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Miles Gloriosus is a comedic play written by Titus Maccius Plautus (c. 254–184 B.C.). The title can be translated as "The Swaggering Soldier" or "Vainglorious Soldier". His source for Miles Gloriosus was a Greek play, now lost, called Alazon or The Braggart. Although the characters in Miles Gloriosus speak Latin, they are Greeks and largely have Greek names, clothing, and customs. The action takes place in Ephesus, a Greek city on the coast of Asia Minor, famous for its Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
The play is thought to date from early in Plautus's career, partly because it contains no polymetric songs[clarification needed] (which became frequent in the later plays), and partly because lines 210–211 have been taken as a reference to the temporary imprisonment of the poet Naevius in 206 BC.
At 1437 lines this is Plautus's longest surviving play. Some scholars have suggested that it may combine two Greek originals; others have thought this unlikely. De Melo, however, suggests that Periplectomenus's long scene of self-praise (596–812) may come from another play; and the scene with Lurcio, which is not well integrated into the story, is also thought to be an addition invented by Plautus.