Hildegard of Bingen

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Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss one of the most remarkable figures of the Middle Ages, Hildegard of Bingen. The abbess of a Benedictine convent, Hildegard experienced a series of mystical visions which she documented in her writings. She was an influential person in the religious world and much of her extensive correspondence with popes, monarchs and other important figures survives. Hildegard was also celebrated for her wide-ranging scholarship, which as well as theology covered the natural world, science and medicine. Officially recognised as a saint by the Catholic Church in 2012, Hildegard is also one of the earliest known composers. Since their rediscovery in recent decades her compositions have been widely recorded and performed.


Miri Rubin
Professor of Medieval and Early Modern History and Head of the School of History at Queen Mary, University of London

William Flynn
Lecturer in Medieval Latin at the Institute for Medieval Studies at the University of Leeds

Almut Suerbaum
Professor of Medieval German and Fellow of Somerville College, Oxford.

Producer: Thomas Morris.

Available now

43 minutes

Last on

Thu 26 Jun 2014 21:30


Miri Rubin at Queen Mary, University of London


William Flynn at the University of Leeds


Almut Suerbaum at the University of Oxford


Benedictine Abbey of St Hildegard


The Wiesbaden Codex


Hildegard of Bingen - Wikipedia





Mary Carruthers (ed.), Rhetoric Beyond Words: Delight and Persuasion in the Arts of the Middle Ages (Cambridge University Press, 2013)


Jo Catling (ed.), A History of Women's Writing in Germany, Austria and Switzerland (Cambridge University Press, 2000)


Peter Dronke, Poetic Individuality in the Middle Ages: New Departures in Poetry, 1000-1150 (Oxford University Press, 1970)


Sabina Flanagan, Hildegard of Bingen: A Visionary Life (Routledge, 1998)


Gottfried and Theodoric (eds. Mary Palmquist and John Kulas) The Life of the Holy Hildegard (Liturgical Press, 1980)


Jeffrey Hamburger and Susan Marti (eds.), Crown and Veil: Female Monasticism from the Fifth to the Fifteenth Century (Columbia Press, 2008)


Hildegard (trans. Sabina Flanagan) Secrets of God: Writings of Hildegard of Bingen (Shambhala Publications, 1996)


Hildegard (trans. Barbara Newman), Symphonia (Cornell University Press, 1998)


Hildegard (trans. Anna Silvas), Jutta and Hildegard: The Biographical Sources (Pennsylvania State University Press, 1999)


Beverly Kienzle, Debra Stoudt and George Ferzoco (eds.), A Companion to Hildegard of Bingen (Brill, 2013)


Fiona Maddocks, Hildegard of Bingen: The Woman of Her Age (Faber & Faber, 2013)


Barbara Newman (ed.), Voice of the Living Light: Hildegard of Bingen and Her World (University of California Press, 1998)


Joad Raymond (ed.), Conversations with Angels: Essays Towards a History of Spiritual Communication, 1100-1700 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011)



Role Contributor
PresenterMelvyn Bragg
Interviewed GuestMiri Rubin
Interviewed GuestWilliam Flynn
Interviewed GuestAlmut Suerbaum
ProducerThomas Morris

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