The Captiva and The Mostellaria

The Captiva and The Mostellaria,
by Plautus

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Title: The Captiva and The Mostellaria
Author: Plautus
Release Date: January, 2005 [EBook #7282] [Yes, we are more than

one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first posted on April 6,
Edition: 10
Language: English
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Literally Translated with notes
HEGIO, an Aetolian, father of Philopolemus. PHILOCRATES, an
Elean, captive in Aetolia. TYNDARUS, his servant.
ARISTOPHONTES, an Elean, captive in Aetolia. PHILOPOLEMUS,
an Aetolian, captive in Elis. ERGASILUS, a Parasite. STALAGAMUS,
the servant of Hegio. A SLAVE of Hegio. A LAD, the same.
Scene.--A place in Aetolia.
[Supposed to have been written by Priseian the Grammarian.] One son
of Hegio has been made prisoner (Captus) in battle. A runaway slave
has sold the other (Alium) when four years old. The father (Pater)

traffics in Elean captives, only (Tantum) desirous that he may recover
his son, and (Et) among these he buys his son that was formerly lost.
He (Is), his clothes and his name changed with his master, causes that
(Ut) he is lost to Hegio; and he himself is punished. And (Et) he brings
back the captive and the runaway together, through whose information
(Indicio) he discovers his other.
[Footnote 1: In this Acrostic it will be found that the old form of
"Capteivei" is preserved.]
* * * * *
These two captives (pointing to PHILOCRATES and TYNDARUS),
whom you see standing here, are standing here because--they are both
[1] standing, and are not sitting. That I am saying this truly, you are my
witnesses. The old man, who lives here (pointing to HEGIO's house), is
Hegio--his father (pointing to TYNDARUS). But under what
circumstances he is the slave of his own father, that I will here explain
to you, if you give attention. This old man had two sons; a slave stole
one child when four years old, and flying hence, be sold him in Elis [2],
to the father of this captive (pointing to PHILOCRATES). Now, do you
understand this? Very good. I' faith, that man at a distance [3] there
(pointing) says, no. Come nearer then. If there isn't room for you to sit
down, there is for you to walk; since you'd be compelling an actor to
bawl like a beggar [4]. I'm not going to burst myself for your sake, so
don't you be mistaken. You who are enabled by your means to pay your
taxes [5], listen to the rest [6]; I care not to be in debt to another. This
runaway slave, as I said before, sold his young master, whom, when he
fled, he had carried off, to this one's father. He, after he bought him,
gave him as his own private slave [7] to this son of his, because they
were of about the same age. He is now the slave at home of his own
father, nor does his father know it. Verily, the Gods do treat us men just
like footballs [8]. You hear the manner now how he lost one son.
Afterwards, the Aetolians [9] are waging war with the people of Elis,
and, as happens in warfare, the other son is taken prisoner. The
physician Menarchus buys him there in Elis. On this, this Hegio begins

to traffic in Elean captives, if, perchance, he may be able to find one to
change for that captive son of his. He knows not that this one who is in
his house is his own son. And as he heard yesterday that an Elean
knight of very high rank and very high family
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