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(mĭnăn`dər), 342?–291? B.C., Greek poet, the most famous writer of New Comedy. He wrote ingenious plays using the love plot as his theme; his style is elegant and elaborate and his characters are highly developed. Although original texts of his plays only came to light beginning in 1906, many fragments of his plays survive; The Curmudgeon, discovered in Cairo in 1957, is Menander's only complete play now extant (tr. by Gilbert Highet, 1959). Seven of his plays were adapted by PlautusPlautus
(Titus Maccius Plautus) , c.254–184 B.C., Roman writer of comedies, b. Umbria. His plays, adapted from those of Greek New Comedy, are popular and vigorous representations of middle-class and lower-class life.
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 and TerenceTerence
(Publius Terentius Afer) , b. c.185 or c.195 B.C., d. c.159 B.C., Roman writer of comedies, b. Carthage. As a boy he was a slave of Terentius Lucanus, a Roman senator, who brought him to Rome, educated him, and gave him his freedom.
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See studies by T. B. L. Webster (1960, 1974, 1975), A. W. Gomme and F. H. Sandbach (1973).



Born circa 343 B.C.; died circa 291 B.C. Ancient Greek dramatist; a founder of the Greek New Comedy.

Menander belonged to the well-to-do elite of Athenian society. In his plays he focused on everyday life, especially family conflicts. His humanism is revealed in his defense of women and of children’s rights, his exposure of the seamy side of everyday life, and his sympathy for slaves. The names of Menander’s heroes have become epithets. Classical critics praised him highly as a stylist. The New Greek Comedy influenced Roman drama and, consequently, European drama primarily through Menander’s plays.


Menandri quae supersunt, parts 1-2. Edited by A. Koerte and A. Thier-felder. Leipzig, 1957-59.
In Russian translation:
Nenavistnik. Translation and introduction by A. A. Takho-Godi. In the collection Pisatel’ i zhizn’ [Moscow] 1963.
Komedii. Moscow, 1964.


Tronskii, I. M. Istoriia antichnoi literatury, 3rd ed. Leningrad, 1957.
Istoriia grecheskoi literatury, vol. 3. Edited by S. I. Sobolevskii et al. Moscow, 1960.
Webster, T. B. L. Studies in Menander. Manchester, 1960.
Durham, D. B. The Vocabulary of Menander. Amsterdam, 1969.


1. ?160 bc--?120 bc, Greek king of the Punjab. A Buddhist convert, he reigned over much of NW India
2. ?342--?292 bc, Greek comic dramatist. The Dyskolos is his only complete extant comedy but others survive in adaptations by Terence and Plautus
References in periodicals archive ?
The Greek historian Menander tersely proclaimed: The strong take what they can, the weak must give what they must.
Some of the portraits on view are of known individuals, such as the comic playwright Menander, while the identities of others are now lost to time.
El ultimo articulo del apartado dedicado a la comedia corresponde a Maria de Fatima Silva (University of Coimbra) y se titula The Rhetorical agon as Dramatic Condiment in the Epitrepontes of Menander.
As the Greek poet Menander described in approximately (300) B.
van gaal's missing menAnder Herrera Fractured rib Chris Smalling Hip/thigh Jonny Evans Ankle Ashley Young Groin Phil Jones Hamstring Marouane Fellaini Ankle Jesse Lingard Knee Michael Carrick Ankle Reece James Unspecified James Wilson Leg
Subtribe Nymphidiina 256 Menander hebrus (Cramer, 1775) 257 Menander menander (Stoll, 1780) 258 Menander pretus picta (Godman & Salvin, 1886) 259 Zelotaea sp.
Although the structure and character arrangements of Menander as well as Plautus and Terence, the major Greek and Roman authors of so-called "middle" and "new" comedy, have been widely imitated from the Renaissance onward, the rather complex structure of the "old comedy" of Aristophanes, although quite consistent throughout his own surviving work, has been taken up by no other author in the existing Western dramatic canon.
passing a lemon tree Our guide, Lia, has been coming here for 20 years and wends her well-trodden way through the cobbled streets to show us the highlights of the wealthy inhabitants' ' abodes, including the House of the Menander with its fresco-covered alcove still holding the worn heads of household gods.
The Hellenistic comediographer Menander wrote in The Girl from Leukas that Sappho had been the first to take the fatal jump, only to be imitated later by other copy-cat unfortunate lovers.
In a dream Menander stood by the comedian Paulus and said: 'I spoke nothing against you, yet you speak me badly.