Members of the league include cities in Spain, France, Greece, Italy, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, Lebanon, Cyprus, Morocco, Yemen and Egypt, though any city with a shared Canaanite, Phoenician or Punic past is welcome to join.
Launching the League of Canaanite, Phoenician and Punic cities is a symbol of cooperation between nations," Paul Blanc, former French ambassador to Lebanon, said during Friday's forum.
7) Declaration of a "sympathetic" Hanno tends to suggest an all-or-nothing, benign tolerance from Plautus, and an unnaturally univocal audience of Punophiles--a tolerance that is not borne out by the text, since the generally pleasant Punic character is pilloried with several cruel ethnic jokes emphasizing his distinctly non-Roman "otherness.
8) Indeed the strongest ethnic jokes appear in dramatic contexts where Hanno fails to conform to anticipated Punic ethnic behaviors and, in fact, often behaves like a stereotypical Roman.
The prologus accepts as fact that the old Carthaginian would be a randy womanizer and a born trickster, longstanding stereotypes of Phoenicians and their Punic descendants.
A nasty pimp and a unique Punic senex should heighten audience interest and expectations for some funny ethnic slurs that will match what they anticipate from a Carthaginian onstage.
After the prologue prepares the audience to accept the expected and unexpected in a Punic senex, Carthage goes unmentioned again until line 900.
20) Significantly, Hanno invokes the local gods (deos deasque veneror qui hanc urbem colunt, 950) to help him find his daughters and nephew, and, though this is clear in the Latin text of Hanno's words, all recognizable Punic words in the received manuscripts suggest that his Punic speech also expresses a similar prayer to the gods of Calydon.
Despite scholarly objections that the Latin version of the speech would be dramatically unnecessary, redundant, and unsatisfactory after the Punic, (22) I believe a Latin translation for the local audience and gods is not only perfectly actable but, in fact, preferable to a purely Punic introduction.
The Roman audience would simply understand the repeated Latin entrance better, and that order would prove to be funnier, giving the audience a nice jolt of Punic, then a comfortable gloss.
Despite the presence of some reasonably accurate Punic in this first prayer, I question whether Plautus spent time on his Punic passages in order for the audience to understand it word for word.
Agorastocles replies, "By god, he sure looks Punic (facies Punicast)," and Milphio adds, guggast homo (975-76).
While Milphio is laughing at Hanno's appearance, Hanno, who has overheard these two talking about some freeborn Carthaginian girls, announces his intention to approach them while speaking his native Punic (982-84).
At last, Milphio offers to speak Punic, saying, nullus me est hodie Poenus Poenior ("Today nobody's a Punickier Punic than me
Milphio's translations quickly devolve into mistranslations, then complete misrepresentations that play on Latin words sounding like portions of Han-no's Punic.