SUPERVISED BY: Dr Ivana Petrovic
TITLE: Plautus and the Sentimental Ideal of The Roman Family
Historians have suggested that, from the Late Republic onwards, it is possible to discern a sentimental ideal of family life at Rome. They have also argued that there is a significant paucity of affectionate terminology in Plautus' earlier, mid Republican works. The object of my thesis is to look for traces of a Roman sentimental ideal in Plautus' comedies. My contention is that Plautus' plays deliberately explore and exploit sentimental ideology; some of their humour depends upon spectators' knowledge of the ideal. The plays were successful and obviously communicated well with their original audience. I therefore aim to analyse them to demonstrate that sentimental ideology was known in Rome prior to the Late Republic.