UCMS lecture with Cora Dietl: Pre-Reformation Drama?

Hroswitha van Gandersheim. Foto: via Wikimedia Commons (public domain)

On 9 February as part of the UCMS Lecture series, Professor of Medieval German Literature at the Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen Cora Dietl will give a lecture about the reception of Hrotsvit in Neo-Latin Drama: ‘Pre-Reformation Drama? Kilian Reuter’s “Dorothea” as Humanist Reception of Hrotsvit’.

Humanist Drama

In Leipzig, 1507 Kilian Reuter published a play about St. Dorothee, an early Christian saint especially venerated in Saxony. The play claims to follow the pattern of Hrotsvit of Gandersheim’s early medieval Latin plays, and it seems to be born of the Humanist fascination about early Latin literature in Germany. Thereby, however, Reuter has to find a compromise between medieval and classical dramatic standards, and Humanist poetry.

The paper will compare his play both with Hrotsvit’s plays and with the medieval play of St. Dorothee, and will argue that Reuter’s intention was rather didactic than poetic, while he created a new literary genre that could be used in the confessional conflicts to come. The “Dorothea” foreshadows a dramatic genre that will gain popularity in the second half of the sixteenth century, the Protestant martyrs’ play.

Cora Dietl

Cora Dietl is Professor for the History of German Literature and Dean of the Faculty for Language, Literature, and Culture at the University of Gießen. Dr. Dieti holds a Ph.D. from the University of Tübingen, Germany. She is also the President of the German/Austrian Branch of the International Arthurian Society.

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