Terence was born in Carthage (Africa) in about 190 BC. He was transported to Rome as a slave. His master, Terentius Lucanus, was so impressed by the intelligence of his new slave that he gave him an education and then set him free.

Terence wrote six plays: Adelphoe (The Brothers), Andria (The Girl from Andros), Eunuchus, Heauton Timorumenos (The Self-Tormentor), Hecyra (The Mother-in-Law) and Phormio.

Although they were not very popular at the time, Terence is now considered to be one of the most important writers of the Roman Empire. His work was praised by Scipio Aemilianus Africanus and Laelius Gaius but only one of his plays, Eunuchus, enjoyed any success during his lifetime.

According to Diana Bowder: "His (Terence) highly complex intrigues, subtle studies of emotional, familial, and even educational issues, immensely elegant verbal characterization, chase and sober use of language, polemical and self-justicatory prologues, devotion to comic irony as his chief form of humour and abandonment of much of the element of music and song so important to Plautus were all likely to cost him popular favour."

Terence's work reflects the humanitas view of life (a belief that all humans, whatever their race or nationality, should be friends).

Terence died in 159 BC.

The man who keeps to the path of duty through fear of punishment will be honest just as long as he thinks he'll be found out. If he think's he can get away with something undetected, then he'll be back to his tricks. But the man who is attached to you by affection is anxious to treat you as you treat him, whether you're there or not... A man who can't do this should admit that he cannot control children.

Terence V. McIntosh

Terence McIntosh is a specialist of early modern Germany, especially its social, political, religious, and economic history in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. His current book project, “Disciplining the Parish: Godly Order, Enlightenment, and the Lutheran Clergy in Germany, 1517–1806,” examines the dynamics by which a shifting array of social, theological, and intellectual forces induced prominent churchmen, rulers, and secular thinkers to examine critically and recast significantly the purpose, scope, and nature of Lutheran church discipline at key moments in the early modern period.

Some Notable Publications

Courses Taught (as schedule allows)

For current information about course offerings, click here.

  • HIST 251--The Thirty Years’ War (1618-48): Europe in an Age of Crisis
  • HIST 254--War and Society in Early Modern Europe
  • HIST 255--Manor to Machine: The Economic Shaping of Europe
  • HIST 460--Princes and Reformations in Germany, 1400-1600
  • HIST 461--War and Enlightenment in Germany, 1600-1815


554A Pauli Murray Hall*
102 Emerson Dr., CB #3195
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3195

*Though the History Department uses the name Pauli Murray Hall for our building, on official maps you will find it as Hamilton Hall. Joseph Grégoire de Roulhac Hamilton’s intellectually dishonest historical and archival work promoted white supremacy. In contrast, Pauli Murray marshaled unassailable evidence and analysis in the service of racial and gender equality. In July 2020, all of the departments housed in the building agreed to adopt the name Pauli Murray Hall in place of Hamilton Hall. An official request with the Chancellor is pending. For more information, please see here.

Powderly, Terence

Introduction: Terence V. Powderly was a man who captured the public eye as a politician and labor organizer at the turn of the 20 th century, particularly as three-term mayor of Scranton, PA and member of the

Knights of Labor leadership. Throughout his career, he hesitated to call for strikes and more dramatic labor activities, feeling they were unproductive and made enemies with law, police, and media. Instead, Powderly saw the labor movement not as a revolution but a cooperative brotherhood of workers. As a Catholic, his ideas lined up in many ways with the teaching of the time, yet many clergy rejected the Knights of Labor, the labor organization with which he is most associated.

Education and Career: Terence V. Powderly had a rudimentary education of about six years and began working at age 13. By age 17, he became an apprentice machinist and eventually found work in Scranton, PA, joining the International Union of Machinists and Blacksmiths five years later in 1871. Even at his young age, he was recognized for his writing and speaking abilities and became local Grandmaster Workman and Corresponding Secretary of the union a year later. In 1873, he lost his job and was only able to secure employment as a machinist again in 1875, leaving the field for good in 1877.

After this early working experience, his career became focused mainly on Pennsylvania politics and the Knights of Labor. He held the position of Mayor in Scranton, PA from 1878-1884. Powderly progressed from member to Master Workman of Scranton, then Corresponding Secretary of District Assembly, and eventually Grand Master Workman in the Knights of Labor from 1874-1893. Always one who held varied interests, he would also study law and become a practicing lawyer, serve as a county health officer, and become part owner and manager of a grocery store. Finally, he ended his career working for the federal government in immigration policy, enforcement, and inspection.

Terence V. Powderly was born to Terence and Madge (Walsh) Powderly in the industrial community of Carbondale, PA, where his father had established his own coal mine. Young Terry was a near-sighted child who got ill often and was deaf in one ear due to yellow fever. Incompetent in sports and often wearing hand-me-downs, the young Powderly had to fend for himself against local bullies. He believes that being part of a large Irish family, seven brothers and four sisters, helped alleviate his childhood difficulties, as well as his avid reading habits. While it is unclear how Powderly’s Catholic faith affected his early life, he reportedly learned tolerance and sympathy for those in need from his close relationship to his mother, an abolitionist.

During his early years of employment, Terence V. Powderly developed a great deal of confidence and took his wit and charm into social circles. While he enjoyed playing cards and attending saloons, Powderly restricted himself to harmless mischief, avoided bad company, and was uninterested in alcohol.1 It was here in Scranton that he met Hannah Dever, daughter of a Scranton mine worker, and her brothers Johnny and Ed. Hannah and Terence married on September 19, 1872 and would be together until her death in 1907, while Johnny and Ed would become Powderly’s friends during this period of young adulthood and beyond.

The Depression of 1873 hit the U.S. economy very hard, and Powderly was one of the countless workers laid off that year. He resolved to travel and get a job, but Powderly had become president of the local Machinists and Blacksmiths International Union shortly after he joined in 1871. He was unsuccessful in making any money since his name was blacklisted, and he became depressed as his wife endured extended periods of separation and a move from their own apartment to her mother’s place. His demoralized return to Scranton was followed by a personal tragedy Hannah nearly passed away delivering who would be their only child, a baby girl who died a few days later.

In 1876, Terence V. Powderly joined the Knights of Labor in Scranton. Like with his previous union experience, Powderly quickly raised in the ranks to the position of local Master Workman and was in close coordination with the Philadelphia Knights. Many of his fellow workers saw the decentralized nature of the organization as an asset compared to the factional and declining Machinists and Blacksmiths International Union, which Powderly ultimately left in 1877. On the other hand, many found the rituals and initiation rites of the Noble and Holy Order of the Knights of Labor difficult. In addition, the brotherhood was challenged by internal religious and ethnic prejudice. In fact, these divisions led Powderly to resign briefly from his position as Master Workman until his leadership as a member exposed the bigotry through repeated calls for unity, at which point he was reinstated.

Just a year after he joined, Powderly quit his job as a machinist and became a full-time organizer for the Knights, a pay cut of $110 a month. His commitment to the organization was matched by a vision of establishing worker collectives achieved through avoiding strikes when possible and violent action at all times. When a set of significant Pennsylvania strikes occurred in the summer of 1877, Powderly set himself to more constructive tasks, such as raising funds for the families of the dead men, boycotting merchants who opposed the continuing miners’ strike, establishing a cooperative grocery store to assist the strikers, organizing the outraged into local assemblies, and, above all, setting the wheels in motion to defeat employers and their political henchmen during the next elections.1 Such tactics, especially the boycott, were his hope for the future role of Knights across the country.

Stemming from the 1877 incidents, many realized the depth of the state-corporation alliance and held a new-found enthusiasm for a third party in politics. The Knights lifted their ban of political discussion by creating a Committee on Progress meeting to be held immediately after the assembly’s regular meeting. Powderly coordinated the first meeting of the “Greenback-Labor party” soon after political discussion by the Knights began. He invited each local chapter of the Knights of Labor to send a representative of the Committee on Progress. The gathering set a platform whose message deemed the two predominant parties deplorable for wage workers to support, and they also decided on candidates for the party.

Powderly led various efforts of outreach to constituents and “poll-watching” to ensure election accuracy, and the party secured victory in all five offices for which they ran in county elections. In response to his efforts and his local influence, Powderly was chosen by the party as Scranton’s mayoral candidate for the Greenback-Labor party. Running a campaign which promised reduction of debt and government efficiency, Powderly was simultaneously considered a working-class challenger to the status quo. His opponents joined forces and took part in reprehensible efforts to undermine his credibility. Some highlighted his Catholicism as a threat, while others emphasized how the Catholic Church did not approve of the Knights of Labor. Their negative campaigning efforts were unsuccessful, and Terence V. Powderly was elected mayor of Scranton in February of 1878, joined by a significant Greenback-Labor presence in the city council and other offices.

Upon taking office, Mayor Powderly immediately set out his plan to create a modern city: a board of health, an investigation of fraud, the building of an adequate sewage system, and paved roads. Despite never having a majority in the city council, many of his initiatives were passed by the city councils by the end of his three terms. Within 6 months of taking office, he overhauled law enforcement and chose men of integrity to serve, mostly from the Greenback-Labor party or the Knights of Labor. The Scranton Newspaper, Daily Times, later referred to the city as the model of order.2 His final act in 1878 was establishing a system of inspecting food that included stiff enforcement and severe penalties.

In 1879, Powderly set a proper fire-fighting force on the agenda, while his ever-increasing recognition as a labor politician outside of Scranton finally caught up to him. The successful introduction of politics into the Knights had occurred in a number of locations, but Powderly was the clearest example. When it was decided to create a national organization for the union, Powderly was first elected Grand Worthy Foreman, second-in-command, then assumed the top position of Grand Master Workman after the resignation of Uriah Stephens. He was re-elected to this highest position of union leadership for ten consecutive terms, and most observers interpreted his every utterance on the problems of the day as labor’s official position, as they read his articles and listened to his speeches.2

After a narrow election victory of ninety-nine votes over his Republican challenger, Powderly’s work as mayor continued in the early 1880’s with three major pieces of legislation. First, a board of appeals was set up for those who disagreed with tax assessment. The second legislation continued his work on the sewer system, and the third established licenses for merchants and businesses in Scranton which is seen as a small step towards more equitable distribution of wealth. As re-election season came, his greatest asset was the credit received for his health reforms. Local newspapers did reports on how measures he had enacted limited the outbreak of diseases like smallpox, yet the Democratic Party had absorbed or defeated most of the Greenback-Labor party by 1882

Powderly brokered a deal to accept the Democratic nomination out of political expediency which was successful in winning him the election, despite opponents’ high criticism of the move. In his last term, he continued to work on government efficiency, especially regarding tax assessment, and he made constructive proposals like building a hospital and a public building for the future. He spent a considerable amount of energy in a losing effort for the Democratic nomination in 1884 against a career politician, which critical historians are quick to point out in lieu of his responsibilities as leader of the Knights of Labor.

Critiques and supporters of Powderly’s leadership role in the Knights of Labor have called him idealist, reformer, humanitarian, windbag, renegade, crook, imposter, agitator, introvert, self-seeker, charlatan, cheap politician, turncoat, rabble rouser, and drippy sentimentalist.3 Others have said that the qualities which made him a great mayor were the same that made him an inept labor union leader, mainly his unwillingness to delegate responsibility. In any case, Terence V. Powderly was recognized nationally by many as the voice of labor during his time, as mentioned previously. In addition, the Knights of Labor became the premier union during his era growing to 700,000 members in 1886 from a mere 9,300 members when Powderly took the reins in 1879.

Factors other than Powderly are important to consider in judging the success of the Knights of Labor, most notably the end of the Depression and a local Knights of Labor victory against notorious robber baron Jay Gould. Still, Powderly provided meticulous administrative attention to detail as a leader. He also continued to discourage the Knights of Labor from unnecessary involvement in strikes or violent action and avoid a dominant school of thought in the union, limiting with some success the damaging perception of the union as an anarchist, socialist, and radical group during the period when it grew the most. At his prime, workers were naming their children after Terence V. Powderly and cheering his arrival.

While he limited negative perceptions, Powderly simultaneously worked hard to accommodate working people from almost every conceivable background he was a charismatic endorser of solidarity.1 He encouraged inter-racial and inter-gender assemblies while suggesting separate assemblies if the obstacles were too great to integrate different groups. Powderly’s approach of keeping the Knights of Labor with a high degree of local autonomy is another element of his leadership looked upon favorably, which is a structure rarely used in labor unions since the 1930’s.

The year 1886, particularly after the Haymarket Affair incident in Chicago, marks a turning point for the Knights of Labor and Powderly’s leadership. Anarchists were unjustly convicted in relation to an explosion that happened at the Haymarket demonstration, but Powderly hesitated to call the organization into more strikes or speak out fervently against this injustice. With the arrival of the Great Upheaval in 1886 and worse economic conditions, the Knights’ newer members took actions that were poorly planned and funded, especially large-scale strikes. The Grand Master Workman hoped to establish greater oversight to avoid overextending the Knights, but employers took advantage of these conflicts and eradicated the Knights from their industries before such changes could be made.

The solidarity which Terence V. Powderly spent years building was now falling apart and defecting to other organizations, especially skilled workers to the American Federation of Labor. Historians suggest a number of explanations. One is that the local structure and de-centralized decision-making put too much faith in workers to determine when there was no other option but a strike available to them this structure did not work in times of economic crisis when there always seemed to be no other option than a strike.

Within a decade of the Great Upheaval, the Knights of Labor’s membership dropped down to 20,000. Internal and external rivals to Powderly’s leadership in the labor movement brought out the worst and most suspicious inclinations in him, and the previous democratic and tolerant undertones of the movement were increasingly absent in Powderly’s leadership. This second period of serving as Grand Master Workman, which ended in 1893 with the succession of internal opponent John Hayes, was marked with only one bright spot. In 1888, Powderly worked with Cardinal Gibbons to ease tensions between the Catholic Church and the Knights of Labor, including Papal approval for Catholics to join the union.

One writer identified four specific characteristics of the Knights that made the Catholic hierarchy suspicious and even formally denounce the organization in certain regions before 1888: its oath bound secrecy, Masonic aspects, its resemblance to the Molly Maguires, and its apparent socialistic or radical character. The church recognized workers’ rights to self-organize, but the oath to absolute secrecy and ritualistic nature of the Knights of Labor could not be accepted and seemed to require a quasi-religious commitment to the union. The Molly Maguires and radical elements of the group Powderly suggested were due to its decentralized nature, yet most clerics misunderstood the organization, some until its eventual collapse.

Once Terence V. Powderly lost his position in the Knights, he moved on to studying law and was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar in 1894, later arguing before both the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and the United States. He strongly felt the justice system was bias and overly technical. In 1896, he came back to politics and was appointed Commissioner General of Immigration by President William McKinley, for whom he had helped campaign. Powderly investigated Ellis Island which led to numerous firings however, these former employees used slander to get him fired when Theodore Roosevelt stepped into the presidency in 1902. Within a few years, Powderly was reinstated as Special Immigration Inspector, then Chief of the Immigration bureau’s Division of Information from 1907-1921, and finally Commissioner of Conciliation of the U.S. Labor Department. He died on June 24, 1924 in Washington, D.C.

Terence V. Powderly’s final years were spent with friends, like frequent house guest Mary Harris “Mother” Jones and John B. White. Many of these friends he would join in the United States Department of Labor’s Hall of Fame, to which he was given the honor of membership in 1999. His autobiography was posthumously released, The Path I Trod. While a number of critiques about Powderly have already been mentioned, one which is generally accepted is his view that immigration should be closed to Chinese individuals and other Asians which was a widely accepted view for his time. While officially there was a ban on discrimination by color, some scholars suggest the Knights of Labor were not as inter-racially progressive as they appeared to be and practiced disguised discrimination and/or desired social control of potential black strike-breakers.

While treated harshly and dismissed as insignificant by many historians, Terence V. Powderly has more recently received greater attention, even by those who consider the Knights of Labor a failed experiment or missed opportunity of the labor movement. As Grand Workman, he exhibited the way solidarity and a decentralized approach can work in a labor union given the right conditions. He planted seeds for greater acceptance of the labor movement by the Catholic Church, setting the stage for other Catholics like Dorothy Day. Finally, Terence V. Powderly provided an example of how a politician can achieve broad appeal by campaigning on a mix of labor and other policy positions, like fiscal responsibility. Terence V. Powderly was a talented and charismatic man who earned the national spotlight in the American labor movement of the late 19 th century and left a legacy to debate for historians.

Department of History

Dr. Terence Keel is an Associate Professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara where he serves as Vice Chair to the Department of History and holds an appointment in the Black Studies Department and the Department of Religious Studies. He earned is PhD from Harvard University. Dr. Keel is an interdisciplinary scholar with training in religious studies, the history of science, African American history, as well as science and technology studies. He has written widely about the history of racism and its connections to the modern biological sciences, religious intellectual history, law, medicine, and public health. His research has explored these issues in the United States, Europe, and Mexico. His first book, Divine Variations (Stanford University Press, January 2018) is a study of how Christian thought facilitated the development of scientific racism and shaped the epistemic commitments of the modern study of human biodiversity. He has received awards for his research from the National Science Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the Charles Warren Center for American Studies at Harvard University, and the University of California Office of the President. Most recently, he was the 2017 recipient of the Harold J. Plous Award at UC Santa Barbara, the highest honor given by the faculty senate to a junior professor for excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service.

He is currently working on book project that explores the relationship between science and society by examining how science educators and health care professionals working in historically Black institutions spread ideas from evolutionary biology and the eugenics movement into the public imagination. The book will be centered on the work of the physician Dr. Charles V. Roman of Meharry Medical College, the embryologist Dr. Ernest Everett Just of Howard University, the biologist and Catholic civil rights activist Dr. Thomas Wyatt Turner of Howard and Hampton University, and Dorothy Boulding Ferebee, professor of Medicine at Howard University and healthcare advocate for poor tenant farmers and sharecroppers in the Mississippi Delta. Dr. Keel received a research grant from the UC Consortium for Black Studies hosted by the Department of African American Studies at UCLA to work on this project.

He is also working on an additional project that examines how geneticists use ancient DNA to craft narratives about the health and behavior of contemporary populations. This work combines historical scholarship and ethnographic research methods to situate contemporary scientific ideas about human-Neanderthal admixture within a larger historical trajectory of scientific debate and theorization about the distinction between the human and the non-human, the ancestral origins of population groups, and notions of disease risk and racial fitness. This project examines the claims that geneticists have been making since 2014 regarding the links between Neanderthal DNA and elevated risk for type-2 diabetes in Mexican populations.

Dr. Keel is an affiliate of the newly formed Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice & Health under the directorship of Dr. Chandra Ford of UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. He is also a co-editor of a special issue of the American Journal of Law and Medicine (Fall 2017) that explored how Critical Race Theory can transform the study of health inequalities across the health sciences.

In addition to his scholarly work he is also a senior advisor to the Goldin Institute, a Chicago based non-profit organization that advocates globally for grassroots leadership, conflict resolution, poverty alleviation and environmental justice.

Contact Us

Department of History
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, California 93106-9410

Terence Mckenna and Psychedelics

Terence McKenna has been arguably the person to raise the most awareness about psychedelics, and more specifically, DMT. As a matter of fact, McKenna was one of the ardent supporters of introducing DMT into society.

Along with psilocybin mushrooms and ayahuasca, McKenna believed that DMT was the ultimate deification of existence.

During 1967 to 1994, McKenna would often smoke DMT. Throughout these years, he would acquire many revelations. One of them emerged from a hallucination in which he realized the entity many psychedelics enthusiasts would later become familiar with: “machine elves“. McKenna described these intelligent entities as being self-transforming machine elves.

The magic mushroom advocate was able to conclude through his own personal psychedelic experiences that these entities’ aim was to show people how to create using language. Machine elves are now, often reported by individuals using DMT.

Psychedelics allowed for McKenna to blend his spirituality of shamanism with his understanding of the world. McKenna used his multiple experiences with psychedelics to educate others and often recorded public talks.

His last published speech was entitled Psychedelics in The Age Of Intelligent Machines, and characterized a tie between psychedelics, technology, and humans.

Cop Who Shot Terence Crutcher Has History Of Drug Use, Domestic Disturbances

A federal investigation is looking into the police shooting of Terence Crutcher in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which has also prompted a deeper probe into the history and past conduct of the cop involved in his death.

Officer Betty Shelby, a white woman, fatally shot 40-year-old Crutcher, a black man, on Friday after she came upon his vehicle, which was stalled in the middle of the road, while responding to an unrelated call. Crutcher was later Tasered by another officer just seconds before Shelby fired her weapon. Crutcher’s family is seeking criminal charges against his killer. But Shelby’s lawyer said she fired her weapon because she feared for her life, despite the fact that Crutcher was unarmed and had his hands raised mere moments before he was shot, as seen in video footage.

The shooting, which is one of the latest in a string of police killings of black men and women, has gained nationwide attention. That has put Shelby’s work history under heavy scrutiny. More information released this week on her professional background and personal life, some disclosed by her attorney Scott Wood, could help to paint a more complete picture of her. Information of this sort is routinely presented by law enforcement and repeated by the media, often with the effect of unfairly characterizing suspects as “thugs” predisposed to commit crimes. Shelby’s background is reported here to highlight this double standard in how we talk about the character of cops in contrast to civilian suspects of color.

Shelby joined the Tulsa police force in 2011 after having served as a deputy in the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office since 2007, according to NBC News. Her husband is also a police officer and was on duty the night Crutcher was shot. In fact, Dave Shelby was in the helicopter that flew overhead and recorded the moments leading up to the shooting. In that video, released by the Tulsa Police Department on Monday, an officer is overheard describing Crutcher as a “bad dude.” However, a Tulsa police spokesman said Dave Shelby did not make the comment.

Betty Shelby has divorced and remarried at least once. According to the job application she submitted to the sheriff’s office in 2007, her ex-husband’s new wife filed a protective order against her in 2002 to put an end to harassing phone calls the new wife claims Shelby made. The order was eventually denied and Shelby maintained her innocence.

Nearly a decade earlier, Shelby noted on the same application, a breakup with her then-boyfriend led to the two damaging each other’s cars. Temporary restraining orders were filed and eventually tossed out.

Shelby is now a drug-recognition expert, which Wood said she received training for. She said she believed Crutcher was under the influence when she encountered him. Police said they later found PCP in Crutcher’s car, but he is not the only one in the case who reportedly has a history of drug use. In the same job application where Shelby noted various domestic disturbances, she marked “yes” under a prompt that asked whether she had “possessed and used illegal drugs” in the past. Shelby said she used marijuana twice when she was 18 years old.

Shelby also has two excessive force complaints, according to KJRH. Both of those cases were held to be unfounded. KJRH also reports that Shelby has four letters of commendation as well as an Oklahoma meritorious service award.

More information on the shooting case is expected to be released as the investigation continues.

Shelby, who is currently on administrative leave, is now a rightful target of the same scrutiny and investigation that many minority victims of police shootings have experienced. Sure, Shelby’s previous admittance to drug use as a teen probably isn’t relevant to this case, but minor infractions ― like marijuana use ― are never left out of a black victim’s narrative, no matter how irrelevant. Let’s be clear: Incidents like these do not have a bearing on one’s guilt or innocence in a specific incident but if we are to put emphasis on the background and history of victims of police shootings, it’s only fair to highlight those of the officers who killed them.

As for Crutcher, those who knew him best are able to truly tell the story of who he was and what he stood for.

“You all want to know who that big bad dude was? That big bad dude was my twin brother,” Crutcher’s sister Tiffany said at a press conference following his death. “That big bad dude was a father. That big bad dude was a son. That big bad dude was enrolled at Tulsa Community College… That big bad dude loved God. That big bad dude was at church singing with all his flaws every week. That big bad dude, that’s who he was.”

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly described the position of Crutcher’s hands during the encounter and when he was Tasered. His hands were raised in the moments before he was shot. Another officer deployed his Taser before the shot was fired.

Duren, Terence

Terence Duren (1907-1968) was a leading Nebraska artist from the post-World War II period. Duren, who lived most of his life in Shelby, is most widely known for his regionalist works, which drew on his rural Nebraska upbringing. He is one of a group of Nebraska artists, including John Falter and Grant Reynard, whose illustrations were a significant portion of their output.

Duren began to paint when he was stricken with polio at age six. To occupy their bedridden son, his parents gave him crayons and a tablet. In an interview shortly before his death, Duren said he realized then that he would be an artist.

Duren graduated from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1929 and studied at the Fontainebleau School of Art in France and the Kunstgewerbe Schule in Vienna. The European schools specialized in mural painting, and in the 1930s Duren was best known as a muralist. Duren served as an instructor at the Cleveland Institute of Art from 1930 to 1941 and taught at the Art Institute of Chicago and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. Duren's career and reputation reached a zenith in 1944 when one of his paintings was chosen for Portrait of America, an exhibition which opened at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and then toured to eight museums across the country.

Among his other projects, Duren designed sets for an opera company in Cleveland, as well as the sets and costumes for a marionette production of Pyr Gynt at the New York World's Fair (1939-40). He was later an ardent supporter of the Brownville Historical Society and its effort to restore Brownville.

Terence Blanchard

Grammy Award-winning jazz trumpeter Terence Blanchard is one of the most prominent brass players, bandleaders, and recording artists of his generation. Blessed with a warm yet often fiery trumpet sound and an ear for deep harmonic sophistication, Blanchard is a standard-bearer for the searching post-bop style of his predecessors, including Miles Davis, Woody Shaw, and Booker Little. An impressive "Young Lion" in his early days with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, he developed over time into a mature bandleader and a highly regarded film composer.

Born on March 13, 1962 in New Orleans, Louisiana, Terence Oliver Blanchard was an only child to parents Wilhelmina and Joseph Oliver Blanchard. He began playing piano by the age of five, switched to trumpet three years later, and played alongside childhood friend and fellow New Orleans native Wynton Marsalis in summer band camps. While in high school, he took extracurricular classes at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts with Roger Dickerson and Ellis Marsalis. From 1980 to 1982, Blanchard studied under Paul Jeffrey and Bill Fielder at Rutgers University in New Jersey while touring with Lionel Hampton's orchestra. In 1982 Blanchard replaced Wynton Marsalis (under his recommendation) in Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, working in that band until 1986 as lead soloist and musical director. He then co-led a prominent quintet with saxophonist Donald Harrison, recording a handful of albums for the Concord, Columbia, and Evidence record labels in five years, including 1983's New York Second Line, 1984's Discernment, and 1988's Black Pearl.

In the '90s, Blanchard became a leader in his own right, recording for the Columbia label and issuing albums like 1992's Terence Blanchard and 1993's Simply Stated. These albums found him balancing his love of the New Orleans jazz and bop traditions with his own increasingly distinctive and progressive compositional voice. Other albums, like 1994's minor-tinged The Billie Holiday Songbook, 1996's The Heart Speaks with singer/composer Ivan Lins, and 1999's orchestral-leaning Jazz in Film, also showcased his broad stylistic palette.

Also during this period, he developed a fruitful working relationship with director Spike Lee. Having first played on the soundtracks to several of Lee's films, including Mo' Better Blues and Do the Right Thing, Blanchard then composed the music for many of Lee's subsequent films, including Jungle Fever, Malcom X, Clockers, Summer of Sam, 25th Hour, Inside Man, and the Hurricane Katrina documentary When the Levees Broke for HBO. With over 40 scores to his credit, Blanchard is one of the most sought-after jazz musicians to ever compose for film.

In the fall of 2000, Blanchard was named artistic director of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Keeping up with his love of live performance and touring, Blanchard also maintained a regular studio presence, delivering albums like 2000's Wandering Moon, 2001's Let's Get Lost, and 2003's Bounce. Produced by pianist Herbie Hancock, 2005's Flow received two Grammy nominations. Also in 2005, Blanchard was part of pianist McCoy Tyner's ensemble that won the Grammy in the Best Jazz Instrumental Album category for Illuminations. The trumpeter also took home the Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album for 2007's A Tale of God's Will (A Requiem for Katrina). By April of 2007, the Monk Institute announced its Commitment to New Orleans initiative, which included the relocation of the program to the campus of Loyola University in New Orleans, spearheaded by Blanchard.

Signing with Concord Jazz in 2009, he released Choices -- recorded at the Ogden Museum of Art in Blanchard's hometown -- at the end of that summer. Two years later, he paid tribute to the innovative Afro-Cuban recordings of Dizzy Gillespie and Chano Pozo by teaming up with Latin jazz percussionist Poncho Sanchez for the studio album Chano y Dizzy! The following year, Blanchard returned to his film work by scoring the soundtrack to director George Lucas' WWII action drama Red Tails. Also that year, music business legend Don Was brought the trumpeter back to Blue Note Records. Blanchard's first offering for the label was 2013's Magnetic, an album that showcased a new quintet and guest appearances by Ron Carter and labelmates Lionel Loueke and Ravi Coltrane.

In 2015, Blanchard followed up once again on Blue Note with the electric fusion and R&B-infused Breathless. Featuring backing from Blanchard's band the E-Collective, the album also included contributions from vocalist PJ Morton. Returning to film work, he supplied the original score for director Taylor Hackford's 2017 film Comedian. Joining Blanchard on the soundtrack were pianist Kenny Barron, tenor saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, alto saxophonist Khari Allen Lee, bassist David Pulphus, and drummer Carl Allen. In 2018, Blanchard was named a USA Fellow, and composed the score to Spike Lee's film BlacKkKlansman, which won him a Grammy Award. He also released the concert album Live with his E-Collective. Returning to film work, Blanchard scored the 2019 Harriet Tubman biopic, Harriet, along with another Lee film, Da 5 Bloods, in 2020. Other soundtracks from that year included One Night in Miami and the first season of HBO's Perry Mason series.

Terence Powderly

Terence Powderly was born in 1849, in Carbondale, Pennsylvania. While still a teenager, Powderly became an apprentice in a machine shop. Unhappy with working conditions in his chosen industry, Powderly joined the Machinists and Blacksmiths National Union in 1871. Within one year, Powderly had become this union's president.

During the late nineteenth century, Powderly emerged as one of the leading advocates for better working conditions for American workers. He joined the Knights of Labor, another union, in 1874. In 1879, Powderly attained the highest leadership office, Grand Master Workman, in the Knights of Labor. Under Powderly's leadership, the Knights of Labor's membership rose to 700,000 laborers. Powderly generally opposed strikes, preferring boycotts and peaceful negotiations to attain an eight-hour work day, better wages, and improved working conditions in general. Other leaders within the Knights of Labor preferred utilizing strikes. After the Haymarket Square Riot in Chicago, Illinois, in 1886, the Knights of Labor declined as an effective organization. Powderly resigned as grand master workman in 1893.

Powderly's leadership style caused much dissatisfaction among the Knights of Labor's members, especially among those members who favored strikes. In 1886, Samuel Gompers broke with the Knights of Labor. He called for an organization meeting to occur in Columbus, Ohio in December 1886. At this meeting, Gompers and his supporters created a new union, the American Federation of Labor. This organization quickly emerged as one of the United States' most powerful unions during the 1890s.

Terence - History

Classical Drama and Theatre

Chapter 14: Roman Comedy, Part 2 (Terence)

I. Introduction: Roman Comedy after Plautus

Following Plautus' death in the mid-180's BCE, Caecilius Statius emerged as the pre-eminent playwright of Roman Comedy. Though much admired in his day and long after, not even one work of his survives whole and intact. Yet even so, it's evident from the surviving fragments of his plays and other data that his comedy was less boisterous than Plautus'. That Caecilius Statius stayed closer to the tone and structure of his Hellenistic models is clear not only from the fragments of his plays but also the fact that their titles are mostly in Greek, not Latin, in some cases corresponding directly with the titles of the Menandrean originals he was adapting.

This does not mean, of course, that Caecilius Statius wrote in Greek rather, it suggests that he inclined away from the Romanizing tendencies of his immediate predecessors Naevius and Plautus whose plays almost invariably have Latin titles, often not even translations of the original Greek title. (note) In other words, Roman Hellenism was clearly on the rise in the 170's BCE, and undoubtedly that was in no small part because of Caecilius' efforts. But his death in 168 BCE opened the door for new voices to enter the Roman stage, and onto these boards trod one of the greatest the Romans would ever produce, Publius Terentius Afer, known today as Terence.

Little is known about Terence's life, not even the years of his birth and death. Still, we can make good guesses at both. Ancient sources report he died young and, since his last play was produced in 160 BCE, he was probably born at some point between 195 and 185. Thus, he died most likely soon after his final drama debuted, probably in the early 150's. (note)

With that, he would never have known Plautus, though there are other reasons these two are not likely to have met—they traveled in very different social circles—however, if the story is not a fiction, Terence as a young man Terence met Caecilius Statius. (note) Other data, however, which are often cited in textbooks as facts about Terence's life, such as that he was originally a slave from North Africa and later freed, seem on closer inspection suspect, at best "secondary" evidence." About his drama and career as a playwright, on the other hand, we are much better informed.

Several remarkable things stand out about Terence's work. First and foremost, all the plays he ever wrote survive complete. Along with that have come significant details about them: the years in which they premiered and thus the order in which he composed them, who produced them and at what festival, from which Greek originals Terence worked, and even the musician who arranged the music. So, for instance, we know that Terence's consummate masterpiece, Adelphoe ("The Brothers"), was staged at the celebrations surrounding the funeral of Aemilius Paullus in 160 BCE. All this information makes it possible to track Terence's career as we can no other ancient playwright's, even a celebrity on the order of Sophocles.

Nor does any other ancient dramatist's entire corpus survive. Indeed, few other classical authors writing in any genre have their entire body of work preserved, and then only luminaries like Vergil. (note) Thus, in many ways Terence stands alone among ancient dramatists. His work is uniquely well-documented, and the reason must be, at least in part, the high regard in which he was held from his own time on.

So, for instance, the Romans living in the next century (100-1 BCE) saw Terence's writing style as the model of their own—Julius Caesar himself composed a treatise on Terence's sermo purus ("clean dialogue" note)—and well over a millennium later professors in the Renaissance used his drama as a teaching tool. Even a tenth-century nun named Hrotswitha (or Hrotsvit), a canoness living in a cloister in northern Germany just after the Viking invasions, read Terence's dramas with a pleasure that made her uneasy, and so she remodeled them to suit the ethic of the chaste Christian life and glorious virginity she and her sisters in their abbey exemplified.

As a result, we have over six-hundred Terence manuscripts, some of great antiquity and accuracy, dating from many different periods of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Compared to Plautus whose plays survived medieval times on the slenderest of threads, the existence of so many copies of Terence's work is a remarkable tribute to his endurance as an artist. (note) All in all, it is hard to find any age in which Terence's work has not been praised and imitated and his name not widely known, except our own, of course. On whom that will reflect more—Terence or us?—only the future can say.

As another item of note, scholia accompany all Terence's plays. Like those appended to Aristophanes' work, these critical commentaries explicate a wide range of subjects, everything from Terence's meter to his word choice to the original Greek underlying the Latin. Harboring many valuable, albeit not always accurate, morsels of data, the Terence scholia date back to the time of—and, no doubt, the hand of, as well—Aelius Donatus, one of St. Jerome's teachers. Though living in the 300's CE, as far from Terence as we are from da Vinci, Donatus clearly had access to sources of data now lost about this early Roman playwright and, more important, sound judgment in analyzing literature. These scholia attest to a widespread and enduring interest in Terence's work, a general admiration lasting well beyond his lifetime.

III. The Prologues of Terence's Plays

But most remarkable of all—and, without doubt, the best evidence for Terence's drama and its theatrical context—is information which comes from his own hand, the prologues appended to the front of his dramas. Except for Aristophanes' parabases, the text of every ancient play extant is expressed not with its author himself as the spokesman outright but through the persona of a stage character. This makes it hard, often impossible, to unravel the dramatist from the drama. So, for instance, as strong and clear as Euripides' personal opinions may seem after one reads his plays, not one syllable of any script he wrote is preserved as his own words. Instead, everything we know about the man named Euripides must be deduced through the veil of his drama, or from what others had to say about him.

Terence's prologues, however, address the audience directly and discuss, not the plot of the upcoming play the way Greek dramatists often did, but details of the play's production and the workings of Roman theatre. Thus, unique documents attesting to the nature of Roman Comedy—and Republican drama and society in general—these prologues open our eyes to the world beyond, behind and beneath the play, hinting, for instance, at what rehearsals were like, how productions were funded and the jealousy that could rage between rival playwrights. But, best of all, we hear what Terence has to say about his work and his life in his own words.

And as expected, his truth is clearly not the truth, the whole truth, that is. Like any public figure who feels compelled to defend his actions and choices, Terence dodges questions, skirts issues, flatters his producers, kisses up to the public, points to his own genius and, generally, acts like a politician at a press conference, not a patient on truth serum. But like so many invented histories, his catty retorts hint at larger realities and, as it turns out, speak volumes about the artist and his age. Also, because there is no known precedent for these prologues, they may even have been a feature of playwriting Terence himself invented. If so, it is one of the few aspects of drama the Romans may claim as their own, and claim proudly.

As such, the prologues are worth a closer look. Here is the prologue to Terence's Andria ("The Woman from Andros") notable, if for nothing else, as the first words he ever wrote for public performance, since Andria was his first play to be produced on stage:

Our poet, when first he set his mind to writing,
Thought he was doing only one job:
Pleasing the people with the plays he wrote.
But, no! He found out quite differently
That he'd have to spend his time writing prologues
That don't discuss the plot but answer
The abuses of a malevolent decrepit poet.
As to what they cite as his crime, listen to this!
Menander wrote an Andria and a Perinthia.
If you've seen one, you've seen them both—
They're not at all dissimilar in plot in fact,
They differ only in words and style.
What fits into Andria from Perinthia
Our poet admits he "translated" for his own purposes.
And this is what some people call a crime, and furthermore
Add it isn't right to "contaminate" a play. But
They show by this thinking they aren't thinking.
When they accuse him, they accuse Naevius, Plautus,
Ennius, too, whom our poet considers his guardians
And whose "carelessness" he'd rather imitate
Than those people's murky punctiliousness.
And so I warn them to quiet down and stop
Their slander, or they'll taste their own medicine!
So, you, be good, judge fairly and listen to the case,
So you can see whether there's any hope left
That the comedies he will re-master after this
You ought to sit and watch, or drive off stage before ever seeing them.

This prologue reveals that Terence felt for some reason compelled to justify the freedoms he had taken in rendering into Latin Menander's original, also entitled Andria. Though the young playwright leaves his accuser unnamed—for rhetorical purposes, it is often wise not to name your detractor but call him something like "that man"—Donatus tells us that it was Luscius Lanuvinus, a second-rate comic dramatist. In some public way, this "malevolent decrepit poet" had taken exception to Terence's practice of combining two Greek plays and making one Roman one. The reason this constitutes malfeasance is not clear—the plays were, after all, written by the same author which begs the question: what sort of criminal abuse is it to mix Menander with himself?—but then we must remember that we are hearing only Terence's side of the case.

To judge from the plaintiff's language, Luscius Lanuvinus has contemptuously referred to this process as contaminatio ("pollution," literally "a touching together"), a charge that has sparked Terence's defensive response. But why does Lanuvinus decry contaminatio? Did the Romans generally recognize, as some scholars have suggested, that there were a limited number of originals on which to base Roman plays? Did this lead to a rule of some sort about not using more than one Greek play in constructing a Roman copy?

If so, there is little other evidence to this effect, or that Lanuvinus' charges stuck. Terence went on producing plays and, so far as we can tell, "contaminated" everyone of them. Perhaps, then, it was just a matter of good taste, an area of life in which the young rarely listen to their elders.

Nevertheless, the charge of contaminatio did not go away quickly. Terence had to address this issue again in later prologues, such as that appended to Adelphoe ("The Brothers"), the last play he wrote and, without doubt, his consummate masterwork:

After our poet discerned his efforts
Were being criticized by bigots, and rivals
Were carping at the play we're about to perform,
. . . <a line or two is missing here> . . .
As witness for himself he will appear. You will be the judges,
Whether this ought to called a fair play, or foul.
They Died As One is a comedy by Diphilus.
Plautus turned it into Till Death Us Part! (note)
In the Greek play there's a youth who steals a pimp's
Girl in the first scene—this, Plautus omitted entirely—
And this, our poet has now borrowed for himself
In his Adelphoe, translated word for word and now relayed to you.
It's the play we're going to play, all brand new! Consider, then,
If you think this is burglary, or a scene that's been
Rescued, one that was just overlooked accidently.
And as to what those malefactors say, that well-born men
Assist our poet and write with him continually,
He accepts the compliment—and no small compliment it is!—since he pleases
Those who please everyone of you and the Roman people,
For every man in his time has enjoyed a bit of their favor
In war, in peace, in prosperity, without incurring envy.
So, don't expect to hear the plot of the play here.
The old men who come on first will reveal it, some of it,
The action will unveil the rest. So, see to it now that
Your fairness enhances the writer's will to write.

Terence's final play production—that is, the last to have been staged during his lifetime as far as we know—was not Adelphoe, however, but a revival of an earlier flop, Hecyra ("The Mother-in-law"). No fewer than two previous attempts to stage this play had, in fact, failed before the production to which the prologue below was added. The reason for this drama's earlier failures, as explained below, was that noisy and bored spectators had disrupted the theatre so badly the actors could not continue performing—it is a very "talky" play!—so Terence and his producer, the famous actor Lucius Ambivius Turpio, tried a third time to stage the drama. Note that Turpio himself served as the speaker of the prologue, though presumably Terence wrote the words:

As advocate I come before you, in the guise of a prologue.
Allow me to convince you that an old man may have
The same right I once had as a younger man.
In those days I gave old age to new plays, ones driven from the boards,
Making sure the drama did not disappear with the poet.
I produced new plays by Caecilius Statius—
In some of them was booed, in others stood my ground—
For I knew that fortune in the theatre is especially fickle,
So I held on uncertainly to a certain task:
I began to repeat the same plays and help this same man produce
New plays. I worked hard so he wouldn't be discouraged.
I made sure they were seen, and when they were well-known,
They became a success. Thus, I gave this poet back his place
Almost cut off because of his enemies' libel
From his genius, his work and his own theatrical talents.
But if I had scorned his writings at that time
And had chosen to spend my energy disparaging him
So he'd end up with more time for playing than play-making,
I could have dissuaded him easily. He'd have written no more.
Now, as to what I seek, listen and for my sake be fair!
I bring before you Hecyra, again! I have never gotten through
This play in peace. Some misfortune looms over it.
And that misfortune your perspicacity
Will finally put to rest, if you agree to, of course.
When I first tried to put this play on, news of a boxing match,
A gathering of friends, some shouting, women's voices
Made me exit from the stage before my cue.
I decided to try my old habits on a new play,
Make another go of it. I put it on again.
Act One goes well. But in the meantime a rumor circulates
That gladiators will be fighting. A mob flocks in.
There's pushing and shoving, screaming and fights over seats.
In the meantime I could hardly keep my place.
But today there is no mob, only peace and quiet.
The time for me to act has finally come, for you to take
The opportunity to dignify this dramatic festival with us.
Don't let your name be used to give a chance for stardom
To only a few. See that your influence
Fosters and furthers my own influence.
Allow me to beg of you: this man who has entrusted
His genius to my tutelage, his person to your good faith,
Let him not be sieged by detractors who demean him derisively.
For my sake, hear his case and lend him silence,
So others may write and I can bring to the stage
New plays henceforth, what I've paid good money for.

From these prologues it is clear that in Terence's mind the foremost issues concerning Roman drama circulate around the production of the play and the nature of adapting Greek drama into Latin. Also evident here is the hierarchy of Roman theatre, where a dominus like Turpio truly dominates and playwrights-in-need like Terence and Caecilius must enlist his aid in a crisis.

But from our remove, what looms larger is the issue of the Romans' cultural appropriation of Greek drama, and there one thing stands out: Menander in the long run won the battle among Greek comic playwrights and finally emerged "the star of New Comedy." To wit, four of Terence's comedies (Andria, Heautontimoroumenos, Eunuchus, Adelphoe) are adaptations of Menander's work, and the remaining two (Hecyra, Phormio) come from Greek originals written by a later Menandrean imitator, Apollodorus of Carystus.

As the dust kicked up by Alexander and his cronies slowly settled, one thing at least began clear: Philemon, Diphilus and Menander's other rivals and predecessors were left sitting off stage for the most part. That is, when all the politics and pomp of the Dionysia finally died away and Greek culture became the world's possession, that quiet type of comedy championed by the master of character depiction took home the award for best drama of all time, leaving his rowdier and, to be frank, often funnier compatriots off stage. Humor, or so it seems history is telling us, is in the long run not the point of comedy ironically, it's irony.

And indeed irony lies at the heart of Terence's drama. His focus, like Menander's, rests mainly on drawing realistic and gently humorous—often hardly comical at all—portraits of stereotypical characters deployed in flexible and deceptively simple-sounding language. Throughout his scant six comedies are found many excellent examples of the subtle personality types Terence favored, "subtle" meaning "Menandrean." Indeed, there is reason to suppose they are actually Menander's own creations, copied faithfully out of the Greek.

Among the more memorable is the lovesick braggart soldier Thraso ("Bold") of The Eunuch, a man hopelessly smitten with affection for the beautiful prostitute Thais. Though he tries to stick up for himself, and at one point even attacks her house with an army—granted, a corps of cooks, the only force he could serve up in short order!—at the conclusion of the play Thraso capitulates to her completely and, just to be in her ravishing presence, agrees to pay handsomely for the privilege of watching her lie in the arms of his rival. A soldier maybe, a braggart definitely, but mostly just a man, this bold loser is, in fact, a sad weakling far more controlled than controlling. Though there is an actual eunuch in the play—and, of course, a false one since this is a comedy—the real eunuch in Terence's Eunuch is the pitiful warrior Thraso, the quintessential symbol of a capon's bravado.

An even more pitiful creation is the kind and indulgent father Micio of Terence's Adelphoe ("The Brothers"). Actually the uncle of his stepson Aeschinus, Micio has served as the boy's "father" for nearly all his young nephew's life. Micio and his brother Demea, Aeschinus' genetic father, have had a running battle for many years about the right way to bring up children, with leniency or strictness. Gentle Micio, the champion of tender love, has taken many blows to the ego—and the wallet!—because of Aeschinus' outrageous behavior ever since the boy embarked upon puberty, but his adoptive father's abiding love has always found a way to bring them back together.

In the course of the play, however, Aeschinus challenges his stepfather's patience to the very limit of endurance—he roughs up a pimp, steals a prostitute, and fathers a child by the poor girl next-door—yet in the end Micio, as always, capitulates and repairs the damage incurred through his beloved child's indiscretions. Finally, at the conclusion of the play, this fool for the love of his son has served up not only patience and money but his house and home and, though he balks at first when Aeschinus pleads with him to marry, is persuaded to give up even his prized bachelorhood, too. The thought underlying this play—what indeed runs beneath all of Terence's drama—seems to be that the love of whatever and in whatever form is, at the same time, the finest attribute of humanity and also what makes utter idiots of us all. It is hard to imagine a more Menandrean sentiment.

IV. Conclusion: What's So Roman about Roman Comedy?

In fact, there is little in Terence that does not scream Menander. But if there is anything substantively new in the Roman playwright's work—besides the forensic prologue which is really more innovative for what it omits (exposition of the plot) than what it includes—it is dramatic suspense. By not revealing the general parameters of the story to follow, Terence creates tension among his viewers who are now on an intellectual par with the characters. This is contrary to every Menander play known, indeed all of Greek drama since the Classical Age, and sets Terence's art in a new mode characteristic of virtually all stage works written after antiquity. In this essential respect, modern theatre begins with him.

To understand how and why Terence did this requires that one look back at Menander and the reasons his plays always reveal the outcome of the plot to the audience. While giving away the end at the very outset of a play may seem to us today like spoiling the story because we are acculturated to anticipate surprises and unforeseen plot twists, to the ancient Greeks the converse was true. Suckled as Menander's audience was on classical tragedy where the outcome of a dramatic plot is almost always a foregone conclusion—in Euripides, admittedly, it is sometimes the only foregone conclusion—the Hellenistic crowd had come to expect to know right from the outset how a play would turn out. That made watching a tragedy more like being a god than a human, an Olympian sitting above the turmoil of mortal life or a scientist observing an experimental animal pinned and squirming in the laboratory dish below. All in all, Greek tragedy is clearly designed to make the viewer feel superior to the hero on stage, in the same way that the majority of the audience loomed over the stage action physically.

Given an audience inured to being seated well above the characters on stage, post-classical comic poets in Greece had little choice but to dispose their drama from this same vantage point. So in telling his viewers the end of the story, often through a philosophical abstraction such as Luck or Ignorance—gods that looked to post-classical Greece more divine, or at least more immediate, than Homer's all-powerful humanoids—Menander put those watching his plays in the flattering position of feeling like divinities gazing down upon the tragi-comedy of human life unfolding below. It's important to remember, also, that Menander's audience in Hellenistic Athens may well have needed this sort of boost to the ego. The world outside their theatre was doing a very poor job of making them feel divine.

But unlike Menander, Terence had no such history or pressure weighing down on him and his society. The Romans were booming in his day and therefore needed a pat on the back far less than their Hellenic counterparts. If the theatre in Rome did not make the viewers feel divine, so what? His strong and confident audience could take it—even tolerate being fooled by a plot twist or two—without feeling their intelligence slighted. It was only a play, after all, just some Greek riddle not worth too much time or mental exertion, certainly nothing to hang your ego on.

It was part and parcel of the Romans' general attitude toward drama, that theatre was not a refuge from anything but a day's work. To seek complexity in the arts at all was, to many of them, wasted effort where amusement and diversion should rule. Thus, no complex "three-actor rule" for the Romans, no stereotypical characters whose behavior is subtly predictable, no long, philosophical heart-to-hearts between fathers and sons—the Roman stage was a place for boisterous joy, for singing loud and long that life is good. And so it was!

And so irony reigns again, but in this case the irony that the Romans' "Aristophanic" zest is what sets their drama apart from the Greeks'. Whether or not the idea originated with them, it is now the heritage of Rome that plays ought at heart be just plain fun: no serious contemplation of life, no subtle analysis of character, no big political message, just a day at a festival—even if it's a funeral! And if amidst all the jokes and physical humor Terence or Plautus happened to inject some serious art and education into their drama, it seems unlikely any Romans minded, as long as the players primarily played. After all, in Latin ludus means both "play" and "a play."

Terms, Places, People and Things to Know
Caecilius Statius
Sermo Purus
Hrotswitha (Hrotsvit)
Aelius Donatus
Luscius Lanuvinus
Apollodorus of Carystus
Dramatic Suspense

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

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