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.
(The entire section is 531 words.)