Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Terence's last play, Adelphoe, is often the first one modern readers encounter. The play centers on two characters with opposing beliefs about parenting: the pater durus Demea takes an authoritarian approach; his brother and anti-type, the pater lenis Micio, is permissive. Terence himself raises the issue of adaptation in the play's short prologue, where he invokes the audience as judges in a literary dispute between himself and his opponents. It is likely that Terence also changed his characters' names to underscore their dramatic functions, common practice in the comoedia palliata although he limited himself to conventional choices. Knemon, an old farmer living in a rural outpost of Attica, has been compared with Demea since Thierfelder. Dyskolos and Samia illustrate aspects of what the author calls a recognition narrative. These appear in Adelphoe as well, when Demea is forced to reevaluate decisions made on false assumptions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationA companion to Terence
EditorsAriana Traill, A. Augostakis
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)9781405198752
StatePublished - May 3 2013


  • Adaptation
  • Adelphoe
  • Demea
  • Dramaturgy
  • Knemon
  • Terence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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