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St. Hildegard, Hildegard von Bingen, saint, writer. References. Recipes and music she wrote.


NOTE: See also the files: saints-msg, p-herbals-msg, nuns-msg, religion-msg, pilgrimages-msg, relics-msg, song-sources-msg, music-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 09:01:08 -0600

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: SC - Hildegard von Bingen (Long)


About 1150, Hildegard von Bingen wrote the first of two books on medicine

and natural philosophy, Physica.  This was later followed by Causae et

Curae.  The two books together are referred to as the Liber Subtilatum.  Any

recipes of interest to the list will probably be found in these two books.


Translations of Hildegard's works are more common in German than English and

her theological texts are more translated than her medical texts.  For those

with an interest in pursuing her work, a partial Library of Congress catalog

list of available translations is appended.




Author:        Hildegard, Saint, 1098-1179.

Uniform Title: Physica. German

Title:         Naturkunde; das Buch von dem inneren Wesen der

                  verschiedenen Naturen in der Schhopfung [von]

                  Hildegard von Bingen. Nach den Quellen hubers. und

                  erlhautert von Peter Riethe.

Published:     Salzburg, O. Mhuller [c1959]

Description:   176 p. 24 cm.

LC Call No.:   QH41 .H5415 1959

Dewey No.:     500.9

Subjects:      Natural history -- Pre-Linnean works.

Control No.:   72219916 //r914


Author:        Hildegard, Saint, 1098-1179.

Uniform Title: De lapidus. German

Title:         Das Buch von den Steinen / Hildegard von Bingen ; nach

                  den Quellen hubers. u. erl. v. Peter Riethe ; [24

                  Farbbilder nach Fotos v. Manfred Grohe].

Published:     Salzburg : O. Mhuller, 1979.

Description:   102, [1] p. : col. ill. ; 24 cm.

LC Call No.:   QE362 .H58

Notes:         Translation of Physica, book 4, De lapidibus.

               Bibliography: p. 99-[103]

Subjects:      Mineralogy -- Early works to 1800.

               Petrology -- Early works to 1800.

Other authors: Riethe, Peter, 1921-

Control No.:   80479258 //r962


Author:        Strehlow, Wighard, 1937-

Title:         Hildegard of Bingen's medicine / Wighard Strehlow &

                  Gottfried Hertzka ; translated from the German by

                  Karin Strehlow.

Published:     Santa Fe, N.M. : Bear & Co., c1988.

Description:   xxviii, 161 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.

Series:        Folk wisdom series

LC Call No.:   R144.H54 S77 1988

Dewey No.:     615.8/82 19

ISBN:          0939680440 (pbk.) : $9.95

Notes:         Includes indexes.

Subjects:      Hildegard, Saint, 1098-1179.

               Medicine, Medieval.


               Healers -- Germany -- Biography.

               Women mystics -- Germany -- Biography.

Other authors: Hertzka, Gottfried, 1913-

Control No.:   87027306


Author:        Hildegard, Saint, 1098-1179.

Uniform Title: Physica. German

Title:         Heilmittel : erste vollsthandige und wortgetreue

                  Uebersetzung, bei der alle Handschriften

                  berhucksichtigt sind / Hildegard von Bingen ;

                  hubersetzt durch Marie-Louise Portmann.

Published:     Basel : Basler Hildegard-Gesellschaft, 1982-

Description:   v. ; 30 cm.

LC Call No.:   RS153 .H5515x 1982

Notes:         Translation of: Physica.

               Includes bibliographies and indexes.

               1. Lfg. Buch 3: Von den Bhaumen -- 2. Lfg. Buch 1: Von

                  den Pflanzen (1-112) -- 3. Lfg. Buch 1: Von den

                  Pflanzen (113-Ende) -- 4. Lfg. Buch 2, 4, 5:

                  Elemente, Edelsteine, Fische.

Subjects:      Materia medica -- Early works to 1800.

               Botany, Medical -- Early works to 1800.

               Medicine, Medieval.

Other authors: Portmann, Marie-Louise.

Other authors: Basler Hildegard-Gesellschaft.

Control No.:   88672371


Author:        Hildegard, Saint, 1098-1179.

Uniform Title: Causae et curae. English

Title:         Holistic healing / Hildegard of Bingen ; Manfred

                  Pawlik, translator of Latin text ; Patrick Madigan,

                  translator of German text ; John Kulas, translator

                  of foreword ; Mary Palmquist and John Kulas, editors

                  of English text.

Published:     Collegeville, Minn. : Liturgical Press, c1994.

Description:   xxii, 223 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.

LC Call No.:   R128 .H513 1994

Dewey No.:     610 20

ISBN:          0814622240 : $17.95

Notes:         "This translation of Hildegard of Bingen's Causae et

                  curae is based on a Latin text published in Leipzig

                  by P. Kaiser in 1903 and translated into German [as

                  Heilwissen] by Manfred Pawlik in 1989 (Pattloch

                  Verlag). This German text is the basis for this

                  English translation"--T.p. verso.

               Includes index.

Subjects:      Medicine, Medieval.

               Holistic medicine -- Early works to 1800.

Other authors: Palmquist, Mary, 1914-

               Kulas, John S. (John Stanley), 1930-

               Madigan, Patrick, 1945-

Control No.:   94001902 //r96


Author:        Ritzmann Schilt, Lys Dorin.

Title:         Hildegard von Bingen : pflanzliche Heilmittel mit

                  gynhakologisch-geburtshilflicher Indikation / von

                  Lys Dorin Ritzmann Schilt.

Published:     Zhurich : Juris Druck + Verlag Dietikon, 1994.

Description:   245 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.

Series:        Zhurcher medizingeschichtlicher Abhandlungen ; Nr. 259

LC Call No.:   RG131 .R55 1994

Dewey No.:     618/.09 20

ISBN:          3260053743

Notes:         Includes bibliography and indexes.

               English summary: p. 231.

Subjects:      Hildegard, Saint, 1098-1179.

               Materia medica, Vegetable -- History.

               Medicine, Medieval.

               Gynecology -- History.

               Obstetrics -- History.

Control No.:   95127199


Author:        Hildegard, Saint, 1098-1179.

Uniform Title: De herbis. Middle High German

Title:         Das Speyerer Krhauterbuch mit den Heilpflanzen

                  Hildegards von Bingen : eine Studie zur

                  mittelhochdeutschen Physica-Rezeption mit kritischer

                  Ausgabe des Textes / Barbara Fehringer.

Published:     Whurzburg : Khonigshausen & Neumann, c1994.

Description:   231 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.

Series:        Whurzburger medizinhistorische Forschungen. Beiheft ;


LC Call No.:   QK41 .H58 1994

Dewey No.:     615/.321 21

ISBN:          3884797719

Notes:         Text in Middle High German; commentary in German.

               Thesis (Ph.D.)--Universithat Wurzburg, 1993.

               Includes bibliographical references (p. 214-231).

Subjects:      Herbals -- Early works to 1800.

               Medical plants -- Early works to 1800.

               Medicine, Medieval.

               Hildegard, Saint, 1098-1179. De herbis.

Other authors: Fehringer, Barbara.

Control No.:   95183640



Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 16:36:14 -0800

From: Maryann Olson <maryann.olson at csun.edu>

Subject: Re: SC - Nerve Bisquits???


On 8/9/98, I was forwarded an e-mail with the noted recipe with this



"Sound & Spirit Recipe for the Program "The Spirit of Hildegard."


Some information about Hildegard followed, then this:


"In a treatise on medicine, she provides a recipe for spice cookies:  'Eat

them often,' she says, 'and they will calm every bitterness of heart and

mind -- and your hearing and senses will open.  Your mind will be joyous,

and your senses purified, and harmful humours will diminish . . ."


The recipe follows; however, it is titled "St. Hildegard's Cookies of Joy,"

with the note:  "(Recipe reconstructed and adapted from Hildegard's circa

1157 treatise Physica:  Liber Simplicis Medicinae." The note following the

recipe states, "Recipe researched for Sound & Spirit by Jeffrey Nelson with

the help of a gracious doctoral student who wished to remain anonymous."


The recipe given follows:


3/4 cup butter or margarine (1 1/2 sticks)

1 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground cloves


"Let butter soften and then cream it with the brown sugar.  Beat in the egg.

Sift the dry ingredients.  Add half the dry ingredients and mix.  Add the

other half and mix thoroughly.  Dough may be chilled to make it workable.

Heat oven to 350 (degrees).  Form walnut sized balls of dough, place on

greased and floured cookie sheet and press flat.  Bake 12-15 minutes (till

edges of are golden brown.)  Cool for 5 minutes, remove from cookie sheet

and finish cooling on racks."





Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 19:48:46 EST

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Hildegard von Bingen (Long)


TerryD at Health.State.OK.US writes:

<< About 1150, Hildegard von Bingen wrote the first of two books on medicine

and natural philosophy, Physica.  This was later followed by Causae et

Curae.   >>


She also wrote some wonderful music which as recently been put out on CD.

Does anyone have any info on this or where the CD might be purchased?





Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 19:58:50 -0600

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC - Hildegard von Bingen (Long)


> She also wrote some wonderful music which as recently been put out on CD.

> Does anyone have any info on this or where the CD might be purchased?


> Ras


There are apparently several CDs available.  Here's a pointer to a

discography of Hildegard von Bingen:




Amazon.com was not particularly helpful on the music, having only one title

with one piece of her music.  If I were seriously looking for the CDs, I

would try stores which deal in religious music or music stores who will do

catalog orders.





Date: Sun, 31 Jan 1999 07:15:09 EST

From: WOLFMOMSCA at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Hildegard von Bingen (Long)


In a message dated 99-01-29 10:04:38 EST, Bear wrote:

<< Translations of Hildegard's works are more common in German than English

and her theological texts are more translated than her medical texts. >>


I know I wrote this up once a week or so ago, but I guess it never took to

the list.  The Physica has been translated into English for the first time by

Priscilla Throop and is available through Healing Arts Press, One Park St,

Rochester, VT 05767.  The price is $25.00.





Date: Fri, 5 Feb 1999 19:59:34 -0800

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Nerve Bisquits??? I can't find them in the _Physica_


My copy of the Physica of Hildegard von Bingen arrived form Amazon.com. It

is an interesting book, but I cannot find anything so far that looks at all

like the "Nerve Bisquits" recipe that was posted. None of the index entries

under sugar, and none of the pages that have entries for both nutmeg and

cinnamon, is even close.


There is, under the entry for cumin, an interesting recipe, however:


One who suffers nausea should pulverise cumin with a third as much pepper

and a quarter as much pimpernel. He should mix this powder with pure wheat

flour, and make cookies, with egg yolk and a little water, either in a hot

oven or under hot ashes. He should eat these cookies, as well as the cumin

powder on bread, and it will suppress the hot and cold humors in his

intestines, which cause his nausea. (pp. 19-20).


David Friedman

Professor of Law



Date: Wed, 24 Nov 1999 14:49:54 -0800 (PST)

From: Terri Spencer <taracook at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: SC - medicinal cooking


For Hildegard von Bingen's medicinal writings, try:


Hildegard Von Bingen's Physica : The Complete English Translation of

Her Classic Work on Health and Healing

Priscilla Throop (Translator)

Paperback - 240 pages (October 1998)

ISBN: 0892816619


It's not really recipes, more a listing of health problems/conditions

with some humoral theory as to causes and her recommended treatments,

including herbal remedies.  Amazon.com has it, but their search engine

doesn't want to admit it.  My search also brought up this book:


From Saint Hildegard's Kitchen : Foods of Health, Foods of Joy

by Jany Fournier-Rosset

List Price: $24.95

Hardcover - 224 pages (November 1999)

Liguori Publications; ISBN: 0764804863


Has anyone seen/heard anything about it?





Date: Thu, 25 Nov 1999 23:53:29 +0100

From: [Removed upon request- Stefan]

Subject: SC - Hildegard von Bingen / cookbook of Master Eberhard / new e-text


Ana, you are quite right, there are a lot of German translations of

Hildegard von Bingen, the major texts in the field of medicine and

natural science being translated by Peter Riethe and Heinrich

Schipperges, Scivias by Maura Bšckeler.


I did not study her medical texts very seriously up to now (I only read

the stone book recently). Looking for what might be interesting for the

cook, there are two types of text:

- -- dietetic descriptions (of plants, fishes, birds, ...)

- -- some recipes

Now, it is interesting to see, that these texts were used by at least

one 15th century German cook: Meister Eberhard of Landshut. He was the

cook of the duke Eberhard of Landshut (thus he had a position somewhat

similar to those of Chiquart, Martino or Maister Hanns; perhaps a bit

more provincial). According to Melitta Weiss-Amer, Eberhard compiled his

'Kochbuch' from earlier cookbooks and from earlier medical texts, among

them the text of Hildegard von Bingen (see Melitta Weiss-Amer: Die

'Physica' Hildegards von Bingen als Quelle fŸr das 'Kochbuch Meister

Eberhards', In: Sudhoffs Archiv 76, 1992, 87-96).


Here are some texts:

- -- first, a Latin example from Hildegard, quoted from the

Patrologia-Latina-database (the original texts of Hildegard were

published 1855 and 1882 in Migne's Patrologia latina, now available on

CD-ROM). The text marked with [1] is a description of the dietetic

nature of the goose, [2] is a recipe, [3] is a description of the

dietetic nature of goose eggs.

- -- then, a 15th century German recipe from Meister Eberhard

- -- then, a rough English translation of the 15th century German recipe

(remember that English is not my mother tongue)


Here is, what Hildegard von Bingen wrote about goose:



[1] Anser, scilicet gans, calidus est, et etiam de aere illo, de quo

bestiae vivunt, et etiam de aquoso aere, qui ei pennas educit; sed alte

volare non potest, quia de aere bestiarum habet, sed de aquoso aere in

aqua libenter versatur, et mundis et immundis pascuis vescitur. Et

propter hanc duplicem naturam caro ejus infirmis ad comedendum non

valet, quia in homine multociens livorem et ulcera parat, velut scabiem

et velut ulcera leprae similia quia inmundis interdum vescitur, sed

homines qui sani sunt, carnes ejus comestas aliquo modo superare


[2] Si quis autem anserem comedere vult, eam aut per tres aut per duas

dies valde esurire permittat, ut mali humores qui in ea sunt evanescant,

et tunc frumento nutriatur; et deinde occisa ad ignem assa, et cum

assatur, selba et bonae aliae herbulae ei imponantur, et succus earum

ipsam pertranseat, et etiam vino et aceto cum flabello semper

aspergatur, ut sanguis de ea effluat, quia sagimen ejus comedi non

debet, quoniam hominem infirmari facit, quia de malis humoribus

inpinguatur. Et qui sanus est, eam hoc modo assatam modice ex ea

comedat. Cocta autem in aqua ad esum hominis mala est, quia mali humores

qui in ea sunt per aquam ita ipsi non auferuntur sicut ad ignem assata.

[3] Ova autem ejus, quocunque modo parantur, ad esum hominis mala sunt,

[quia scrophulas et alias multas infirmitates in homine parant add.



Meister Eberhard 'adopted' parts of Hildegard's text for his cookbook

and dietetics. Here is his recipe for preparing a goose in 15th century

German (= Hildegard [2]):


[24] Item hienach volgt, wie man ein gan§ pratenn soll.

So la§ sie vor zwenn oder drej tag wol hungernn, das die bšsen predenn,

die in ir sein, her au§ genn, vnd soll sie dann nernn mit kornn, vnd

darnach tštte sie vnd prate sie pej dem fewerr. Vnd du solt dar ein

stossen saluia vnd ander gut wu:ercz, das der safft dar durch gee, vnd

man soll sie besprengenn mit wein oder mit essigk, das das schmalcz do

vonn trieff. Wann das gen§ schmalcz soll man nit essenn, wann es macht

den menschen krannck, wann die feistenn kumbt von bšser feuchtigkeit.

Vnd wer gesund ist, der soll die gans also gebratenn essenn, so schadt

sie dester mynderr. Wer aber krannck ist, der soll wenig do von essenn.

Wenn man sie kocht vnd seudt in wasser, so ist sie vngesund, wann dann

so mŸgenn die bšsen preden nit herau§ genn von verhinderung wegen des



Here is a rough English translation:


'Hereafter follows, how to roast a goose.

You must not give the goose anything to eat for two or three days, so

that the harmful vapors it contains go out, then feed it with cereals,

kill, and roast it by the fire. And you must pound sage and other good

spices into it, so that the gravy goes through it (?), and pour wine or

vinegar over the goose, so that the fat/grease drips off. The reason:

you must not eat the fat of geese, because it makes people sick, because

the fat is built form harmful fluids. Healthy people may eat the goose

roasted this way, so it will be less harmful. But he who is sick should

eat only a small quantity of the goose. -- If you cook the goose in

water it is still more harmful, because the harmful vapors are

restrained by the water and thus cannot go out.


The Feyl-edition of Meister Eberhards text is now online at:


or via:

http://staff-www.uni-marburg.de/~gloning (choose 'Alte KochbŸcher')


Again: I am not very familiar with Hildegard von Bingen nor is English

my mother tongue, so be careful with what I said.



Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2007 09:06:57 -0400

From: "Elaine Koogler" <kiridono at gmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Hildegard's dips?

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


I checked out the same book on Amazon.  Turns out that they don't mention

coffee or dips...maybe that was just Jessica's Biscuit's writer.  

According to a reviewer:


Saint Hildegard lived in the 12th century. She was an abbess, a mystic, and

eventually, a saint. Among the considerable writings she left are her

thoughts and opinions on the spiritual as well as physical values of various

foodstuffs. This rather unusual cookbook derives its recipes from these

theological and visionary musings, although a few are directly from the

saint herself. This is not a meat and potatoes diet at all, but surprisingly

well-balanced, considering the limitations of medieval fare. There is an

emphasis on greens and grains, especially that health food junkie's delight,

spelt, a decidedly acquired taste. Dishes vary from the simple, using only a

few ingredients to the much more complicated, requiring a very well stocked

pantry. A few ingredients will be unfamiliar to most 21st century cooks in

the Midwest. I doubt that many folks regularly cook with nettles, something

we generally consider a weed these days, but St. Hildegard makes a omelet of

them,praising their purgative, restorative, and stimulative virtues.  While

this slim volume may prove more for reading, than cooking, Chicken Cooked in

Wine for the Heart and the Tunisian Ratatouille are quite delicious.


So it would appear that the recipes aren't really her recipes, except in a

few select cases...but are "derived" from her writings.  While you still

can't actually look inside the book and see some of the recipes, the

reviewer, who is a librarian/historian/etc. and has reviewed a number of

other books, does indicate that the recipes at least appear to use period

ingredients.  I don't think we could use this as documentation, is  

what I'm trying to say!




On 9/13/07, Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu> wrote:


> I came across this description this am while browsing in

> Jessica's Biscuit. The book was:  From Saint Hildegard's Kitchen: Foods

> Of Health, Foods Of Joy

> Description reads:

> Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) was a remarkable woman-a scholar, nun,

> mystic, theologian, physician, and composer. She also possessed, by

> means of heavenly visions, precious knowledge about human nutrition.

> Here are hundreds of *her recipes* for meat, vegetables, salads, soups,

> cereals, pastas, sauces, dips, beverages, jams, coffees, wines and

> desserts.

> Her recipes?

> An twelfth century convent serving a selection of dips and coffees?


> Johnnae



Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2007 09:09:35 -0400

From: "Mairi Ceilidh" <jjterlouw at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Hildegard's dips?

To: "'Cooks within the SCA'" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


I own that one (yeah, I'll buy anything that has a recipe in it, and might

contain a smattering of history).  At the beginning there are notes on

ingredients, some of which purport to actually quote Hildegard's writings on

these things.  At Pennsic I obtained Hildegard's Physice, The Complete

English Translation of Her Classic Work on Health and Healing, translated by

Priscilla Throop (thankyouverymuch, Devra).  I haven't had time to look into

it yet.  Some year I'm going to finish settling into the new house and get

back to the books.


Anyway, I think my point is that the modern book isn't a total loss, but

there's no real need to own it unless you are just trying to win the

she-who-owns-the-most-cookbooks contest.  Get with Devra and buy the

Physica, if that is where your studies lead you.


Oh, and Johnnae?  Thanks for the memory jogger.  Some day when I have some

leisure I may look at these two books together and see if the modern author

had actually ever looked at the original work.


Mairi Ceilidh



Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2007 13:19:59 +0200

From: " Ana Vald?s " <agora158 at gmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Age in the Middle Ages (was Re: Hildegard's


To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


Sorry I was a bit sloppy in my redaction! 40 years was possible not

old, but Hildegarde was definitely old for her time's life

expectations! She outlived four popes and three emperors, 81 years was

definitely old in the 1100!

See the ages of some of her contemporaneans, William the Conqueror,

1028-1087, Pope Urban the II, 1040-1099.




>> On Sep 13, 2007, at 9:06 AM, Ana Vald?s wrote:

>>> She lived 81 years, an enormous lifespan at that

>>> time when people were old at 40!


>> Um ... no.


>> [rant = on]


>> The idea that people in the medieval period were "old" when they were

>> in their forties is a gross misconception.


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org