Cover image for Menander.
Menander, of Athens.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Cambridge, Mass. ; London, Eng. : Harvard University Press, 2000.
Physical Description:
ix, 639 pages ; 17 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PA4246 .E4 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



This volume completes the Loeb Classical Library's new edition of the leading writer of New Comedy. W. G. Arnott, an internationally recognized Menander expert, provides a Greek text based on careful study of recently discovered papyri, a facing translation that is lucid and fits today's tastes, and full explanatory notes.

So influential in antiquity--his plays were adapted for the Roman stage by Plautus and Terence--Menander's comic art can now be fully known and enjoyed. It is a comedy that focuses on the hazards of love and trials of family life. This volume begins with Samia (The Woman from Samos), which has come down to us nearly complete. Here too are the very substantial extant portions of Sikyonioi (The Sicyonians) and Phasma (The Apparition) as well as Synaristosai (Women Lunching Together), on which Plautus's Cistellaria (The Casket Comedy) was based. The volume also includes a selection of papyrus fragments attributed to Menander.

Arnott's edition of the great Hellenistic playwright has been garnering wide praise for making these fragmentary texts more accessible to readers, elucidating their dramatic movement. In the words of David Konstan (writing in Scholia Reviews): "An excellent guide to Menander...Arnott has given us fine texts, clear translations, brief and useful introductions."

Author Notes

The late fourth century b.c. gave rise to New Comedy---a comedy of manners that was more refined and lacked the robustness of Old Comedy. Until the latter part of the nineteenth century, the Greek playwright Menander's plays were known only through adaptations and translations made by the Roman dramatists Plautus and Terence and by the comments of Ovid and Pliny. Menander wrote approximately 100 plays, and the few extant in the Greek text were found on papyrus rolls in the rubbish heaps of Roman Egypt. However, "The Dyskolos," the first complete Menander New Comedy to be discovered intact, turned up on papyrus in a private Swiss collection. His comedies are skillfully constructed, his characters well delineated, his diction excellent, and his themes mostly the trials and tribulations of young love with conventional solutions.

Menander was born and died in Athens, presumably a member of the upper class, and studied under the philosopher-scientist Theophrastus, the successor of Aristotle.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Table of Contents

Bibliography Samia (The Woman from Samos)
Sikyonioi (The Sicyonians)
Synaristosai (Women Lunching Together)
Phasma (The Apparition)
Unidentified and Excluded Papyri Fabula Incerta
1 Fabula Incerta
2 Fabula Incerta
3 Fabula Incerta
4 Fabula Incerta
5 Fabula Incerta
6 Fabula Incerta
7 Fabula Incerta
8 Fabula Incerta
9 New Book
Fragments Plot Summaries