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Uppity Trumpet of the Living Light

Barbara Newman: Hildegard of Bingen

20 January 2000
Secrets of God: Writings of Hildegard of Bingen 
edited by Sabina Flanagan.
Shambhala, 186 pp., £10.99, August 1998, 1 57062 164 0
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The Letters of Hildegard of BingenVol. II 
translated by Joseph Baird.
Oxford, 215 pp., £36, October 1998, 0 19 512010 8
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Jutta and HildegardThe Biographical Sources 
edited by Anna Silvas.
Pennsylvania State, 299 pp., £15.50, September 1998, 0 271 01954 9
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Physica 
by Hildegard of Bingen, translated by Priscilla Throop.
Healing Art, 250 pp., £19.99, August 1998, 0 89281 661 9
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On Natural Philosophy and Medicine 
by Hildegard of Bingen, translated by Margret Berger.
Brewer, 166 pp., £12.99, July 1999, 0 85991 551 4
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... Hildegard of Bingen, 12th-century prophet extraordinaire, would not have been alarmed by the outbreak of Y2K fever, but she would have known how to seize the moment. Eight hundred years ago, readers treasured yet trembled at her predictions of the apocalypse to come, asking: When will the ominous ‘Age of the Fiery Dog’ begin? Which monasteries were to be seized by secular lords, humbled and disendowed? Had the Antichrist already been conceived in his mother’s womb? Was there still time to avert the threatened wrath of God? In later centuries, Hildegard would be credited with predicting everything from the English Reformation to the Napoleonic Wars ...

In Hell

Marina Warner: Wat Phai Rong Wua

13 September 2012
... and an abbot enjoyed – still enjoys? – the kind of prestige that Suger of St Denis or Hildegard of Bingen had in the early medieval era. Luang Phor Khom (Venerable Monk Called Khom) was ordained in 1922 and became abbot in this rural backwater in 1936; at the apex of a system of polite slavery and homosocial ...

Three Spoonfuls of Hemlock

Gavin Francis: Medieval Medicine

19 November 2015
Dragon’s Blood and Willow Bark: The Mysteries of Medieval Medicine 
by Toni Mount.
Amberley, 288 pp., £20, April 2015, 978 1 4456 4383 0
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... wasn’t perfectly inherited in the centuries following Hippocrates: Pliny skated over it, while Hildegard of Bingen dismissed willow as ‘not useful’. But it is useful: salicylates retard the body’s production of chemicals called prostaglandins, which trigger fever and communicate pain. Aspirin also retards the ...

An Ecology of Ecstasy

Nicholas Humphrey

17 April 1980
The Spiritual Nature of Man 
by Alister Hardy.
Oxford, 162 pp., £6.95, December 1979, 0 19 824618 8
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... within the context of our culture – to be inspired than to be insane. In the 11th century Hildegard of Bingen experienced a series of migraine-like attacks, associated with dramatic visual auras. One such vision she described as follows: ‘I saw a great star most splendid and beautiful, and with it an exceeding ...

I am a false alarm

Robert Irwin: Khalil Gibran

3 September 1998
Kahlil Gibran: Man and Poet 
by Suheil Bushrui and Joe Jenkins.
One World, 372 pp., £18.99, August 1998, 1 85168 177 9
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Prophet: The Life and Times of Kahlil Gibran 
by Robin Waterfield.
Allen Lane, 366 pp., £20, August 1998, 0 7139 9209 3
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... blatantly rejecting any vision of the unity of culture.’ I do not think that the Europe of Hildegard of Bingen, Ramon Llull, Meister Eckhart, Thomas à Kempis, Catherine of Siena, John of the Cross, Henry Vaughan, Blaise Pascal, George Fox, Jacob Boehme, Angelus Silesius, William Law, William Blake, William ...
3 February 2000
The Crusades: Islamic Perspectives 
by Carole Hillenbrand.
Edinburgh, 648 pp., £80, July 1999, 0 7486 0905 9
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... of St Victor, Suger, Otto of Freising, John of Salisbury, Chrétien de Troyes, Marie de France, Hildegard of Bingen, Gottfried von Strassburg, Wolfram von Eschenbach, Roger Bacon, Snorri Sturluson, Leonardo Fibonacci, Aquinas and many others – was not so very backward. (Moreover, Western Europe had already outstripped ...

Pretenders

Kenneth Fowler

13 June 1991
Ways of Lying: Dissimulation and Conformity in Early Modern Europe 
by Perez Zagorin.
Harvard, 337 pp., £27.95, September 1990, 0 674 94834 3
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Lucrecia’s Dreams: Politics and Prophecy in 16th-Century Spain 
by Richard Kagan.
California, 229 pp., £24.95, July 1990, 0 520 06655 3
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‘In his Image and Likeness’: Political Iconography and Religious Change in Regenshurg, 1500-1600 
by Kristin Zapalac.
Cornell, 280 pp., $29.95, October 1990, 0 8014 2269 8
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... herself fits into no obvious category. She had little in common with such Medieval precursors as Hildegard of Bingen, Bridget of Sweden and Catherine of Siena. She belonged to no religious order and claimed no spiritual experience. She bore two children by her lover, the second during her imprisonment by the ...

Coruscating on Thin Ice

Terry Eagleton: The Divine Spark

24 January 2008
Creation: Artists, Gods and Origins 
by Peter Conrad.
Thames and Hudson, 529 pp., £24.95, September 2007, 978 0 500 51356 9
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... ranges effortlessly across the major arts, we are treated to learned disquisitions on Boethius, Hildegard of Bingen, Pico della Mirandola, Leonardo, Milton, Rameau, Sade, Mozart, Balzac, Darwin, Wagner, Rodin, Philip Pullman and a supporting cast of hundreds. A single page, selected at random and by no means the most ...
17 October 1996
An Anthropologist on Mars 
by Oliver Sacks.
Picador, 336 pp., £6.99, January 1995, 0 330 34347 5
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The Island of the Colour-Blind 
by Oliver Sacks.
Picador, 336 pp., £16.99, October 1996, 0 330 35081 1
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... He is read as a guru who can authenticate neurologically the art of Proust and the visions of Hildegard of Bingen, confirm the veridical aspects of Borges’s imagination, and reinforce our belief that salvation can be ours provided our brains are able to connect in the Forsterian way. He acts as the non-fictional ...

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