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Dulcitius by Hrosvitha,10.21st

Dulcitius by Hrosvitha,10.21st - Below is the play...

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Below is the play Dulcitius by Hrosvitha, due October 21st ARGUMENT THE martyrdom of the holy virgins Agape, Chionia, and Irena. The Governor Dulcitius seeks them out in thc silence of the night with criminal intent, but hardly has he entered their dwelling than he becomes the victim of a delusion, under which he mistakes for the objects of his passion the saucepans and frying-pans in the kitchen. These he embraces and covers with kisses until his face and clothes are black with soot and dirt. Later, by order of Diocletian, he hands the maidens over to the care of Sisinnius, who is charged with their punishment. Sisinnius in his turn is made the sport of the most strange delusions, but at length succeeds in getting Agape and Chionia burnt, and Irena shot to death with arrows. CHARACTERS THE EMPEROR DIOCLETIAN. AGAPE. CHIONIA. IRENA. DULCITIUS (Governor of Thessalonica). SOLDIERS. SISINNIUS. WIFE TO DULCITIUS. Ushers of the Imperial Palace. Ladies-in-Waiting on the Wife of Dulcitius. DULCITIUS SCENE I DIOCLETIAN. The pure and famous race to which you belong and your own rare beauty make it fitting that you should be wedded to the highest in our court. Thus we decree, making the condition that you first promise to deny your Christ and sacrifice to the gods. AGAPE. We beg you not to concern yourself about us, and it is useless to make preparations for our marriage. Nothing can make us deny that Name which all should confess, or let our purity be stained. DIOCLETIAN. What does this madness mean? AGAPE. What sign of madness do you see in us? DIOCLETIAN. It is clear enough. AGAPE. In what way are we mad? DIOCLETIAN. Is it not madness to give up practising an ancient religion and run after this silly new Christian superstition? AGAPE. You are bold to slander the majesty of Almighty God. It is dangerous. DIOCLETIAN. Dangerous? To whom? AGAPE. To you, and to the state you rule. DIOCLETIAN. The girl raves. Take her away. CHIONIA. My sister does not rave. She is right. DIOCLETIAN. This maenad: seems even more violent than the other! Remove her also from our presence, and we will question the third.
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IRENA. You will find her as rebellious and as determined to resist. DIOCLETIAN. Irena, you are the youngest in years. Show yourself the oldest in dignity. IRENA. Pray tell me how. DIOCLETIAN. Bow your head to the gods, and set an example to your sisters. It may rebuke and save them. IRENA. Let those who wish to proroke the wrath of the Most High prostrate themselves before idols ! I will not dishonour this head which has been anointed with heavenly oil by abasing it at the feet of images. DIOCLETIAN. The worship of the gods does not bring dishonour to those who practice it, but, on the contrary, the greatest honour. IRENA. What could be more shameful baseness, what baser shame, than to venerate slaves
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Dulcitius by Hrosvitha,10.21st - Below is the play...

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