The Collection of Sententiae associated with the Mimographer Publilius and its Portrayal of Laughter, Tears, and Silence


The purpose of this paper is two-fold: to provide an up-to-date overview of the main problems pertaining to the purpose and transmission of a collection of apophthegms (sententiae), associated with the mime-actor and mimographer Publilius, and to discuss the portrayal of laughter, tears, and silence in the collection. I explore the image that was projected through the sententiae with regard to the above manifestations of non-verbal behaviour, and show how this projection squared with the portrayal of laughter, tears, and silence in select literary writings, including the collection of one-line apophthegms associated with Menander. I finish by suggesting reasons for this portrayal.