What does the term togata ‘really’ mean?

Giuseppe Eugenio Rallo

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This article aims to shed fresh light on the meaning of the term togata. It conducts an analysis of the term as it appeared in ancient sources,1 investigating in particular both how and why ancient authors across several periods focussed their attention on the togata. The paper will also distinguish between the attestation of the term togata in ancient writers, who are likely to have actually watched these theatrical performances in person and known more directly what they were talking about, and the usage of the term by later grammarians, who would have had no opportunity to watch such performances. These later authors, rather, were simply guessing what kind of theatrical representation could have been performed onstage (much as we do nowadays) and did so by adopting obvious differences in terminology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216-229
Number of pages14
JournalThe Classical Quarterly
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2021


  • Togata
  • Roman drama
  • Terminology
  • Ancient sources


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