Trivium Art HistoryThe Artists

Hildegard von BingenScientist, feminist, typographer, musician — saint

Hildegard von Bingen saw many visions during her life — sights, sounds, tastes and smells she believed were messages from God. She called these visions "the shades of the living light" kept these divine messages to herself, understandably, until age 42, when God sent her a more pointed message, "Write down what you see and hear." In Scivias, her first volume of mystic theology, von Bingen describes her reluctance to share her gift: 

"But I, though I saw and heard these things, refused to write for a long time through doubt and bad opinion and the diversity of human words, not with stubbornness but in the exercise of humility, until, laid low by the scourge of God, I fell upon a bed of sickness; then, compelled at last by many illnesses, and by the witness of a certain noble maiden of good conduct [the nun Richardis von Stade] and of that man whom I had secretly sought and found, as mentioned above, I set my hand to the writing. While I was doing it, I sensed, as I mentioned before, the deep profundity of scriptural exposition; and, raising myself from illness by the strength I received, I brought this work to a close – though just barely – in ten years. (...) And I spoke and wrote these things not by the invention of my heart or that of any other person, but as by the secret mysteries of God I heard and received them in the heavenly places. And again I heard a voice from Heaven saying to me, 'Cry out therefore, and write thus!"

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She is Divine Wisdom... She is awesome in terror as the Thunderer's lightening, and gentle in goodness as the sunshine.

Writings on the Holy Spirit

1100

Scivias I.6: The Choirs of Angels

1150

When a woman is making love with a man, a sense of heat in her brain, which brings with it sensual delight, communicates the taste of that delight.

The First Written Description of the Female Orgasm

1150

Scivias I.6: Humanity and Life

1150

From tasting evil, the blood of the sons of Adam was turned into the poison of semen, out of which the sons of man are begotten.

On Illness

1150

Scivias 2.1: The Redeemer

1150

Prophetic visions or the hallucinations of ergot poisoning?

Scivias

1152

Scivias I.3: God, Cosmos, and Humanity

1165

Book of Divine Works, Part 1, Vision 4: Cosmos, Body, and Soul

1230

Book of Divine Works, Part 2, Vision 1: The Parts of the Earth: Living, Dying, and Purgatory

1230

Book of Divine Works, Part 3, Vision 1: The City of God and the Mirror of the Angels

1230

Book of Divine Works, Part 3, Vision 2: The City of God in Salvation History

1230

Book of Divine Works, Part 3, Vision 3: The Fountain of God’s Work

1230

Book of Divine Works, Part 3, Vision 4: Wisdom and the Ancient Counsel before the City of God

1230

Book of Divine Works, Part 3, Vision 5: Divine Love upon the Wheel

1230

Book of Divine Works, Part 1, Vision 1: Theophany of Divine Love

1230

Book of Divine Works, Part 1, Vision 2: The Cosmic Spheres and Human Being

1230

Book of Divine Works, Part 1, Vision 3: Macrocosm of Winds, Microcosm of Humors

1230

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