The Twelfth-Century <i>Story of Daniel for Performance</i> by Hilarius: An Introduction, Translation, and Commentary

  • Stephen K. Wright The Catholic University of America
Keywords: Hilarius, Liturgical Drama, Daniel,


This article introduces Hilarius’s underappreciated work Historia de Daniel Representanda [The Story of Daniel for Performance] to a wider readership by translating it into English for the first time. It summarizes what is known about the play’s author, sources, and manner of performance. Hilarius’s play is thematically complex, depicting the opposition between secular and spiritual kingship in ways that echo how medieval exegetes interpreted Daniel’s adventures at Belshazzar’s feast and in the lions’ den (Dan. 5–6) as prefigurations of the sacrament of the Eucharist. This work therefore represents a significant artistic achievement worthy of attention in its own right, not merely as the poor cousin of the Beauvais Ludus Danielis.