Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Notes on Hildegard’s “Unknown” Language and Writing

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this chapter

+ Tax (if applicable)

Chapter Summary

This chapter is a brief presentation of one of Hildegard's more unique gifts: the reception of a divinely provided alphabet and language. Mysteries abound regarding Hildegard's "unknown language" and "unknown alphabet". Much attention has been given to Hildegard's lingua and littera by linguists. Wilhelm Grimm is the first scholar of the modern period to have examined Hildegard's writings in this regard; he was primarily interested in the German equivalents for the language's vocabulary. Of the tiny number of witnesses to the manuscript tradition of Hildegard's language, the most important is the manuscript Wiesbaden, Hessische Landesbibliothek. It is best known by its nickname, the Riesenkodex, and it serves as the fundamental collection of Hildegard's non-scientific works. In the early texts of Hildegard and her followers and devotees, this linking of her music and her language is significant, as both were seen as divine gifts that together reached the world through Hildegard.

Keywords: divinevocabulary; Hildegard; Riesenkodex; unknown language; Wilhelm Grimm



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    A Companion to Hildegard of Bingen — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation