Hildegard of Bingen
- Ian D. Bent
- , revised by Marianne Pfau
(b Bermersheim, nr Alzey, 1098; d Rupertsberg, nr Bingen, Sept 17, 1179). German Benedictine abbess, visionary, writer and composer. She is known for her literary, musical and scientific works, and for her religious and diplomatic activities. Her oeuvre includes recorded visions, medical and scientific works, hagiography and letters; also lyrical and dramatic poetry, which has survived with monophonic music.
She was born into the free nobility of Rheinhessen. When she was eight her parents, Hildebert and Mechthild of Bermersheim, promised her to the Church, and when she was 14 bound her over to the newly constructed Benedictine monastery at nearby Disibodenberg. She entered a stone cell (a ‘tomb’) with Jutta von Spanheim (1092–1136), who came from another powerful and wealthy local family. Their vows were received by Bishop Otto of Bamberg on All Saints’ Day, 1112. Jutta instructed Hildegard in the Psalter, reading Latin and strict religious practices....