Stock characters from Atellana in Plautus' Palliata – the connections between Dossennus-Manducus and the Plautine parasites reconsidered

Zdrojový dokument: Graeco-Latina Brunensia. 2019, roč. 24, č. 2, s. 193-210
  • ISSN
    1803-7402 (print)
    2336-4424 (online)
Type: Článek
The article answers the question whether the characters from the pre-literary Atellan farce appear in the comedies of Plautus. The author reconsiders and follows Eckard Lefèvre's suggestion that the names of Bucco and Maccus mentioned by Plautus refer to the stock characters from the fabula Atellana, but questions the reference to the figure of Manducus in Rud. 535-536 – it is unclear whether Plautus is alluding to the figure carried during the pompa circensis or to the stock character from the farce. Moreover, the author agrees with J. Christopher B. Lowe's hypothesis that the parasite Ergasilus from Captivi resembles Dossennus from Atellana and develops this idea further, noticing that the references to chattering teeth and the mouth gaping wide are the characteristic elements in the portrayal of Dossennus-Manducus and that they also occur in the descriptions of other Plautine parasites. To prove this theory the author analyses several passages from the Plautine comedies: Captivi (vv. 909–915), Stichus (vv. 577; 605) and Curculio (vv. 317–325) – thus the author tries to show the possible influence of the Atellan stock character of Dossennus-Manducus on the presentation of the parasite in palliata.
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