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Attend now, Spectators, if you please, forthwith to this, and may this matter turn out fortunately for me and for yourselves, and for this company, and for our employers1, and for our managers2. Now, crier, do you at once make all the people give. attentive ear. Come, be seated now, only be careful that 'tis not for nought. Now I will tell you why I have come forward here, and what my intention is, that you may know the name of this play. For, so far as relates to the plot, it really is a short one. Now I will tell you what I said I was wishful to inform you upon. The name of this play in Greek is Onagos3-- Demophilus4 composed it--Marcus5Plautus turned it into Latin. He wishes it to be called Asinaria6 if by your leaves it may be so. In this play there is both pleasantry and fun. 'Tis a droll story; kindly lend me your attention; may Mars, too, as, full oft at other times he has done, so give you now his aid.

1 For our employers: By "dominis" he probably means the Ædiles by whom the actors were engaged for the public entertainment.

2 And for our managers: The "conductores" were probably the leaders or managers of the company, who made the contract with the Ædiles.

3 Is Onagos: "Onagos." The Greek name for an "ass-driver."

4 Demophilus: No particulars are known of Demophilus the Comic Writer. Some would suggest Diphilus as the reading here: he is mentioned in the Adelphi of Terence, and was a Comic Poet, contemporary with Menander.

5 Marcus: Marcus is the word used here. It is supposed to be a corruption of, or an abbreviation for, Maccius or M. Accius, whichever was the prænomen of the poet.

6 Asinaria: "Asinaria" seems to be the nominative feminine singular or neuter plural of the adjective "asinarius," of or "relating to asses."

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    • Paul Shorey, Commentary on Horace, Odes, Epodes, and Carmen Saeculare, Ode XII
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