Foreign Languages & Literatures ETDs

Publication Date



In my thesis I explore Terences innovative development of three stock characters: Chaerea, the adulescens amator, Thraso, the miles gloriosus, and Gnatho, the parasitus. In the Eunuchus Terence provides each of these characters with a mythological parallel that reveals the character's inner thoughts, motives, and justifications, as well as their self-perceived position within Roman society. The first chapter traces the development of the figure of the adulescens amator in Roman literature and examines how Terence's incorporation of mythological burlesque defies dramatic conventions. The second chapter analyzes key dramatic relationships that suggest a parallel to the historical relationship between Rome and her subjugated territories. The miles gloriosus, Thraso, is cast as a socius miles, whereas Gnatho, the parasitus, appears as a ciues miles. My analysis, ultimately, offers an interpretation of how these issues respond and react to contemporary Roman political and military institutions of the second century BCE.


Terence, stock characters, Roman social history, Eunuchus, New Comedy, Mythological Burlesque, Mythology, Soldiers, Mid-Republican Rome

Document Type




Degree Name

Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies

Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures

First Advisor

Umurhan, Osman

First Committee Member (Chair)

Cyrino, Monica

Second Committee Member

Garcia, Lorenzo Jr