Lost in World War II: one of the main works by the famous abbess and visionary Hildegard von Bingen with her theological-cosmological findings

Liber scivias

Monastery of Rupertsberg (Germany) — Around 1175 The lost original manuscript was copied by hand between 1927 and 1933 by nuns in Abbey of St. Hildegard

Liber scivias

Liber scivias

Monastery of Rupertsberg (Germany) — Around 1175 The lost original manuscript was copied by hand between 1927 and 1933 by nuns in Abbey of St. Hildegard

  1. Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) was a fascinating medieval figure and the most prolific female author of the period

  2. This is Hildegard's first theological-cosmological work and it continues to offer prophetic guidance today

  3. The original was lost during World War II, but nuns from her cloister fortuitously made a copy between 1927 and 1933

Liber Scivias (Normal Edition)

Liber Scivias

The Last Judgement

Presented in dramatic fashion with plenty of gold leaf, Hildegard von Bingen’s vision of the Last Judgement shows Christ seated in a round mandorla, the wounds of the Crucifixion clearly visible in his red skin. Sometimes referred to as the Day of the Lord, it is initially referred to in prophetic Old Testament books like Joel and Isaiah, the phrase is often used to refer to catastrophic events like an invasion and has been used to identify both the first and second comings of Christ.

Liber scivias

Alternative Titles:
  • Rupertsberger KodexLiber scivias von Hildegard von Bingen
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

Hildegard von Bingen is one of the most interesting figures of the Middle Ages, and was probably the most prolific female author of the period, writing on topics ranging from theology to botany. The Liber Scivias – “Know the Way” – is the first theological-cosmological work by Hildegard and it continues to provide us with prophetic guidance today. Hildegard began having visions at a young age and became one of the most famous medieval Christian mystics. She spent more than ten years recording these visions in a book, at the heart of which is the inseparable oneness of the Universe (macrocosm) and man (microcosm). Although many manuscripts of this work were made during and after Hildegard's lifetime, the Rupertsberg SCIVIAS-Codex from 1175 is undoubtedly the most splendidly illuminated. Although the original was lost in the chaos of World War II, it just so happens that an exact copy of it had been painstakingly made by nuns from the same cloister as Hildegard between 1927 and 1933.

Liber Scivias

Almost no woman in the history of the Middle Ages has been so received, appreciated, and adored throughout time – even up to the present day – as cloister-founder Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179). More than 900 years later, her charisma continues to shine through the ages. Liber Scivias – “Know the Way” – is the first theological-cosmological work of Hildegard and it continues to provide us with prophetic guidance today. The book deals with the inseparable oneness of the Universe (macrocosm) and man (microcosm); showing the way of salvation – not only of man but also the world and cosmos as a whole - from the creation of the world and man to his redemption through Christ and the church up to the end of time. This book, which Hildegard worked on for over ten years and has been presented throughout history in the form of various manuscripts, is a testimony to her reputation as prophet, teacher, writer, and Christian mystic. Visions were nothing new for Hildegard, who began at the age of 3 to have what she called extraordinary perceptions termed visio. These came “not from a dream, nor in sleep or mental confusion, not by way of the naked eye or the audible ear, but rather I received them in a waking state, of sound mind and body, through the eyes and ears of inner man in the most isolated of places, as God had intended.” At the beginning of each section is a “vision” of striking presence and at the same time, soft eloquence, which creates a relationship of man to God, his renunciation and subsequent return to his creator. Through the richly colored forms contained in each visio, the invisible is becomes visualized.

A Manuscript Worthy of Hildegard's Visions

However, only one manuscript of the many made can be truly considered luxurious and richly illuminated: the famous Rupertsberg SCIVIAS-Codex from 1175; created during Hildegard’s lifetime in the monastery of Rupertsberg and decorated with 35 magnificent miniatures. It is as though she has created a window to the heavens and to transcendence in this codex – with a neologism: “fenestraliter”, which constitutes a prophetic faithful existence man still deeply longs for today. We owe the fact that the Rupertsberg SCIVIAS was not lost during the confusion of the times to the deceased nun in question: the Abbess Regentrudis Sauter, the 36th such and successor of Hildegard, wanted to dedicate it to the Golden anniversary of the order. During the years 1927 – 1933, the codex was taken out of the State Library in Wiesbaden and transferred to the abbey where four nuns took six years to write the text in exact accordance with the original and copy the miniatures by hand. No one could have known at the time that this authentic, true to the original, and extremely valued copy would become the only remaining codex – the original having been lost during the turmoil of the Second World War in 1945. This invaluable treasure is consequently guarded and kept in safe-keeping with great pride and diligence.

The Facsimile of Liber Scivias

To produce a facsimile edition of a missing manuscript presents many uncommon and trying challenges: many details can only be verified on the basis of descriptions and second-hand sources, thus making the volume Liber Scivias even the more valuable. The nuns provided their own timely version of the cover, however, this did not reflect the actual state of the cover at the time of its disappearance. According to records from the year 1931, a detailed description is given of the original volume of the codex lost during the war: the number of existing embossments and fittings, as well as the remaining clasps on the leather volume. As well, we know that the singular stamp used on the Liber Scivias is the same as the one on the so- called Giant Codex of Hildegard of Bingen (Hs.2). A further piece of helpful information was available to us: the Liber Scivias was completely photographed in 1920. Even though the quality of these 90 year-old black-and-white photos is not in accordance with today’s standards, the comparison of the photos of the original missing codex with that of the existing “Giant Codex” allows us to, as exactly as is possible, reconstruct the original volume of the Liber Scivias.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Rupertsberger KodexLiber scivias von Hildegard von Bingen
Size / Format
242 pages / 32.5 x 23.5 cm
Date
Around 1175 The lost original manuscript was copied by hand between 1927 and 1933 by nuns in Abbey of St. Hildegard
Language
Illustrations
35 miniatures with gold and silver (16 full-page, 15 half-page, 4 quarter-page miniatures); 27 superb initials with gold and silver parts
Previous Owners
Liber Scivias (Normal Edition)

Liber Scivias

The Choirs of Angels

In one of her visions, Hildegard von Bingen saw nine angelic choirs singing together, all arranged with numerological and spiritual connotations. The first two are grouped together, symbolizing the body and soul of man, the next five rows represent the five senses of man purified by the wounds of Christ, and the last two represent the duel love for God and one’s neighbor.

As the rows get closer to God, represented by a field of white in the center because God’s mystery is veiled from man, the angels are of ever-increasing rank and holiness. "All these rows sounded in all sorts of music and announced miracles in wondrous harmonies the wonders, which God works in holy souls – a high song of glorification of God." (Scivias I.6.)

2 available facsimile edition(s) of „Liber scivias“

Liber Scivias (Normal Edition)
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
Liber scivias – Original manuscript lost
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Liber Scivias (Normal Edition)

Publisher
Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt (ADEVA) – Graz, 2012
Limited Edition
181 copies
Binding
Ledereinband mit originalgetreuer Blindprägung. Faksimileband in Schuber, separater Kommentarband.
Commentary
1 volume by Mechthild Heieck
Language: German
More Information
All folios are cut according to the original.
Price Category: €€€
Edition available
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Liber Scivias (Luxury Edition)
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Liber Scivias (Luxury Edition)

Publisher
Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt (ADEVA) – Graz, 2012
Limited Edition
99 copies
Binding
Ledereinband mit originalgetreuer Blindprägung und Beschlägen aus Messing: 8 Eckbeschläge, 2 Mittenbeschläge, 2 Lederbandschließen.
Commentary
1 volume by Mechthild Heieck
Language: German
More Information
All folios are cut according to the original.
Regular price without login (like new)8,900 €
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