Hroswitha, early medieval playwrite

Hroswitha, (also known as Roswitha or Hroswit) a Benedictine German canonness, might be the earliest known playwrite to emerge in the Middle Ages after the Fall of Rome. A contemporary of Otto I (for whom she wrote an epic ode), she had the opportunity to study Terence and liked him so well, she wrote six plays in his style.

I am always astounded by the depth of the Medieval Cultural World. Hroswitha again confirms this thought of Christopher Dawson's: "The late decades of the eleventh century . . . mark the inauguration of one of the most fertile, original, and energetic centuries in the history of human thought. This great intellectual revolution . . . was marked by great advances in every aspect of higher thought and culture, by a vastly improved knowledge of the classic heritage, by the application of science and intelligence to both Church doctrine and the needs of lay society" (Medieval Essays, 80).

Here is her play Dulcitius, which combines imagination, faith, and humor. How could the medievals tackle such sublime subjects and tell them in such a droll and jolly manner? Is this what is means to be redeemed? Ducitius has the added bonus of being a play about three early virgin martyrs. Worth performing . . .



Related Posts with Thumbnails