The Braggart Soldier (Latin: Miles Gloriosus) is a Latin comedy by Plautus. Based on a lost Greek original, it was probably written towards the end of the third century BCE.
It set in Ephesus, where a young Athenian, Pleusicles seeks to rescue his kidnapped lover Philocomasium from the attentions of Pyrgopolynices, the braggart soldier of the title, with the help of his cunning slave, Palaestrio, and Acroteleutium, a prostitute posing as his wife.
The play established the archetype for one of literature's most widely recognised stock characters. Later examples of the miles gloriosus include Shakespeare's Old Pistol and Il Capitano of the Commedia dell'arte.
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Free online texts
Loebulus: L163 - Plautus III: The Merchant. The Braggart Warrior. The Haunted House. The Persian. Loeb edition, translated by Paul Nixon. PDF format.
Internet Archive: The Comedies of Plautus, Vol I, translated by Henry Thomas Riley. EPUB, MOBI, PDF and TXT formats.
Perseus: Miles Gloriosus, translated by Henry Thomas Riley. HTML and XML formats.
Wikipedia: Plautus - Miles Gloriosus (play)
Wikisource: Plautus and Terence, by William Lucas Collins (1873).