[Hrostvit presents her work to Otto the Great, woodcut, Albrecht Dürer, early 16th century, source: Wikimedia Commons]
We know very little of her life beyond her writings. We can say with certainty though that she was of Saxon ancestry came from the nobility. In her works she speaks of her Saxon heritage with pride. Her membership in the community at Gandersheim, meanwhile, shows that she must have been a member of the German nobility, since only the daughters of this social class could take the veil there, where the abbesses were princesses in their own right.
Gandersheim had, by the time Hrotsvit arrived there, become a famous cultural center and place of learning. It was here that she studied under her abbess, Geberga II, and a fellow canoness named Rikkardis, both of whom were known for their intelligence. She read not only the theological writings of her predecessors, but also Roman writers like Vergil, Horace, Ovid, and Terence, becoming so familiar with Terence that she wrote many of her works in his style. Some people felt that in doing so she performed a correction, taking the playwright’s style and using it for an appropriate purpose, religion, rather than for comedy.
Like most other medieval female writers, she prefaced her work with protestations of being only a poor little (ignorant) woman and nobody special. It has been argued though that, as it was for other medieval writers, especially women, this attitude was only a front put up because she knew it was expected of her. Her plays are peopled with women who, using only their words and their intellect, defeat men at the highest levels of society. She may have claimed to be a poor ignorant woman, while in reality she was, and saw herself, as anything but.
Brown, Phyllis R. and Stephen L. Wailes. "Hrotsvit and Her World." In A Companion to Hrotsvit of Gandersheim (fl. 960): Contextual and Interpretive Approaches, edited by Phyllis R. Brown and Stephen L. Wailes, 85-120. Leiden: Koninklijke Brill NV, 2013.
Ferrante, Joan. “Public Postures and Private Maneuvers: Roles Medieval Women Play. In Women & Power in the Middle Ages, edited by Mary Erler and Maryanne Kowaleski, 213-229. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1988.
Wilson, Katharina. Hrotsvit of Gandersheim: a Florilegium of her Works. Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1998.
Hrotsvit, nun of Gandersheim - Epistolae
Hrosvitha von Gandersheim - SMU.edu [The audio file linked there is worth a listen]
Edit: Missed a source.