Facts about Hildegard von Bingen

Born: 1098
Died: September, 1179
Birthplace: Nahe, Germany
Best known as: Medieval prophet, healer and composer

     
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Hildegard von Bingen Biography

Called the “Sibyl of the Rhine,” Hildegard von Bingen created works of religious and musical meaning at a time when women rarely were considered capable of either.

Hildegard von Bingen (that is, Hildegard of Bingen) began having visions as a child. But it wasn’t until she was in her forties that her revelations in Christianity struck her so forcefully that she turned to composing music. She founded convents and wrote plays, liturgies and hymns in praise of saints.

Incredibly prolific, she was also considered a healer and early theologian and she was venerated in the Catholic church. Her compositions continue to be performed and recorded today.

Extra credit

Strange to say, Hildegard von Bingen’s religious visions may have been tied to migraine headaches. According to Fordham University, “It is now generally agreed that Hildegard suffered from migraine, and that her visions were a result of this condition. The way she describes her visions, the precursors, to visions, to debilitating aftereffects, point to classic symptoms of migraine sufferers.”


     

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