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Hildegard of Bingen

age visions german numerous

“Sibyl of the Rhine,” the mystic and *author, Hildegard entered the Benedictine community at Diessenberg at the age of eight and took her vows at age fifteen. Elected abbess of Diessenberg in 1136, she moved the community near Bingen in c.1150. Her extensive writings include poems, hymns, plays, *saints’ lives, scriptural commentaries, numerous letters, and remarkably comprehensive and practical works on medicine (Causae et curae) and natural history (Physica) . She also composed music and maintained written correspondence with four popes, two German emperors, the king of England, numerous German archbishops, and Saint *Bernard of Clairvaux. From the age of five, Hildegard experienced visions, which she began to record in her middle age. Her Liber scivias (c.1141–1150, the title derived from sci vias Domini , “know the ways of the Lord”), three books of twenty-six visions, was illustrated by several different artists under her direction between 1150 and 1179. It contains complex symbolic diagrams and allegorical scenes concerning the divine scheme of the cosmos, humankind’s path to salvation, and the role of the *church. Another book of ten visions (the Liber divinorum operum simplicis hominus ) was produced between 1163 and 1170. Her works were widely known and copied throughout the Middle Ages.
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