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Terence's Comediae were to be found in most humanist libraries in Renaissance Italy. Dante cited the plays, Petrarch studied Terence's work and life, and Boccaccio copied the comedies for himself. The playwright Publius Terentius Afer (d. 195 BC) is one of five Roman authors that have been taught to students all over Europe. Based on earlier Greek models, the comedies have ingenious plots with theatrical appeal, spectacle, and caricature. With dramatic irony and subtle psychology, the characters speak with elegant charm and lack the vulgar expressions often usual in comedies. A continued tradition of these texts and various comments since the early Middle Ages shows the lively transmission of the six plays, that are still intensely studied and discussed today. The Comediae were handed down in numerous manuscripts, of which none is the same.The present manuscript contains an, in literature unrecorded, copy of the author's Vita written by Petrarch and Terence's Comedies, profusely commented upon and annotated by a contemporary 'student'. The book bears witness to humanistic culture, education and entertainment.
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