Hildegard chronology [click on links to show/hide pictures]

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date event

Investiture Crisis begins


Peter Abelard born


Bernard of Clairvaux born


Council of Clermont - Pope Urban II preaches First Crusade [picture]


Hildegard born at Bermersheim (near Alzey) in Rheinhessen, the tenth and youngest child of Hildebert of Bermersheim and Mechthild. [picture of Bermersheim church] [map]


Crusaders capture Jerusalem [picture]

Pope Urban II dies (Pontificate 1088-99)


Hildegard [8] placed in the care of Jutta von Spanheim at an enclosure attached to the new Benedictine monastery of Disibodenberg [picture] [map]

Henry IV, German Emperor dies (reigned 1056-1106), succeeded by Henry V
1112-15 Hildegard [14] takes her vows at Disibodenberg, receiving the veil from Bishop Otto of Bamberg.[picture]
1121 c.

Peter Abelard condemned unheard at the Council of Soissons


Concordat of Worms. End of Investiture Crisis

Peter the Venerable becomes eighth Abbot of Cluny


Frederick Barbarossa born


Henry V dies. End of Salian Dynasty (from 1024)


Hildegard [38] becomes magistra (acting Abbess) on the death of Jutta


Start of Hohenstaufen Dynasty (to 1254).

1140 on Hildegard [42] begins her Symphonia [h]armoni[a]e c[a]elestium revelationum (musical works)

Peter Abelard condemned for heresy at Council of Sens

1141-51 Hildegard [43] begins her first visionary work Scivias ("Know the Way"). The monk Volmar and her protégé Richardis von Stade assist as her secretaries [picture]

Peter Abelard dies

Latin translation of Qur'-an commissioned by Abbot Peter the Venerable at Cluny

1146 on Hildegard's [48] earliest letters dates from this time (including an exchange of letters with Bernard of Clairvaux)

Second Crusade. Defeat of German army on Turkish territory

1147 Hildegard's [49] Scivias (as yet unfinished) officially endorsed by Pope Eugenius III at the Synod of Trier
1148 c.

Hildegard [50] determines to move her community from Disibodenberg to Rupertsberg (near Bingen) against the wishes of the monks [map]

Hildegard [52] moves to Rupertsberg with about 20 nuns, after 44 years at Disibodenberg [picture of Rupertsberg convent as portrayed in the Isenheim altarpiece]
Hildegard's Lingua ignota, Litterae ignota (unknown language and letters)
1150 c. Hildegard's Ordo Virtutum ("Play of Virtues") with music
1151 Hildegard's [53] Scivias completed. Richardis is elected Abbess of Bassum (near Bremen), much to Hildegard's distress, and dies the following year
1151-58 Hildegard's Physica, Causae et curae (natural philosophy and medicine)

Consecration of Rupertsberg monastery

Barbarossa becomes King Frederick I of Germany (died 1190) [picture]


Bernard of Clairvaux dies (canonised 1174) [picture]


Pope Hadrian IV (the English Pope, Nicholas Breakspear)

1155 Hildegard [57] reaches a settlement with the monks of Disibodenberg over land given as her nuns' dowries

Frederick Barbarossa crowned Emperor. Hildegard meets him at about this time

1158 Hildegard [60] becomes ill, embarks on first preaching tour along the River Main (including Bamberg) [map]
1158-63 Hildegard's second visionary work Liber vitae meritorum ("Book of Life's Merits")
1158-76 Schism between the Church and Emperor ("Papal schism"). Pope is Alexander III, first Antipope is Victor IV

Hildegard's [62] second preaching tour, along the Rhine (including Trier and Metz) [map]


Hildegard's [63] third preaching tour, again along the Rhine (including Cologne) [map]

1163 Hildegard [65] writes again to the Emperor, but does not take sides over the schism
1163-73 Hildegard's third visionary work Liber divinorum operum ("Book of Divine Works")

Antipope Paschal III appointed. Hildegard [66] writes again to the Emperor in more critical terms


Hildegard [67] founds a second community at Eibingen [picture] [map]


Antipope Callistus III appointed. Hildegard [70] writes to the Emperor warning of God's disapproval

1169 Hildegard [71] cures the possessed woman Sigewize at the second attempt, and accepts her into the community
1170 Hildegard [72] writes her Vita Sancti Disibodi ("Life of St Disibod")
Hildegard's fourth preaching tour, this time to Zwiefalten [map]

Hildegard's [75] secretary Volmar dies, Liber divinorum operum completed

1174 Gottfried, successor to Volmar, arrives from Disibodenberg. He completes the first part of the Vita Sanctae Hildegardis
1175 Hildegard sends copies of Liber vitae meritorum and Symphonia to Guibert of Gembloux
1176 Gottfried dies
1177 Guibert takes over as Hildegard's secretary
1178 Diocese of Mainz accuses the Rupertsberg community of burying an excommunicant in sacred ground, and bans the nuns from sung worship and from receiving communion
1179 Archbishop Christian of Mainz lifts the ban on Rupertsberg community

Hildegard [81] dies, 17 September 1179


Lateran Council, Pope Alexander III preaches against Albigensians (Cathars)

1180-90 Theodoric of Echternach completes second and third parts of the Vita Sanctae Hildegardis
1181 c.

Francis of Assisi born


Jerusalem recaptured by Saladin


Third Crusade

1220 c. Hildegard's Pentachronon (prophecies) assembled
1227 Moves started to canonize Hildegard, but never completed