I'm looking for any pair of texts (Ancient Greek, Latin), meeting the following criteria:

  • Both texts may be very brief.
  • The Latin text should be a translation very close to the Greek text.
  • The Greek text should have been written between the fifth and third centuries BC.
  • The Latin text should have been written by Plautus or by Terence.

Any help would be appreciated !

  • 1
    Hmm do you know such a translation by Plautus or Terence exists? Or is it just your hope?
    – Cerberus
    Commented May 25, 2019 at 15:04
  • It's only a hope but I think I remember reading that some passages are obviously(?) borrowed from this or that Greek author.
    – suizokukan
    Commented May 25, 2019 at 16:48
  • 1
    I hope somebody will find something!
    – Cerberus
    Commented May 25, 2019 at 20:16
  • 1
    This edition of the fragments of Menander contains occasional references in footnotes to similar lines in the equivalent plays of Terence: ryanfb.github.io/loebolus-data/L132.pdf Commented May 26, 2019 at 15:10

1 Answer 1


Plautus, Bacchides, lines 816-7:

quem di diligunt / adulescens moritur
He whom the gods love / dies young

Menander, Dis Exapatōn (fourth century BCE), fragment quoted in Stobaeus (KT 111):

ὃν οἱ θεοὶ φιλοῦσιν, ἀποθνῄσκει νέος.
He whom the gods love, dies young.

Neither Dis Exapatōn nor Bacchides survives completely, but the fragments we have confirm that Plautus's work is directly based off Menander's. This line would seem to be a direct quotation.

The proverb is famous now in kind of a romantic way, but in context (in both plays) the meaning is the opposite: the clever slave is making a snarky comment about a gullible old man he's just defrauded, implying that his old age means the gods don't love him. Either way, it seems to be one of the more famous things Menander ever wrote, which is probably why Plautus translated it so directly.

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