Chrysis: Text, Translation, and Commentary of Enea Silvio Piccolomini's Latin Comedy




Liu, Cynthia

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Enea Silvio Piccolomini’s Chrysis, a Latin comedy written in 1444, was lost until the 19th century when a single manuscript of the play was found hidden in a library in Prague, surviving the humanist-turned-pope’s general holocaust of his earlier secular works. Though little has been written on Piccolomini and still less on this comedy, the Chrysis holds a wealth of classical reception and social commentary that will prove beneficial to understanding both ancient theatre and the social dynamics of the 15th century renaissance. This thesis is the first English critical edition of the Chrysis, complete with introduction, established text, translation, and commentary. The commentary gives attention primarily to Piccolomini’s adaptations of his classical sources, specifically Epicurean philosophy and Plautine comedy. The introduction will focus on the text as a manifestation of Piccolomini’s mental and spiritual shift as he moved from poet laureate to future pope, marking the end of 1444 and the beginning of 1445, when he took up holy orders.