The cover of the Standard Ebooks edition of Plays by Roswitha of Gandersheim

Hrotsvitha of Gandersheim

Hrotsvitha of Gandersheim was a tenth-century German canoness, dramatist, and poet. (A canoness is basically like a nun, but with less strict vows.) Hrotsvitha is remarkable: she has been called the first Western playwright since antiquity as well as the first known woman playwright. In her six plays, Hrotsvitha takes comic tropes used by Roman playwrights and reworks them into plays that not only glorify God but also deeply honor faith, celibacy, and women.