- Psuedolus and Calidorus are talking. Calidorus is upset because he has just received a letter from his true love, Phoenicium. She has been sold to a Macedonian officer. Psuedolus then promises that he will raise 2,000 in order for Calidorus to get his girl. He mocks Phoenicium's handwriting.
- Ballio then appears, whipping and verbally abusing his slaves. He instructs these slaves to prepare his house for his upcoming birthday celebrations. He then tells his female slaves how they should behave in order to get him lots of gifts from the individual customers. Psuedolus and Calidorus watch him doing this, condemning the pimp.
- Pseudolus has a plan: he calls Ballio over and Calidorus pleads with him. Ballio teases Calidorus, even saying that Phoenicium is no longer for sale, however this is clearly a lie. Pseudolus and Calidorus throw a list of insults at him, and Ballio takes them very well.
- Ballio leaves with the deal that if Calidorus cannot get the money to him before the Macedonian officer, then he cannot get Phoenicium. Pseudolus has a plan and asks Calidorus to go off and get his friend before his monologue. During this monologue, he admits that he does not actually have a plan, and he is intending to make it up as he goes along.
- Simo and his friend/neighbour Callipho appear while talking about Calidorus' love affair. They spot Pseudolus and ask him if he is aware of the affair. Pseudolus says that he did not tell Simo about his plans because he feared that he would be punished. Pseudolus promises Simo that he will manage to get money out of him in order to pay for his son's love.
- The two men decide to make a deal; if Pseudolus fails in his attempt to get money out of Simo, he will be sent to the treadmill for eternity. However if he is successful in waging war against Ballio, then Simo is to pay him a reward. Simo goes into his house, and Pseudolus asks Callipho for help. Again, Pseudolus tells the audience that he will succeed in his plans, however he is not quite sure how.
- Pseudolus then spots Harpax, a solider sent by the Macedonian officer to deliver the final 500 drachmas for Phoenicium and a signed token for proof. Pseudolus pretends to be Ballio's servant, calling…