Praetexta

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The praetexta or fabula praetexta was a genre of Latin tragedy introduced at Rome by Gnaeus Naevius in the third century B.C. It dealt with historical Roman figures, in place of the conventional Greek myths. Subsequent writers of praetextae included Ennius, Pacuvius and Lucius Accius. The name refers to the toga praetexta, the official dress of Roman magistrates.

All Roman Republican tragedies are now lost. From the Imperial era only one play has survived, the Octavia.

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  • Bernhard Zimmermann and Thomas Baier "Tragedy" in: Brill's New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and Helmuth Schneider. Consulted online on 21 July 2017