Hrotsvit of Gandersheim Christianizes Terence

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In this chapter, the author examines the appropriation of Terentian comedy by Hrotsvit and her transformation of the ancient plays into a "Divine Comedy" of sorts, a precursor of Dante's drama. The tenth-century German nun appropriates Roman Comedy to turn it into tragedy with a happy ending-except that here the happy ending has nothing to do with what we traditionally associate with the "happily ever after." Hrotsvit refashions the comastic ending of Terentian comedy, that is, the finale that often involves a marriage, into a reunion in heaven with the creator of humankind, God himself, where the martyrs win the crown of eternal glory and the promise of future life in paradise. An important precursor to Hrotsvit's Christianization of Terence's plays appears in the anonymous Terentius et Delusor, a dialogue or spoken play, preserved in a twelfth-century manuscript and edited together with Hrotsvit's works in Paul von Winterfeld's edition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationA companion to Terence
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9781405198752
StatePublished - May 3 2013


  • Hrotsvit
  • Terence
  • Terentian comedy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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