By Phyllis R. Brown
Hrotsvit wrote tales, performs, and histories in the course of the reign of Emperor Otto the nice (962-973). Twelve unique essays survey her paintings, exhibiting old roots and contexts, Christian values, and an incredibly smooth grappling with questions of id and feminine self-realization.
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Additional info for A Companion to Hrotsvit of Gandersheim (fl. 960): Contextual and Interpretive Approaches
Wilhelm died on 2 March 968;8 therefore Hrotsvit must have completed the Gesta before this date. The other historical poem, the Primordia, was certainly written after the Gesta, because in lines 81ff. she recalls this work to the reader. The Primordia mentions Otto I twice (lines 71, 564), but it is not clear from her words whether Otto was alive or dead at the time she wrote them (he died on 7 May 973). These are the grounds for thinking that Hrotsvit wrote the main part of her works in a short period of time, between February 962 and March 968: in these six years she finished the Book of Sacred Stories (962 or later), composed the Book of Plays (c.
When in 806 the victorious Franks compiled a list of Saxon hostages, they divided these into three major groups, probably glossing over the heterogeneity of the subjected people. ”25 In 782, Charles the Great summarily executed thousands of Saxon men in response to an uprising led by one Widukind. Stuart Airlie writes: “Charlemagne himself journeyed east, rounded up those Saxons identified as responsible for the rebellion and presided over their killing (some 4,500 in a single day, according to the Revised version of the [Frankish] Annals).
Society and the Church in Hrotsvit’s Time Christianity and Literacy The Saxons were relative latecomers to Christianity and the Latin-based literacy and learning that accompanied its spread throughout Europe. 16 stephen l. wailes and phyllis r. brown Saxony had only been Christian since the start of the 9th century, and it is probable that this conversion, achieved by military conquest, did not reach deeply into the population or widely in Saxon territory until many years had passed. The Carolingian courts themselves had not emulated that of Charles the Great as centers of learning, and while there were exceptions, intellectual and artistic achievement is not conspicuous there in the last decades of the 9th century and the first decades of the 10th.