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EPIDICVS by Plautus


2200 BC

Original Latin text by Plautus

book by Nunzio Sisto

Comedic Play with songs

90 min; 2 Acts


Cast (5)



Strattipocles / Periphanes


Phillipa / Apoecides / Moneylender


Acropolistis / Telestis / Lyre-girl

Thesprio / Chaeribulus / Soldier


Some of the lines,

are rhymed in this play,

I swear it's authentic,

this was the way.


A brilliant man

who of freedom dreams

Epidicus, the slave

is more than he seems.


Epidicus is servant to Periphanes and his son Strattipocles. On Strattipocles' constant begging, Epidicus has tricked his master Periphanes out of 40 mine to buy Acropolistis, a famous lyre player whom his profligate son is madly in love with. He does so by claiming Acropolistis to be "Telestis", Periphanes' long lost daughter, captured in battle and set to be sold as a slave. Acropolistis agrees to play "Telestis" while her lover is away at war and lives in the house under the guise of Periphanes' daughter.

While Strattipocles is returning from war, he buys an unknown beauty and forgets about Acropolistis. Thesprio, Strattipocles' slave, meets Epidicus in the harbour upon their arrival and tells him that Strattipocles purchased a new girl, and furthermore, did not have enough money so he borrowed 50 minae, at daily interest.

Now Epidicus must find the large sum of 50 minae and he must move Acropolistis from the house; Acropolistis whom his master now believes is his own daughter "Telestis". Playing on Periphanes' fear that his son will marry a musician, oh the thought!, Epidicus convinces Periphanes to provide the money to buy "Acropolistis", so she may be removed from the city and away from his son. The problem is, he already bought Acropolistis, she is living in his house pretending to be "Telestis". The web grows thicker as Epidicus tries to weave his freedom, renting another lyre-player who pretends to be "Acropolistis", while Acropolistis pretends to be... you get the point.


All the while Epidicus is ever mindful the punishments for slaves who trick and steal from their masters were brutal if not lethal...

Herc me, it's a comedy. Didn't mean to get that dark, Anyway... the twists and turns continue in ancient-Roman-pretending-to-be-ancient-Greek style until a happy ending is found for all!

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