Poetry in Hildegard of Bingen: A study on the Biblical Roots of the Ordo Virtutum

Eulàlia Vernet i Pons


The studies on the type of versification that the Rhenish abbess and mystic Hildegard of Bingen (1098-11179) used in her works are scarce, and even more so those specifically devoted to her Ordo Virtutum or Order of the Virtues, one of the most outstanding Latin melodramas of the Middle Ages, written around 1151. This article aims to fill this void. On the one hand it will offer a precise description of the type of metre that can be found in the free verses of the Ordo Virtutum, which, as will be shown, are very close to Hebrew biblical poetry; on the other hand, it will discuss the biblical lyrical images of the text in order to show the biblical background that pervades this melodrama.


Ordo Virtutum; drama; versification; neumes; psychomachia

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