Chrysis: A New Edition of Enea Silvio Piccolomini's Comedy
Dr. Alden Smith and Cynthia Liu of Baylor University
Enea Silvio Piccolomini’s Chrysis, written in 1444, was lost until the 19th century when it 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, Chrysis holds a wealth of classical reception and social commentary that will prove beneficial to understanding both ancient theatre and the 15th century renaissance. This project proposes to publish the first English critical edition of the Chrysis, complete with introduction, established text, translation, and commentary. The commentary will give 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 humanist to future pope, marking the end of 1444 and the beginning of 1445, when he took up holy orders. In sum, this project will present a new edition of the text as well as a new analysis of the character of Enea Silvio Piccolomini.