Herrad of Hohenbourg: A Synthesis of Learning in The Garden of Delights

  • Fiona Griffiths
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)


This chapter compares the Speculum virginum to the Hortus Deliciarum of Herrad of Hohenbourg, a treatise that provides a visual synthesis of scholastic theology, drawn from both reason and scripture. The Hortus pays less emphasis to bridal imagery than the Speculum, but rather is much more concerned to incorporate the arguments of some very recent authors.The Speculum may have provided a precedent in provoking communities of religious women to develop a distinct visual culture.The difference between the Speculum and the Hortus illustrates a profound shift in sensibility that took place within the twelfth century. The Hortus shows what can happen when a woman is no longer simply the disciple but herself becomes the teacher.


Thirteenth Century Religious Life Twelfth Century Reform Movement Textual Extract 
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  1. 4.
    James Morey, “Peter Comestor, Biblical Paraphrase and the Medieval Popular Bible,” Speculum 68 (1993): 6–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    John van Engen, Rupert of Deutz (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983), pp. 58–67.Google Scholar
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    Josef Haupt, Das hohe Lied, übersetz von Williram, erklärt von Rilindis und Her-rat, aus der einzigen Handschrift der Hojjbibliothek zu Wien (Vienna: W. Braumüller, 1864)Google Scholar
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© Constant J. Mews 2001

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  • Fiona Griffiths

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