Author: John Henderson
Product Code: 6943
ISBN: 978-0-86516-694-3
Publisher: Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers
Pages: 200
Availability: In stock
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The comic playscripts by Plautus—the earliest Latin texts we have—made it through the ancient world to reach ours because the moves and verbal jousting found in them have always made people laugh. Plautine comedies span a wide range of idioms, extending from saucy adventures in the sex trade with Father as the fall-guy who foots all bills, to the trouncing of bigmouth trooper by Ms. Hot Stuff; from the fairytale wishes come true of faraway foundlings fished up on a surprise romantic shore, to the caricature gospel that re-stages the myth of the birth of the hero, in true panto style, gods and all.

Although there is no such creature as a typical Plautus play, this cannily chosen set of excerpts—ranging from the best- to least-known plays—gives a good sense of how a whole script runs, from opening hush, through brisk cameos and spectacular showstoppers, to final bow. John Henderson's energy, wit, and contagious affection for Plautus' snappy Latin (which he calls "Plautin"?) take the reader along on a whirlwind, laugh-out-loud tour. His combination of commentary, interpretive remarks, and attention to staging and metatheatrics make this edition a perfect introduction to Plautus, and an incentive for further reading.

Special Features

  • Introduction that is as lively as it is informative
  • 616 lines of unadapted Latin text from eleven Plautus plays: Asinaria 746–809, Amphitruo 361–462, Captiui 1029–36, Casina 780–854 and 1012–18, Cistellaria 203–29, Curculio 462–86, Menaechmi 77–109 and 351–69, Poenulus 1–45 and 541–66, Pseudolus 1–2 and 394–414, Rudens 938–1044, and Truculentus 482–548
  • Notes at the back
  • Map and five photos
  • Bibliography and further reading for each play
  • Appendix on meter
  • Guide to pronunciation of proper names
  • Online Latin text, marked for reading aloud (download pdf)
  • Complete vocabulary


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Review by: James Cox, Midwest Book Review - February 24, 2010
Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers is a seminal source of materials for the study of Latin. Two of their newest contributions include John Henderson's "A Plautus Reader: Selections from Eleven Plays" (97808651666943, $19.00) and Victoria e. Pagan's "A Sallust Reader: Selections from Bellum Catilinae, Bellum Iugurthinum, and Historiae" (9780865166875, $19.00). The comedic playwright Plautus and the Roman historian Sallust are significant in studying the culture and history of Rome and serve as ideal sources in the study of Latin for modem students. Enhanced with grammatical and historical notes, maps and photos, and vocabulary, both "A Plautus Reader" and "A SallustReader" will prove invaluable additions to personal, professional, and academic library Latin Studies reference collections and supplemental reading lists. James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief Midwest Book Review Wisconsin Bookwatch: February 2010 The Language Studies Shelf
Review by: Sharon Kazmierski, The Classical Outlook - June 1, 2009
GOOD THINGS COME IN SMALL PACKAGES Bolchazy-Carducci has recently commenced launching the first titles in its Latin Reader series, a new collection of innovative high intermediate and advanced Latin readers, specifically designed for college-level study. Under the expert guidance of series editor Ronnie Ancona, Professor of Classics at Hunter College and The Graduate Center, City University of New York, these small, duodecimo-sized paperbacks are intended to introduce authors and genres to students in upper division undergraduate courses. Written by recognized experts, each book will include approximately 500-600 lines of authentic Latin text, accompanied by a thorough introduction, bibliography of suggested reading, annotated commentary, and full vocabulary. There are currently two volumes available, A Lucan Reader: Selections from Civil War (ISBN 978-0865166615) by Susanna Braund and A Terence Reader: Selections from Six Plays (978-0865166783) by William S. Anderson. According to the Bolchazy website, seventeen additional volumes are currently scheduled to be issued. Upcoming authors include Plautus, Sallust, Cicero, Sueconius, Tacitus, Vergil, Caesar, Martial, Apuleius, and Livy. Topics to be covered include Roman Women, Roman Verse Satire, Latin Epic, and Roman Army. Additional authors and themes are under consideration. The inaugural volume, A Lucan Reader, is an introduction to the Silver Age epic poem (often referred to as Pharsalia) retelling the events of the Civil War between Julius Caesar and Pompey. Rarely studied by third and fourth-year college Latin students, this reader provides the opportunity for advanced undergraduates to sample some difficult but fascinating Latin. Following a detailed and compelling introduction, Braund has selected high interest passages: the causes of the Civil war, Caesar at the Rubicon, the abandonment of Rome, the necromancy of Erichtho, Pompey's visitation by Julia's ghost, and Caesar in Troy. I have never read Lucan, but now find myself intrigued. The second volume, A Terence Reader, released just this summer, is an introduction to Roman Comedy. Following a consistent format, Anderson's introduction provides essential background for students and a brief history of Roman Comedy. He then proceeds to explain what made Terence's plays unique, original and thought-provoking. Selections in this volume include excerpts from Andria, Heauton, Phormia, Hecyra, Eunuchus, and Adelphoe, followed by commentary to put the passages in context and provide grammatical assistance. There is also a helpful appendix, with information regarding comic meters. Fans of comedy will be happy to know that the next volume in the series, to be released later this year, will be A Plautus Reader: Selections from Eleven Plays (ISBN 978- 0-86516-694-2) by John Henderson. Given the size of these short readers, teachers and professors should find them useful when customizing a course. Professor Ancona notes that they are ideal for use in combination. I observe that they are inexpensive ($19.95) compared to many college textbooks. Instructors can feel free to mix and match authors and themes to suit their curriculum without causing too much damage to their students' bank accounts. Motivated readers of Latin can sample new authors and themes with expert guidance. Secondary school teachers may even wish to challenge their skilled Advanced Placement students after completing the exam, using some of these selections as a follow-up to the anticipated Caesar/Vergil syllabus. To discover more about this intriguing new collection, visit the BC Latin Readers website at http://www.bolchazy. com/readers/ where you can find out more about what will be included in each volume as well as read a short biography of each series author. To see Bolchazy's complete catalog, visit the main website at Questions may be directed to their customer service at You may also write their headquarters at Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, Inc., 1570 Baskin Road, Mundelein, Illinois 60060, Tel, (800) 392- 6453, Fax: (847) 526-2867. -Sharon Kazmierski The Clearing House, Classical Outlook Fall 2009

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