The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(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.


Nagel, B. Hrotsvit von Gandersheim. Berlin, 1965.
Haight, A. Hroswitha of Gandersheim. New York, 1965.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Yeats, had his share of the early European japonaiserie interest in Japanese classical noh, (65) The Western Chamber was "a faithful reproduction of a highly organized and subtle play that represents the impressive standards set by the Chinese theatre at a time when the naive simplicities of the nun Hroswitha were symptomatic of the only drama that remained in the Western world." As a whole and complete theatre, like that of the ancient Greeks, Chinese drama "has everything to tell to the British theatre that the British theatre most needs to learn--or remember." (66)
The first recorded scores of copyright in Germany approved in 1501 by the Council of the Royal Court (Imperial Aulic council) to print poems of a poet (called Hroswitha) that six years had passed since his death and his poetry was gather by someone named Celtes at Nuremberg.
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." About the same time, the Christian thinker Alvaro of Cordoba lamented: "My fellow Christians delight in the poems and romances of the Arabs; they study the work of Muslim theologians and philosophers....
Entre las religiosas femeninas se destaco Hroswitha de Gandersheim, alemana del siglo X, que escribio en latin obras de teatro destinadas a las monjas, con el fin de incentivar la lectura silenciosa, y hacer comprender y memorizar los libretos para la puesta en escena.
The inclusion of Latin material also means that there is some engagement with the works of female writers (Dhuoda, Hroswitha von Gandersheim).
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.
John] to admit that Hroswitha may (emphasis mine) have known what she was doing can find the passage both amusing and dramatically relevant" (Schroeder 54).
The first recorded western European dramatist, also the first European woman dramatist, the canoness Hroswitha of Gandersheim, also appeared in the tenth century, and also within the Holy Roman Empire.
Historians of theatre usually discuss the Easter tropes and Hroswitha's plays as discrete phenomena: debating whether or not the tropes represent a first step in the development of liturgical drama, discussing Hroswitha's plays as the first Christian plays based on saints' lives and not tied to the liturgy.
The plays of Hroswitha may well be another phenomenon reflecting those policies.
The dramatic works of Hroswitha of Gandersheim, I believe, were not divorced from these early uses of performative rituals and texts to implement the policies of religious education and reform; rather they were another expression of it.
The site includes, in addition to one powered and limited to Fordham resources, an additional search engine powered by HotBot that can be directed to other sites; this yields mixed results--links to Hroswitha's plays and Spanish medieval drama are followed by links to classical Japanese Noh plays, and the Fordham Theatre Company.