Andreas Friz’s Letter on Tragedies (ca. 1741-1744)

An eighteenth-century Jesuit contribution to theatre poetics


In Andreas Friz’s Letter on tragedies (ca. 1741-1744) Nienke Tjoelker offers insight into the Jesuit school theatre of the eighteenth century. Commonly ignored by scholars, who assume that by then Jesuit theatre was disappearing and of poor quality, it appears to be very much alive and interacting with contemporary vernacular theatre.
Tjoelker places Friz's poetics in its historical and literary context in an extensive introduction and presents an edition with translation. She investigates Friz's focus on the imitation of French classical writers, such as Jean Racine (1639-1699) and Pierre Corneille (1606-1684). Friz criticised his colleagues for their excessive use of multimedia ornaments, which hindered the correct application of the three classical unities and verisimilitude.
Restricted Access


EUR €142.00USD $207.00

Biographical Note

Nienke Tjoelker, Ph.D. (University College Cork, 2010) is Junior Researcher at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Neo-Latin Studies in Innsbruck. She has published many articles on Neo-Latin literature.

Review Quotes

“Tjoelker’s book raises the curtain on a vibrant world of late German Jesuit drama, one of increased rather than diminished social importance in the eighteenth century”.
Yasmin Haskell, The University of Western Australia. In: Parergon, Vol. 33, No. 1 (2016), pp. 251-253.

Table of contents

List of illustrations
Introduction: Jesuit Theatre, Poetics and Andreas Fritz
The History of Theatre in Jesuit Schools
The Relevance of Jesuit Theatre in the Eighteenth Century
Developments and Innovations in the Eighteenth Century
Andreas Friz: Life, Work and Historical Context
Structure and Content of MS 938 and the Epistola de Tragaediis
Friz’s Place in the Literary Tradition
Commonplace Conceptions in Jesuit Poetics
French and Italian Classicism in Jesuit Poetics
Eighteenth-Century Jesuit Poetics
Description of the Manuscript and Edition Principles
Description of the Manuscript
Edition Principles
Latin Text and Translation
Appendix: Analysis tragaediarum Racini
Introduction to Friz’s Analyses to Racine’s Plays
Edition Principles
Latin Text


Neolatinists, those interested (educated laymen as well as specialists) in early modern literature, drama and theatre, theologians, historians.