Atellan Farces

Atellan Farces

 

a kind of improvised folk play in ancient Rome during the third century B.C. The characters of the Atellan farces included stock masked types, such as Bucco, Dossennus, Maccus, and Pappus. The Atellan farces are related to the Italian commedia dell’arte, the Russian Petrushka shows, the German Kasperl, and the like. During the first century B.C., Novius and Pomponius made an attempt to transform the Atellan farces into a literary genre with texts written in advance. Only brief excerpts from their works are extant. The Atellan farces frequently contained satirical remarks directed against the policies of the ruling circles of Roman society, and therefore during the imperial period presentations of the Atellan farces were prohibited.

REFERENCE

Blagoveshchenskii, N. M. “Atellany.” In the collection Propilei. Moscow, 1852. Section 1, pp. 153–78.