Edizione di riferimento:
Querolus (Aulularia) Le Grincheux (La Comédie de la petite marmite), texte établi et traduit par C.Jacquemard-Le Saos, Paris 1994 (Coll.des Univ.de France).
The Querolus is a prose comedy that functions as a sort of continuation to Plautus’s Aulularia: the protagonist, who gives his name to the comedy, is the son of the greedy Euclio. For this reason it was attributed to Plautus throughout the middle ages (in the eight codices that transmit it one finds the inscription Plauti Aulularia). Pierre Daniel, who edited its editio princeps in 1564, was the first to recognize that this attribution was false. The various hypotheses concerning the author’s identity start from the dedication to a certain Rutilius, who is described as a vir inlustris; the author further claims that he is this man’s proximus et propinquus and declares that he received from him an honorata quies that he dedicated to light literary activity (quam dicamus ludicris).
The identification of this addressee with the poet Rutilius Namazianus is tempting and plausible; this would invite the comparison of two passages: one from the comedy describing life along the Loire, where Roman laws no longer have force, and another from the De reditu suo concerning the Gallic region of Armorica, which Rome tried to bring back under its laws following a rebellion (1.213-6). There is no secure basis for attempts at a more precise identification (e.g. with Palladius, mentioned by Rutilius as a son of Exuperantius who was governing Armorica; with Axius Paulus, the friend of Ausonius; with Avianus). The dating of the comedy also depends on hypotheses concerning its author; its composition could be placed around AD 415 if its connection to the De reditu suo is legitimate.
The plot hinges on a search for treasure that Euclio hid in a pot disguised as a funerary urn before he departed on a trip. Two men are in a race to find it: the parasite Mandrogerus, who was Euclio’s death-bed confidant, and Querolus. The latter man gets the better of the parasite, but - in a typical happy ending - nevertheless welcomes him into his house. The comedy lacks any romantic plotline. [R. Tabacco; tr. C. L. Caterine].