Hroswitha

Hroswitha

 

(also, Hrosvitha, Roswitha). Born circa 935; died circa 975. German writer.

In her youth, Hroswitha became a nun in the monastery at Gandersheim and later became its abbess. She wrote in Latin and was the author of eight religious poems, including The Fall and Conversion of Theophilus, the oldest version of the legend of Faust. Her distinctive dramas, or comedies, which were intended for reading (Dulcitius, Callicanus, Callimachus, and others), were an attempt to ennoble the classical drama by giving it a Christian content; the works praise chastity and virtue, although in places they are very expressive in depicting earthly life. Hroswitha wrote historical chronicles in verse, a panegyric for Otto I (968; partially preserved), and a history of her monastery.

REFERENCES

Nagel, B. Hrotsvit von Gandersheim. Berlin, 1965.
Haight, A. Hroswitha of Gandersheim. New York, 1965.
References in periodicals archive ?
Upon hearing about Cordoba's wealth and beauty, Hroswitha of Gandersheim, a tenth-century German nun, described the Muslim city as "the ornament of the world.
There are times when the language is stilted, and readers may be irritated by the number of nonstandard forms of names: thus Baronius appears as Baronio, Hroswitha as Rosvita, Amatus of Monte Cassino as Amato, and, most bizarre of all, Roncesvals as Roncisvalle--quite apart from simple errors such as Thomas Beckett (sic) and Wace's long-exploded putative forename Robert.
Schroeder claims that the playwright depicts empowered women: "The largely impersonal institution of the state, Hroswitha implies, rests on the largely relational institution of marriage; women, by exercising their power over the latter, can help bring down the former.
It describes a vibrant lost world--the world's 'ornament', as Hroswitha called it--cultured, tolerant, multilingual, and energetically intellectual, where Muslims, Jews, and Christians worked and read and thought together, created music, built vast libraries .