: 'ass' f.
) was a comedy of Ancient Rome
. It was written in a farcical style by the famed playwright Plautus
. Though considered original during its time, it was actually adopted from an earlier Greek
comedy (like most Roman plays were) by Deomphilus
. The title was a direct translation of the original Greek title, Onagos. The comedy wasn't particularly celebrated or remembered, merely being an entertaining, baudy episode similar to many others produced at the time, but it did give us the saying homo homini lupus
(transliteration: man to man wolf, translation: man is a wolf to man).
In the play, an indulgent father named Demaenetus gets a request from his somewhat spoiled son Agryrippus. The young lad had been enjoying the company of a lovely prostitute named Philaenium, but any ambitions to rescue her from the criminal underworld ala Moulin Rouge are stymied by her old hag pimpess. Demaenetus agrees to aid his son by buying the prostitute, an excellent solution to the dilemna until of course he encounters his royal pain of a wife, Artemona. Being a nag and miser, she flatly denies Demaenetus' request for money and browbeats him for such frivolous propositions for spending the savings.
Agryrippus is obviously bummed that his whole elopment plans have ground to a halt, which tugs at Demaenetus' heartstrings, so he gathers up the courage to trick his wife. He sends one of his slaves to deceive her into supplying money to go off and buy some donkeys for Artemona's steward. Money in hand, Agryrippus and Demaenetus go off to treat Philaenium to a scrumptious full-course banquet. Another woman who'd been attempting to attract Agryrippus' attention spots them merrymaking, and seized with jealousy, runs off to tattle to Artemona. Cue righteous bitch mode. Artemona comes storming into the party, giving tongue-lashings left and right, then drags her poor husband off while detailing the dire things she's about to do to him. *cringe*