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Visionary, mystic, poet, musician, naturalist, healer, theologian—the Rhineland nun Hildegard of Bingen (1098–1179) was a Renaissance woman long before there was a Renaissance. This is the first book in English to offer a representative selection of writings from all of her amazing range of work.

Hildegard wrote many volumes on subjects from mystical vision to sexuality, from theology to natural medicine—in letters, treatises, poetry, and songs—all in an age when few women wrote more than an occasional letter. She was a woman of extraordinary influence whose work not only surpassed that of her male contemporaries in its range, but also outshone them in visionary beauty and intellectual power. This collection includes a brief biography of Hildegard, and selections from the following works:

  • Scivias (literally, "know the ways"), the record of Hildegard's visions and her commentary on them
  • The Book of Life's Merits, visionary work
  • The Book of Divine Works, a work of cosmology and anthropology
  • Natural History, a record of plants, animals, and minerals, translated here into English for the first time
  • Causes and Cures, a compendium of her writing on natural medicine
  • Symphonia, her songs and poetry
  • Biographical works
  • Selected letters

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