Hildegard von Bingen’s Ordo Virtutum: New Considerations Regarding “Disciplina” and “Scientia Dei” According to the Urtext

Mariona Vernet Pons


During the second scene of the Ordo Virtutum, each Virtue introduces itself to the others, describing its own attributes. In two different passages of Scivias the same Virtues are commented upon by Hildegard, who provides all kind of details. Strikingly, they are presented almost in the same order as they appear in the Ordo Virtutum. In the Riesencodex, the main extant manuscript of the Ordo Virtutum, the place where the name of one of the Virtues should be mentioned appears scraped off. M. Böckeler (1927), followed by Dronke (2007), proposed the name of Disciplina, according to one passage of Scivias. However, in my opinion, there are some clues that seem to indicate that the name of Disciplina does not fit well in this passage. The aim of this paper is to propose a new conjecture about this scrapping by taking into account the name of Gratia Dei, which appears in Scivias and seems to possess the same physical characteristics as Disciplina. In this article I will also formulate a hypothesis as to why Scientia Dei appears in the first scene and not in the second, as the rest of Virtues. This fact is important because it brings more evidence regarding the Urtext of the Ordo Virtutum.


Ordo Virtutum; Virtues; Virtutes; Gratia Dei; Scientia Dei; Disciplina; Hildegard von Bingen

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