Terence: The Mother-in-Law

BookTerence: The Mother-in-Law

Terence: The Mother-in-Law

Aris & Phillips Classical Texts


May 1st, 1990





At the first two presentations of this play in 165 and 160 BC, the prospect of rival attractions drove the actors prematurely off the stage, and it was only in September 160 that it was finally performed in full. For this reason the play has been seen as spanning virtually the whole of Terence's career, while the fact that the playwright refused to abandon it to oblivion indicates the importance which he himself attached to it. Though its plot is founded upon the conventional theme of marital problems, The Mother in Law departs radically from the usual treatment of such topics to become at times more closely akin to tragedy than to comedy. It is the purpose of this edition to show Terence's skill not only in terms of plot construction and development but also in character portrayal and his ability to maintain the suspense of the situation almost to the last moment.


Author Information

Stanley Ireland is Lecturer in Classics at Warwick University. He has written on such diverse subjects as Aeschylus, Menander, Roman Britain, Homer, Apollodorus and computing in the Classics.

Table of Contents

Section TitlePage
The life and career of Terence
The Mother-in-Law
Summary of the plot
Terentian technique in the play
Terence and the Greek original
The Mother-in-Law and the Epitrepontes of Menander
The Metres of Terence. The Metrical Patten of The Mother-in-Law
The text
Abbreviations used in the Apparatus criticus
Text and translation
Commentary on the translation
Appendix I: The Odium-Morbus theme
Appendix II: The timescale of the pregnancy
Short Bibliography.