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The Roman playwright Publius Terentius Afer (c. 190-159 BCE), known as Terence, was a North African slave taught to read and write by his owner, a Roman senator, and subsequently freed because of the exceptional gifts revealed in his writing. Unlike his more famous predecessor Plautus, Terence displays in his work an interest in taut dramatic structures and a fascination with moral and psychological problems that lend his comedies an unusual depth.

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