Hildegard of Bingen, Two Hagiographies: Vita sancti Rupperti confessoris, Vita sancti Dysibodi episcopi. Introduction and Translation by Hugh Feiss, O.S.B. Edition by Christopher P. Evans. x-163 pp., ISBN 978-90-429-2318-8, 35€/US$48.
Today, after centuries of obscurity, Hildegard of Bingen has become one of the most famous women of the Middle Ages. She was a woman of great and varied talent as well as tenacious purpose. Her life centered on two places: the abbey of St. Disibod, where she grew to maturity in a community of women, and the abbey of St. Rupert, to which she led that community after she had become its leader. In her only two efforts at hagiography, she composed vitae of these two patron saints, in whose honor she also wrote liturgical poetry. These two lives tell much about her understanding of monastic life and history. The text of the two lives in Migne’s Patrologia latina is quite defective. This edition presents the complete texts from the best surviving manuscripts, along with the first translation of the two lives into English. The introduction relates the two vitae to Hildegard’s biography, to her other writings, and to her establishment of her new monastery on the Rupertsberg. This edition also includes a bibliography of editions of Hildegard’s Latin texts, English translations of them, and scholarly works about Hildegard.
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