Terence Draws on Menander for Eunuchus

face of a prisoner

In the prologue to Eunuchus, Terence describes his play as “Menander’s Eunuchus,” but also acknowledges mixing in two characters from Menander’s The Flatterer.

Terence changed the name of the courtesan in Menander’s Eunouchos from Chrysis to Thais.^ Thais is a megalomisthoi or “big-fee” hetaera.^

Menander wrote his plays in Greek; Terence, in Latin. Terence, however, typically preserved the Greek setting and social patterns in his dramatic adaptations.

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