Senex in Plautus
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Among the principal characters that crowd the busy stage of Plautus, none are more vital to the action than the old gentlemen. But while the women of Plautus have received lengthy treatment at the hands of Le Benoist in "de personis muliebribus apudd Plautum," yet the senex type, save for brief attention given it in Ribbeck's "Geschichte der Romischen Dichtung" and Schanz, "Romische Litteraturgeschichte," has received little detailed discussion. The senex is the most common of the stock characters which we learn to expect in the old Roman comedies; and although Plautus lived over twenty-one hundred years ago, his old men are wonderfully interesting to us. The more we look at them, the more we are impressed with their modernity. (His old men have much in common with all men the world over; and while they are influenced to some degree by Roman and Greek conventionalities and standards of morals, yet we feel a sympathetic familiarity with them because they are real people.
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