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Hildegard von Bingen

2016-03-07 | 🔗

Hildegard was a Christian mystic of medieval Europe who was way, way ahead of her time. If she had lived a few hundred years later, and been male, people probably would have called her a renaissance man.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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book online dot com slash drink to receive special twenty percent discount only far listeners that's love book online dot com slash drink for a twenty percent discount don't you missed in history and welcomes the crazy we will never know how we are headed a mediaeval germany today to talk about a woman who was way way way ahead of her time he was held a guard of being in also known as till the guard bomb bring em and as a symbol of the rhine so long listeners if we tell the story will probably notice some similarities between her and passed on cast subject marjorie camp who was another kristen mistake you lived in medieval europe back when we recorded that episode about marjorie camp which was actually i think the first episode that i researched for the show
and i came on a really intended to do kind of a minute many series on women myths mystics in medieval world because of their lives are really super interesting and turning to or learning about them can really dispel some of the misconceptions that a lot of it have about the medieval world anna women's place specifically in a world right was three years ago our recent episode on the history of the english language got me thinking about the medieval world again though so it seemed like a good time to come back and revisit this this world of of women in the church in medieval europe hilda guard was born in ten ninety eight inferring cornea which is now a region in germany her parents were hilda and make tilled hilda bird was a lesser noble and held a guard was their tenth count them ten tenth child her health was free
joe and as early as each three hilda guard was experiencing religious visions while pulled a guard was still very young her parents gave her to the church according to some sources including my medieval literature professor this was meant to be part of her parents tied now if you're not familiar with that timing is the practice of giving ten percent of what everything that you earn or produce to the church we clear whether hilda guard who by her own account was only about eight years old when this when she entered religious instruction had to stay in the matter she is technically one tenth of their produce children i guess yeah it's one of those things where i dont think there is a record of her parents saying this is part of our
i regret the fact that she is reported to be their tenth child and she then entered religious instruction and apparently tithing children was a thing that people did it all cut the kind of comes together to be held a guard was given to the church is part of her parents tied and then years of her life are a little bit fuzzy as well at some point she met another religiously inclined young woman you turn on spun haim who was about six years for senior and utilise also of noble birth and of a little higher station and held a guard unita we became hilda guards teacher and mentor eventually held a guard and knew tat wound up at the bed addicting monastery at disembodied burg witches near the confluence of the near river and one of its tributaries about sixty rules are a hundred kilometers southwest of frankfurt named the seventh century irish monk disavowed this abode and bird had
rode into really important centre of religious life in the area and it had become home to a benedictine monastery in eleven o eight eleven twelve unita was enclosed as an ankara's at the monastery anchoresses were women who for religious reasons essentially sealed themselves up in a very small sell for life men who did this were called anchor rights although most people if it were women often and ankara's was literally walled in with a wall gradually being built around her that can had a small window that let food be passed in and out as well as a chamber pots and depending on the size and configuration of the cell it may have had additional windows as well to see directly into the sanctuary if when it joined the cell or just two then let's being in ankara is worth a lot like following the life of early the hermit but instead of retreating to a remote place for a life of solitude and prayer and ankara's would be shut
through a wall of a comparatively populated place like a church a monastery or occasionally a town by the time hill guard lived anchoresses had to get official permission from the church this and the ceremony for enclosing an anchor if i had a lot in common with the funeral including the anchorage receiving last rites basically the ankara's leaving her worldly life behind for one that was supposed exclusively on religious devotion and study the life of anger rights and anchoresses was meant to be one devoted strictly to reflection penance study and year most of the time it was also a lifelong commitment although there were some who eventually left their cells and this about hamburg hilda guard at a servant lived with you too in her hermitage you taught hilda guard latin along with the recitations and observations that were required as part of their order hoping
it's early musical education probably came from you too as well and because you'd have hermitage was physically connected to the monastery their held a guard would have so been immersed in all of the spiritual and religious teachings and practices that were conducted within it user definitely took a more aesthetic and strict approach to her own spiritual life than hilda guard did apart from committing to be an ankara's for life you to also abstained from meets an periodically abstained from all food entirely threw out her life she continually increased the number of hours a day she spent in steady penance in peru and she also practise self regulation as penance hilda guard while not taking why the same approach in terms of deprivation and self flagellations did interpret illnesses as a punishment from god for not following his instructions and that's actually a belief that would continue
her life gradually other young noble women were sent to you too to study as well so the benedictine monastery became home to a community of nuns and from within her cell you too became its magistrates or its teacher and leader when you two died and eleven thirty six at the age of forty four c and held a guard had been at disability burg for twenty four years at least other women had come to the monastery to live and study with them and held a guard who at that point was thirty eight was elected to take you to place as the magistrate
about three years after you to death hilda guard whose visions had continued since her childhood had a particularly powerful experience in the form of both a vision in a voice from the heavens in her record of it the voice said to her oh fragile human ashes of ashes and filth of filth say and write what you see and hear but since you are timid in speaking and simple and expounding and untold in writing speak and write these things not by a human mouth and not by the understanding of human invention and not by the requirements of human composition but as you see and hear them on high in the heavenly places in the wonders of god and explain these things in such a way that the hearer receiving the words of his instructor may
found them in those words according to that will vision and instruction thus therefore o human speak these things that you see and hear and write them not by yourself or any other human being but by the will of him who knows seas and disposes all things in the secrets of his mysteries the third of i'm going to impart and dictate to you revelations that you're going to write down exactly as you experienced them and in the same experience we also had a more regulatory experience she wrote of that saying immediately after the meaning of the exposition of the scriptures namely the salter the gospel and other catholic volumes of but both the old and new testaments though i did not have interpretation of the words of their texts or the division of the syllable
we're the knowledge of cases or tenses at first hilda guard resisted this call she didn't think she was up to the task she wasn't confident in her ability to write or to speak soon she became something she thought she brought on herself by not following gods command so eventually she embarked on just what the vision had instructed her to do and this would eventually turned her into someone with a much broader influence than just the religious community at disability burg which
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down on a wax tablet and hand them off to volmer who would refined their spelling and their grammar even though held a guard was now confident and her writing skills her ridden works are actually full of really complex ideas and thoughts after the vision commanding her to write down her visions the archbishop of mines learned about hilda guards visions and prophecies and he can we in the group of theologians sid the term and whether they were legitimate or heretical and ultimately they decided that her visions were then take and they allowed volmer to officially help her with her work hildy bird really wanted this work to be taken seriously mrs at a time when various friends groups were kind of splintering off from the catholic church and all kinds of people with all kinds of teachings where attracting large followings hilda guard really didn't like this she thought all of these schisms and splinter groups are going to have
the church so she wrote to saint bernard of clever in the hope of getting her team to teachings officially sanctioned by the church he eventual he brought her to the attention of pope eugenie is also known as pope eugene the third who encourage turkey to continue on with what she was doing and in eleven forty seven gave her the authority to speak in public and to write on theological matters which was extremely rare or a woman holding its first book finnish following this endorsement by the pope was called skippy is taken from the latin phrase skater vs domini or no the ways of the lord it was completed around eleven fifty one
it describes many of her visions and also offers apocalyptic prophecies and perhaps in reference to her own young life it records one vision that makes it quite clear that parents may only give their child up for a wholly life with that child's informed consent in some translations that early the title of that passage you may only give up your child to the lord with the child's informed consent at about the same time ass she finished spurious held a guard also moved her community sea and the non left disability burg they found in a closed or that had been built for them near bing in which is wherever name held a guard of being in a bench lee came from this wasn't a particularly popular decision at the monastery disappeared hamburg there are a lot of likely reasons for why hilda guard decided to do it why was that she was really dissatisfied with how the
predicting community out and at this abominable had been living she thought their lifestyle was excessive and she was really concerned but schisms within outside the community we're going to tear apart another was that word of hilda guards visions and works had been spreading for a decade at this point more and more noble women had did this abode and bird to take holy orders and study with her and the monks were not too happy about giving a progressively more space and influence in favour of this influx of women an apparent reason was that she had been directed by god to move them and when she didn't immediately do it she had fallen ill she continued writing and teaching extensively her other two major regulatory work our lieber viti moratorium and lieber dive in autumn a prayer m or book of life's merits and book of divine works she asked their extensive
lee about medicine and nature although i mike her other works these weren't based on religious revelation their visions they were based on her own study and reflection and on her practice as a healer these works include physical causes at curae and labour subtile adam that last one is the book of subtleties of the diverse nature of things these medical writings draw from the greek ideas of elements and humours as well as the the earl of innate healing power respond with an inanimate objects her met go writings like her spirits ones really stressed the need for humans to approach life through a balance of science religion and art with science and art both like religion coming from god hilda was no stranger to writing in history either she actually wrote a biography of saint visible that was a limit religious community had been named for that she had left previously
then these seven lyric poems are attributed to her along with their music that was centrally hymns that she wrote and compose there are definitely composers and the west who lived before faded but she's really the first one that we also have biographical details on although she never seems to have created our work on her own there are pieces of visual art this today that are based on her descriptions and she wrote extensive letters about a hundred and forty five of them still exist and some of them are to have the most powerful religious and secular leaders who were alive at the time many of them reveal themselves to be part of an ongoing correspondence was not like they were a hundred and forty five unanswered letters of some kind of cute like they were letters that she wrote as part of guidance that she was giving to people that the people were receiving the recipients of her letters include pope's kings abbots
fires and whole communities of monks and nuns there are also more than fifty sermons that survive and a lot of them follow the same themes is the letter she was writing it's really clear for me her letters and her sermons but ass she got older a lot of the timidity and uncertainty that she had carried about her abilities and her use of language or replaced by a more com confident and assertive way of approaching things she also wrote repeated warnings to the monks of disability and bird warning them that their excesses and the schisms within the religious community we're going to bring about their ruin this now to be quite prescient fractures other religious community actually lead to armed struggles in the thirteenth century the monastery was converted into a fortress
by the end of this century it lay in ruins some of which still exist today although many have held the guards writings take a distinctly innately feminine approach to their descriptions of provisions and her relationship with god i families are actually descriptions that border i'm coming off as sexual nothing was ever considered to be heretical her descriptions are very rich and vivid and bury poetic and as we talked about but a while now but as they talked about an episode of of marjorie camp a lot of times writings of this sort were viewed as being heresy but hers are actually really well accepted she was in fact admired and respected all over germany during her life the very first biography written of her referred tourism saint and she was considered a local saying in parts of germany for centuries before me recognised as a saint by the catholic church in addition to all her writings and teaching her community of nuns hilda guard also travelled extensively around germany's
preaching about the revelation some provisions in eleven sixty three she found it a second combat and all of this the extensive writing and teaching having your teachings accepted by the church of the whole her leaders her leadership the medical writing being allowed to go out and in public about the ology were extremely rare for women living in the twelfth century in europe basically if she lived a few two years later and been meal people probably i have called her a renaissance ma am we will talk about what about her legacy after a quick break from his father we ve been about how i used square space dot to make my wedding website and has been an awesome experience another thorough instructions for all the people coming from all the potential places they could be coming from to get to the wedding i'll be putting up stuff where the schedule and things that are for the further like the wedding party to know what what's up on a day like all kinds of
like that all of it is extremely easy it's all extremely intuitive tools are easy to use and if you sign up year which i beg you get a free domain name so to start your free trial today go to swear space stockholm and then when you decide to support to sign up where space make sure to use the offer code history to get ten percent off your first purchase that square space tat com for a free trial and then the offer code history or ten percent off your first purchase and now get back to our story bodyguard of in died following an illness that her monastery on september seventeenth eleven seventy nine while she was extremely prominent in her time especially considering her journey and she was immediately revered as a local saint academic and greater public interest in her life
waxed and weighing over the centuries since then most recently academic interestin hilda guard started to revive in the nineteen sixties with the publication of german language editions of her letters and songs this also run parallel to the second wave of the feminist movement in the united states hilliard writings about women and her being able to accomplish such a high degree of renown and authority especially in comparison to most women of her time made her a popular figure in the feminist movement i don't think she actually wrote that wouldn't be considered particularly feminist today as we understand the term she definitely wrote about women as being the weaker sex and about herself as being uncle if i had to do a lot of what she was doing because she was a woman she also recorded visions detailed why women for example should be able to talk about god's work but should not be able to be priest so a lot of people sort of
in her as being a feminist for her time translations of large bodies of her work into english didn't actually happen until nineteen eighty two and popularity really started a spike in the united states in the ninety nine because her mysticism and the elements of her life and work that could be considered feminist fit in well with the new age movement which was popular at the time a big part of this was her running theme creation was the work of god and so it is the work of humanity to care for him she also read a lot about things being connected to god from studious she wrote quote all living creatures are sparks from the radiation of god's brilliance and these sparks emerge from god like the rays of the sun if god did not give off these sparks how would the divine flame become fully visible sounds like something that would be on like a poster with a beautiful sunset on it him in water in dollars
color is it in a store that smells like new age books and supplies might actually there might actually be such a poster but there's a lot of the things that she wrote have that kind of like warm feel good kind of focus today there have been editions of huge chunks and her work made of
well and multiple languages and in addition to that people have written novels about her as a character and there are numerous audio recordings of her songs pope benedict the sixteenth proclaimed her to be a saint on may tenth twenty twelve and proclaimed her as a doctor of the universal church on october seven twenty twelve doktor of the universal church is a title given to saints whose ratings are significant and are useful to people in any age the church this basically means her spiritual ratings are viewed as bearing the same importance as those of saint augustine and thomas aquinas saint beat the venerable and saint john of the cross among others her feast day is the seventeenth of september i think she's one of only for female doctors of the universal church there may actually be one more that's been named since then but i think there's only been won
doktor of the universal church named at all said she wasn't twenty twelve so yeah she is she so interesting to me one the whole idea of anchoresses is really interesting to me and there are other more prominent ankara's is than you do so maybe another three more years from now in this many theories that's going to play out over their yos apparently i will i will do an episode of one of the ankara is because they are fascinating to me i'd ice the appeal for you of anchoresses so you're a woman who really values moments of solitude yet i could see where you would be very fascinated and charmed by thinking about that whole concept there are very interested in a lot of things like i read an article that was sort of it it was
scholarly article with basically somebody meditating on how kind of cool and interesting it is that during the mediaeval period if he were o weird thin especially a weird woman who just wanted to be by yourself and never talk to anyone there was this option you and i dont know what that's like actually an accurate reflection of what life is an act as an anchor was like but i like you i can see how that that would appeal to some people of course there are the people who would like try to figure out a medical explanation for helping guards visions and i read one article that was most historians today agree that she was suffering from migraines and i was like this is literally the only reference to migraines in everything that i really helped building arthur research this most historians that i think might
things do you also has some listener many over us move this is from you but not me my initial author i didn't write this myself tv rights with a a correction to a listener male we read previously says i just finished all listening to rubber spalls part one and during your listener feedback you mentioned engineering student that stated that surveyors are not wrong that statement is not true i am surveyor and performing set party is punishable by having your license or about i think what he was referring to when the western frontier was opened resettlement all the land by the government the general land office under directive from congress appointed a survey or to perform surveys of a territory prior sale many surveyors and we surveyors that outstanding work however many did not land was sold from the jello to private citizens quote as is
no warranty based on a plan submitted i the surveyor or his deputy so to avoid land claims the federal it stated that all original government surveys are free of any and all errors whether it was true or not once a territory achieve statehood boundary disputes are a problem for the states to deal with that was why each state hired their own survey air and then after a lot of muscle flexing they eventually chose the line have laid out by the federal survey or to put an end to the dispute this is the condensed version if you're interested in this fast history read the manual of survey instructions published by the bureau of land management that describes in more detail the role of the government land surveyor sorry for writing us not all but we surveyors our stickler ispra details i enjoy the pike s tremendously as it makes these sometimes long days go by just a little faster thank you so much tita reiterated at it i did not enter where did the previous listeners letter as me
no matter how horrible your work is its fine rate but more that lake if this survey is slightly imprecise that in precision is regarded as correct that could also be i totally wrong so yard i dont think that was meant to be like you can do the worst work ever and there will be no consequence even though they did not come off as the overall moral honey who enter if it's cool what're we will say they wanted that honesty anyway if you would like dr weir history i guess that's how it works that found were also on facebook and basic accomplishments in history and onto glitter at most a mystery we're on tumblr miss demonstrate on tumblr com are also our pinterest impetuously last month in history if you would like to learn about just about anything you can imagine come to our parent companies website which is how stuff works dot com which is full of all kinds of awesome articles about everything under the sun we also haven't
series of articles but a rolling out there every week called ridiculous history sometimes these are things we talked about this on the show sometimes not even come to our website which mrs history dot com and you will find an archive of every up so we have ever ever done you'll find showed oats robbing it holly and i have that you will find a newly written list of answers to our most frequently asked questions and more reliable tips about how to find autopsy tomorrow you can do all that and a whole lot more how stuff works that are than history on this and thousands about atomic because it has some weeks ago this episode is brought to you by mulatto cookies work some
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Transcript generated on 2020-02-02.