Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary Composer Biographies
Hildegard of Bingen
1098 in Bermersheim, Germany
September 17, 1179 in Rupertsburg, Germany
Late Middle Ages
Hildegard was born to parents of noble descent. She had her first visionary experience at 5 and had a precarious health. Because of those two things, her parents felt that they should dedicate their daughter to a religious life. They sent her to the cell of an anchoress named Jutta who stayed at the Benedictine monastery in Disibodenberg. This attracted followers, and the cell became a small Benedictine convent.
When Jutta died, Hildegard became head of the convent in 1136. Her major visionary work was Scivias which made a turning point in her career. She continued receiving visions and said that she was commanded by God to move her nuns to Rupertsberg and she continued writing down her visions despite her administrative duties. She was famous for writing letters of advice, preaching, visiting monasteries, exorcizing and healing. She considered herself the mouthpiece of the Lord and peacefully died on September 17, 1179.