Anon. (Unknown)

Historical Records

Hill's List of Early Plays in Manuscript

The fiftieth and fifty-first items on Hill's List of Early Plays in Manuscript are:

Pandorae Pyxis

They are covered with a brace, and the annotation "Latin".

Sloane ms 2893 p190.jpg

Theatrical Provenance

This play is not known except on Hill's List, and therefore cannot be ascribed to a particular company or dated beyond Bentley's usual formula: "The list seems to have been Hill's record of the stock of some bookseller, set down between 1677 and 1703, but it is notable that nearly all the identifiable plays and playwrights of the list are Jacobean or Caroline" (Bentley, 5.1283).

This one being seemingly in Latin, adds Bentley, "It may well have been an academic play".

Probable Genre(s)


Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues

None known

References to the Play

None known

Critical Commentary

Aleumista "would seem to be a proper name, but I am unable to trace it" (Adams). Bentley adds nothing beyond the suggestion it might have been an academic play.

For What It's Worth

Could this puzzling word be a transcription error for "Alcumista", the Latin word for alchemist? In that case, its meaning would be straightforward. It could have been a lost Latin play about an alchemist, or indeed merely Erasmus's colloquy of that name, which could loosely be termed a drama.

At the time of writing, "Aleumista" remains entirely unknown to EEBO-TCP and even to google books, except for hits generated by this record and - perhaps significantly - one OCR error for "alcumista".

Works Cited

Adams, Joseph Quincy. “Hill’s List of Early Plays in Manuscript.” The Library 4th Ser., 20.1 (1939): 71-99.

Site created and maintained by Matthew Steggle, Sheffield Hallam University; updated 15 March 2011.