Time: Second century b.c.e.
Euclio (EW-klee-oh), an old miser intent on hiding from others his possession of a pot of gold hidden by his miserly grandfather but revealed to him in its hiding place by his household god. Wishing to use the gold as a dowry to help his daughter Phaedria get a husband, Euclio hides it again, pretends poverty, and suspects everyone of trying to rob him or trick him out of his treasure. Unsure of Megadorus' sincerity, he nevertheless agrees to let him marry Phaedria because of his willingness to take her without a dowry and to pay the wedding expenses. After the withdrawal of Megadorus as a suitor and the return of the stolen gold by Lyconides, Euclio accepts the young man as a son-in-law and even gives the gold to the newly wedded couple. The story of Euclio is probably based on one of Menander's lost comedies.
Megadorus (meh-guh-DOH-ruhs), Euclio's rich old neighbor. Scornful of marriage to a wealthy woman of high station who would squander his money and who might try to order him about, he is attracted to Phaedria because of her poverty, and he is willing to marry her without a dowry. For Lyconides' sake, he gives up his marriage plans so that his nephew may have her. The playwright uses Megadorus as a mouthpiece for satirizing rich women and their expensive tastes.
Eunomia (ew-NOH-mee-uh), Megadorus' sister, who wishes him to marry and father children. She later intercedes for Lyconides so that Phaedria may marry him rather than Megadorus.
Lyconides (li-KOH-nih-deez), Eunomia's son, in love with Phaedria, whom he deflowered while drunk and whom he wishes to marry. He confesses his deed to Eunomia and asks her aid in getting Megadorus to let him marry Phaedria. Thinking Euclio has discovered his guilt, he confesses and begs forgiveness, only to be thought confessing the theft of Euclio's gold. He recovers the gold from the real thief, returns it, and gets both Phaedria and the gold with Euclio's blessing.
Staphyla (STA-fih-luh), an old slave belonging to Euclio. Aware of Phaedria's pregnancy and wishing to help her, Staphyla worries about the discovery of the girl's condition.
Phaedria (FEE-dree-uh), Euclio's young daughter, who is favorably regarded by her household god because of her devotion to him and her gifts honoring him. Pregnant by Lyconides, she bears his child and marries him afterward. Phaedria does not appear in the action of the play, but her off-stage voice is once heard calling for the nurse during the pains of childbirth.
Strobilus (STROH-bih-luhs), Lyconides' slave, who sees Euclio hide his gold first at the shrine of Faith and afterward in Sylvanus' grove. He steals it to use as a bribe to acquire his freedom from slavery, but he is forced to give up the treasure without getting his freedom.
Pythodicus (pih-THOH-dih-kuhs), Megadorus' slave.
Anthrax (AN-thraks) and Congrio (KON-gree-oh), two cooks hired for the wedding of Megadorus and Phaedria. Congrio is saucy to Euclio after being unjustly beaten and berated by him.
Phrygia (FRIH-jee-uh) and Eleusium (eh-LEW-see-uhm), two music girls hired as entertainers for the wedding.