The Reception of the Byzantine World in the Writings of Hildegard of Bingen
ALEXIU Andra-Nicoleta Alexiu, Université de Bucarest
Despite countless character studies, articles and research compilations that have so far detailed the work and thought process of Saint Hildegard, the subject of Byzantine influence found in her writing has been only slightly touched upon. However, the vast original ideas, brought up by the Hildegardian writings in the West, suggest we turn our attention towards the Eastern cultural space. In this study I hereby propose, by starting from the epistolary exchanges with the Byzantine Empire and from the works of vision belonging to the Sybil of Rhine, I would like to highlight which ideas from the writings of Saint Hildegard can be traced to have an Eastern influence, as well as the tier through which these ideas are acquired. The works of vision, especially Liber divinorum operum, expand on a series of ideas originating in the Pseudo-Dionysian Corpus, while her treatment of mysticism is different from the language of erotic spirituality, inspired by the Song of Songs. Based on this, at first I will analyze Hildegard’s letter to Empress Bertha-Irene, after which I will try to identify the influences of Eastern theological though in her works of vision.
The purpose of this research is to portray, using the writings of the most influential nun mystic of the 12th century, the way in which certain Byzantine cultural ideas were received in the Western medieval world, as well as the nature of political interactions between the Eastern and the Western world.