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Fabius Dorsennus (also spelled Dossennus or Dossenus) was a thespian and author of Atellan Farce in Ancient Rome, known for his careless performances. According to Seneca his epitaph was: "Halt, stranger, and understand Dossennus' wisdom".[1]


There is some confusion regarding this figure from ancient Roman theater. In one of his epistles, Horace mentions a Dossennus:

[He] exceeds all measure in his voracious parasites; with how loose a sock he runs over the stage: for he is glad to put the money in his pocket, after this regardless whether his play stand or fall.

— Book II, Epistle I

Pliny the Elder, however, refers to a Fabius Dossennus as the author of "Acharistio," one of the Atellanae Fabulae, in his Natural History. Pliny writes:

Fabius Dossennus quite decides the question, in the following line—; 'I sent them good wine, myrrh-wine'; and in his play called Acharistio, we find these words: 'Bread and pearled barley, myrrh-wine too.'

Other uses[edit]

Dossennus was also the name of a stock character of the Atellanae Fabulae, perhaps named after Fabius Dorsennus.


  1. ^ Epistulae ad Lucilium, 89, 7. hospes resiste et sophian Dossenni lege.