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Museum of Classical Archaeology Databases


The playwright Menander is famous for his comedies, although no complete plays have survived; only parts of some remain. Unlike his contemporaries, his plays were not framed in mythological settings but in everyday life. He was born around 343 BCE into an aristocratic family, lived in Athens, and died in 291 BCE. His writing was influential on Roman playwrights such as Plautus and Terence.

Menander is shown youngish and beardless, as befits a poet rather than a philosopher. The head, the identification of which as Menander has been disputed, is one of fifty or so Roman copies of a Hellenistic original. The nose is a restoration

Location of Original: 

Copenhagen, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek 429


Purchased from Sgnr. NF Martinelli of Rome in 1889


Lippold: Griechische Plastik, 300 (n.21)
Crome: Das Bildnis Vergils (1936)
Helbig: Römische Mittheilung LIX (1944), Zum Menander-Vergil-Problem, 77
Rhys-Carpenter: Hesperia XX (1951), A contribution to the Vergil-Menander controversy, 34-
Poulsen: Katalog over Antike Skulpturen Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, text 300, pl. XXXI
Poulsen, in From the Collections of the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, vol.3 (1942), 93
Martinelli: Catalogue of Casts in Gypsum
Walston: Catalogue of Casts in the Museum of Classical Archaeology (1889), 115, no.602 (?)

Roman. Original: early C3 BCE


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