Menander comedy in Vatican?

ROME (Reuters) – A manuscript containing possibly unknown verses written over 2,000 years ago by the ancient Greek playwright Menander has come to light in the Vatican Library, the Vatican’s newspaper said yesterday. While half of the 400 verses, copied onto parchment in the ninth century, appear to be from the prolific comic writer’s only salvaged play «The Grouch,» or «Dyskolos,» researchers think 200 verses could be completely new. «The deciphering and deep analysis of the new fragments… will allow us to read again, after two millennia, a text that was believed to be lost,» L’Osservatore Romano daily said. The verses were discovered by Francesco D’Aiuto, the Vatican Library’s Greek manuscript specialist. Menander was born in 342 BC. For years his texts were only known due to references from his contemporary admirers. Over the last century, manuscripts with fragments of his plays have come to light. The protagonists of the new verses are an old woman, a newborn child and a girl, according to initial studies. The manuscript originally belonged to a Syrian monastery.