Menander, Philadelphoi, and a Note on the Material Evidence for the Reception of This and Some Other Plays under the Roman Empire



Philadelphoi (or Adelphoi A) had a brief glimpse of fame recently when a mosaic showing its most famous scene was unearthed near Antioch. Labelling gives us the name of the play and tells us that the scene comes from Act I. It thus falls into the series of Menander’s plays that were devised with an opening scene that captured the audience and was to last in the memory. The image shows what must have been a tour-de-force by the actor playing the father-figure, striding about and talking vigorously to his two daughters who were placed to either side. The script must surely have been written with a particular actor in mind.