By Dorota M. Dutsch
As literature written in Latin has virtually no woman authors, we're depending on male writers for a few realizing of how girls might have spoken. Plautus (3rd to 2d century BCE) and Terence (2nd century BCE) regularly write specific linguistic good points into the traces spoken by means of their woman characters: endearments, gentle speech, and incoherent specialize in quite a few small difficulties. Dorota M. Dutsch describes the development of this female idiom and asks no matter if it may be regarded as proof of ways Roman ladies truly spoke.
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Extra resources for Feminine Discourse in Roman Comedy: On Echoes and Voices (Oxford Scholarly Classics)
Tuast, utere atque impera, si quid uis. eu. id quod in rem tuam optumum esse arbitror, ted id monitum aduento. me. soror, more tuo faci’. eu. facta volo. me. quid est id, soror? eu. Quod tibi sempiternum salutare sit: liberis procreandis— me. (ita di faxint)—eu. uolo te uxorem domum ducere. me. ei occidi. (120–51) eu. Please, pay attention to me. me. You have it, use it, tell me what you want. eu. I have come to inform you of what I think is in your very best interest. me. Sister, it is your style.
74 Second, there are comments suggesting that women spoke with some mannerisms that distinguished them from men; a fragment of Aristophanes (Meineke 685. 1) describes this way of speaking as a dialect. 75 Women (Arist. Ecc. 148–60, 189–92) apparently use peculiar oaths and have a predilection for certain forms of address, such as t ÏÂÎ› and t Ù‹Ì (Suda 3. 609, 628–9). David Bain, in his study of Menander (1984), has shown that this playwright indeed consistently attributed certain oaths and terms of address to female characters: 76 Menander’s women often address others as ‘poor darling’ (‰˝ÛÏÔÒÔÚ, Ù‹Î·Ú, Ù‹Î·Ì) or use terms of kinship outside the family circle (t Ù›ÍÌÔÌ and t ‹·Ú).
However, the antagonism between the two men is merely playful and ends 68 Literally: ‘friend and equal’. 34 Introduction in a declaration of friendship. 69 Whereas both conversations begin with a focus on mutual understanding, there appears to be a diﬀerence between the ways the two pairs of friends assert closeness. The exchange between the women opens with emphatic declarations of love and shared emotions, while male friends bond by comparing their dislike for ageing wives. Greetings from Cyrene In order to see if these divergences represent a legitimate trend in the Plautine portrayal of friendly relations, I propose now to analyse two excerpts from the Rudens featuring pairs of friends who are reunited after a shipwreck.