senator who educated him and later freed him and whose name, Terentius, he adopted.

Terence, as a translator and adaptor of Greek comedy, expressed in Latin the comedy of manners. He based his plays on those of the Athenian playwright Menander (3/4th cent.BC), he won his fame partly because his plays have made known to succeeding generations those of Menander (few of which survived).

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