Hildegard of Bingen



Hildegard of Bingen was a genius during her time. What I find most interesting is the fact that she excelled at many subjects. Unlike Einstein, who concentrated primarily on mathematics and sciences, Hildegard wasn’t just superb at composing music but she also sought a large amount of study in the field of science and medicine, religion, and her visions that she claimed were sent straight from God. It would be very simple to write a biography detailing one extraordinary talent practiced by Hildegard because the amount of work she contributed to each subject was outstanding, but it is important to describe all of her work. However, the two websites I visited both concentrated on different aspects of Hildegard’s talents. The first website, a catholic website, discussed only her visionary writings, while the second website concentrated on an array of talents she possessed, including her composing of music.
The first website, http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07351a.htm, is a catholic website that focuses on the Saint Hildegard and not so much the musician or scientist Hildegard. In this biography the reader is informed of her altercations to Catholicism through the publications of her visions. It describes her childhood and when she first began having visions. In this biography, the culmination of her visions is result of her being a very sick child, which caused her to lead an interior life. During her days of solitude she received her visions that would later impact the catholic world dramatically. The effects of these visions from God helped explain passages from The Bible. Instead of her being ridiculed for claiming this phenomenon, she was praised. The books published received large amounts of attention, making Hildegard a renowned Saint. Perhaps, this popularity is how the public became aware of her other talents.
Hildegard possessed many other talents. In fact, she composed many musical plays that were performed at her convent. One of these compositions is Ordo Virtutum (Play of Virtues). In the second website, http://www.tweedledee.ucsb.edu/kris/music/Hildegard.html, a lot of Hildegard’s life and successes are described, but much of the biography focuses on her skills in the field of science and medicine and her musical abilities. It seems Hildegard had the most interest in medicine. Her medical accounts (briefly described in the biography) were detailed and extensive. Additionally, this biography takes into account all of her genius and credits her as a strong, successful and wise woman of her time.
The first biography richly describes her respect as a saint and her extraordinary visions because it is a religious website. Someone wishing to research the religious inspirations of Hildegard wouldn’t be very interested in her achievements in medicine so this website would be the most beneficial. On the other hand, someone researching her achievements in music wouldn’t want to visit that website because it doesn’t discuss her musical talent. They would want to visit the second website because it tells a lot about the type of music she composed (liturgical chant) and where the musical plays were performed. Perhaps, the biographies were so different because she had so many versatile talents that a biography could be written just about her musical ability or her observations in science and medicine.




Bibliography: