Controversial Topics in School and Literature: Hrotswitha and Donatus on Terence's Rapes

  • Chrysanthi Demetriou Open University of Cyprus & University of Cyprus


The paper examines the way Terence's comedy was received and exploited by the dramas of Hrotswitha of Gandersheim. The discussion focuses on a particular comic motif: rape. After the examination of the way Hrotswitha transforms Terentian rapes and incorporates them into her dramatic composition, the paper focuses on a very important spectrum of Terence's survival: education. Specifically, it explores how rape was read and interpreted by the most important treatise of Terence's exegesis: the commentary of Donatus. All in all, the paper aims at identifying possible common approaches between the educational and literary sources under examination, while, at the same time, investigates the extent to which the educational context of Terence's reception affected the literary products that used Terence as their prototype.