Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Plautus, Latin poet, whose real name is said to have been Titus Maccius, was born about 254 B.C. at Sarsina in Umbria. Nothing is known of his early life, except that he was of humble origin and went to Rome while still a youth. There he remained for some years in obscurity, occupying various menial positions. He became known to some of the Roman actors, and began to write for the stage. He borrowed his plots from the Greek as a rule, but the exact extent of his obligations to thera is not known, nor can it be discovered how he came to know Greek so well as he did. His plays were most successful, and won the highest praise from his contemporaries. Cicero admired them greatly; and Horace's disparagement is the sole exception to the universal chorus of eulogy which the best of the pieces received. He continued to write for the stage for forty years, producing such masterpieces as the Aulularia, Mencechini, Captivi, Miles Gloriosus, and Amphitryon. Most of these have been copied or adapted by many modern writers, and even Shakespeare was indebted to him; but the French dramatists - and notably Moliere, Regnard, and Destouches - were especially his debtors. Of his hundred or hundred and thirty comedies only twenty have survived. They were first printed at Venice in 1472, and since that date have been reprinted and edited and translated into different languages numberless times. Plautus died in 184 B.C. His plays are vivid satires on the manners and follies of his time, and were very popular with the people of Rome.