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Caecilius Statius

or Statius Caecilius. A writer of Latin comedy. He was a Gaul, of the race of the Insubrians, who were settled in Upper Italy, and was brought to Rome, probably about B.C. 194, as a prisoner of war. He was set free by one of the Caecilii, became very intimate with Ennius, and died not long after him, B.C. 166. It was long before he could obtain a footing on the stage; but, this once achieved, he won a considerable reputation, and was numbered among the masters of his craft. The influence of Ennius seems to have been apparent in the comparative care and regularity with which his pieces were constructed. Cicero, however, finds fault with his defective Latinity (Ad Att. vii. 3, 10); and we must therefore infer that, being of foreign extraction, he never succeeded in fully mastering the niceties of colloquial Latin. The titles of some forty of his plays have survived. The contents he mostly borrowed from Menander, and sixteen of his titles are those of plays of Menander. See Teuffel, Caecilius Statius (Tübingen, 1858).

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