Curculio, or The Forgery

Curculio, or The Forgery
By T. Maccius Plautus
Translated by: Henry Thomas Riley
London G. Bell and Sons 1912

Perseus Documents Collection Table of Contents


Funded by The Annenberg CPB/Project

  CURCULIO, the Parasite of Phdromus.
THERAPONTIGONUS, a Captain of Caria.
PHAEDROMUS, a young man in love with Planesium.
PALINURUS, Servants of Phdromus.

LYCO, a Banker.
CAPPADOX, a Procurer.
THE CHOREGUS (or, Director of the Chorus).
PLANESIUM, a young woman belonging to Cappadox.
AN OLD WOMAN, a Procuress.

Scene--Epidaurus, in Peloponnesus; before the houses of PHDROMUS and CAPPADOX, and the Temple of sculapius.

Act intro


Scene subject



is desperately in love with Planesium, who is in the possession of Cappadox, an avaricious Procurer. Not having the means of obtaining her freedom, Phdromus sends Curculio, his Parasite, to Caria, to borrow the money from a friend. The friend being unable to lend it, Curculio by accident meets a military officer, named Therapontigonus, and is invited by him to dinner. The Captain accidentally mentions to him that he has agreed to purchase Planesium of the Procurer, and that the money is deposited with Lyco, the banker, who, has been ordered, on receiving a letter signed with the Captain's signet, to have the young woman delivered to the bearer. While the Captain is overpowered with wine, Curculio steals his signet, and hastens back to Epidaurus, where he forges a letter by means of it, which he delivers to Lyco, as though from the Captain. The money is paid to the Procurer, and Planesium is handed over to Curculio; a condition having been previously made, that if she should turn out to be a free woman by birth, the money shall be repaid to the purchaser. Curculio then delivers Planesium to Phdromus. The same day, the Captain arrives at Epidaurus, and is soon after recognized by Planesium as her brother, through the medium of the ring, which had belonged to her father. To corroborate her assertion, Planesium produces another ring, which Therapontigonus had presented to her when a child as a birthday present. On this, she is given by her brother in marriage to Phdromus; and Cappadox, much against his will, is forced to refund the money to the Captain.