Hrotswitha (935-c1002) Born into German nobility and educated in the Benedictine convent at Gandersheim, famous for its piety and learning, where her special teacher was Gerberg, a niece of Otto I. She was a highly accomplished woman, and became the abbess of Gandersheim (959-1001). She later became Canonness. Her works draw on the writings of the Church fathers, the Apocrypha and show familiarity with classical texts by Plautus, Ovid, Virgil and Ovid as well as Terence. Hrotswitha’s works, rediscovered in a manuscript volume in the 15th century include three books: one of legends and epic poems, one of historical writings – including a history of her religious order, and a volume of six plays: Dulcitius, Sapienta, Abraham, Callimachus, Paphnutius and Gallicanus. The first published translations in English appeared in 1923 when three different translators brought out versions including Christopher St John’s The Plays of Roswitha.
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