(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.
REFERENCESNagel, B. Hrotsvit von Gandersheim. Berlin, 1965.
Haight, A. Hroswitha of Gandersheim. New York, 1965.