Although Terence wrote in Latin and for the Roman viewer, his characters carry Greek names and it is assumed that the action often takes place in Hellas. So in this case.
Severe old man Menedemos so cursed his son Kliniya for his hobby of a poor neighbor’s girl that he was forced to flee from his parents’ home for military service.
But, despite this, the son loves his father. In time, Menedemos also repents. Pining for his son and tormented by remorse, he decided to exhaust himself by continuous work in the field. At the same time, Menedemos sells most of his slaves (they now almost do not need him) and much more: to return the son wants to save up the amount that is worth the occasion.
Neighbor Hremet asks Menedemos about the reasons for his actions and, in particular, – such a fierce self-torture by hard work. The reason for his interest in the affairs of a neighbor, Khremet explains to the oppressed Menedem: “I am a man, nothing human is nothing to me.” This and many other phrases from the comedies of Terence eventually became winged expressions, having lived in this capacity to this day.
Clinia is in love with poor and honest Antiphyla and, unable to endure separation any longer, secretly returns. But not home (he is still afraid of his father’s anger), but to a friend-neighbor of Klitofon, the son of Hremet.
A Clitophone is fascinated by the Getcha Bacchis (which requires considerable expenditure). Parents, of course, do not know about this passion of an unlucky little son.
In the comedic intrigue, Sire, the intelligent and savvy slave of Hremet, actively intervenes (he hopes for a reward), Both young men and Sire agree that they will... bring Bakhida into the house of the Khremet, giving her away for the one Klinia is passionate about. This is what happens. In the role of the maid Bacchides, the modest Antiphyla appears. And not only she: Bacchis arrives with a whole suite of servants and slaves. And the Khremet (thinking that this is the beloved of the Kliniya) submits resignedly and sings the whole crowd. He finally informs Menedemos that his son has secretly returned. The joy of the old father has no limit. For the sake of the returned son, he is now ready for anything: to take in the house not only him, but also the bride, whatever she was! Menedemos has now become meek and compliant.
Meanwhile, Sostrata appears on the stage – Klitofon’s mother, the wife of Khremet. In the course of the action, it suddenly turns out that Antifila is Khremet’s own daughter. When she was born (not by the time, probably), the frustrated father told Sostratus to abandon the child…
Antiphyla was brought up by a virtuous old woman, instilling in her all the best qualities that a decent girl should possess. Parents joyfully recognize Antiphyla as their daughter. Disputes and doubts Clitorophone, whether he is the son of his parents and whether they will continue to love him. After all, the son of a reveler had fraudulently plunged his father into considerable expenses. But even the heterogame Bacchides in the end is not so heartless and dissolute.
As a result, the Khremet agrees to extradite the newly-found daughter for Kliniya and gives her a decent dowry. Immediately, nearby, he finds a worthy bride and for his unlucky son. Happy Menedemos and his wife, happy Antifila and Kliniya. And the final words of Hramet sound: “I agree, well, farewell! Slam!”