Persa (play)

Persa is a comedic Latin play by the early Roman playwright Titus Maccius Plautus.

Written byPlautus
CharactersToxilus, a slave
Sagaristio, a slave
Saturio, a parasite
Sophoclidisca, a slave
Lemniselene, an enslaved prostitute
Paegnium, a slave boy
Unnamed daughter of Saturio
Dordalus, a pimp
Setting Athens


The slave Toxilus is taking care of his master's house while he is away. Toxilus wants to purchase the freedom of his lover Lemniselene, who is owned by the procurer (pimp) Dordalus. He asks his friend Sagaristio to lend him the money required. Sagaristio does not have the required sum, but obtains some from elsewhere. Toxilus intends to take the money back after it is paid to Dordalus.

Saturio, a parasitus, is convinced by Toxilus to have Sagaristio sell his daughter to Dordalus, even though she is not a slave. At this time, Lemniselene and Toxilus simultaneously have messages delivered to each other. Then, Toxilus receives Sagaristio's money and uses it to pay Dordalus, who frees Lemniselene.

Immediately after ensuring Lemniselene's freedom, Sagaristio dresses as a Persian and carries out the aforementioned plot. For a huge sum, he sells Saturio's daughter, dressed as a Persian captive, to Dordalus. Then, Saturio enters and reclaims his daughter, who was not, in fact, a slave. The play concludes with Toxilus and Sagaristio feasting to celebrate Dordalus' misfortune.[1]



  1. ^ "T. Maccius Plautus, Persa, or The Persian, Introduction, THE SUBJECT". Retrieved 2021-04-22.
  2. ^ Plautus; Translated by Wolfgang de Melo (2011). Plautus, Vol III: The Merchant; The Braggart Soldier; The Ghost; The Persian. Loeb Classical Library. ISBN 0674996828.

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