Manuscript Information

  • Sarah L. Higley
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)


Following is my edition and translation into English of the Ignota Lingua. 1 believe a new edition is called for given the problems in the Basel edition, hereafter referred to as the WUS for their Wörterbuch.1 Wilhelm Grimm has given us tentative glosses for the German words in the Riesencodex only,2 and F.W.E. Roth and Elias Steinmeyer provide editions of both texts.3 But the English-speaking world also needs access to the Ignota Lingua in its two extant recensions, especially its earlier one. Because the WUS is not clear in its conflation of the Riesencodex and the Berlin MS, or which glosses belong to which text, and as it gives obvious preference to the latter with its corrections and spellings, it is important to offer an edition of the earlier text and its spelling and word order. This edition, then, privileges the Riesencodex version, but incorporates the added glosses of the Berlin version because they assist translation. My edition offrs an English translation of the Lingua in two versions—the first listed in the order of Hildegard’s original taxonomy and the second providing an alphabetization of her invented words. This allows my readers to locate more easily the words 1 refer to in my discussion as well as observe the frequency with which Hildegard begins with any one letter or syllable.


Unknown Word Latin Word German Translation German Word Latin Translation 
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Notes to Manuscript Information

Manuscript Information

  1. 2.
    Wuhekn Grimm, “Wiesbader Glossen: Befasst sich mit den mittel-hochdeutschen Ubersetzungen der Unbekannten Sprache der Handscrift C,” Zeitschriftfur deutsches Alterthum (Leipzig: Wiedmann, 1848), pp. 321–40.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Friedrich Wuhekn Emu Roth, Die Geschichtsquellen des Niedenheingaus, vol. 4, in Die Geschichtsquellen aus Nassau, ed. F.W.E. Roth (Wiesbaden: Limbarth, 1880), pp. xxüi—xxiv, 457—465; See Elias Steinmeyer’s edition of the R and B texts (which he calls the codices Wiesbadener and Cheltenhamensis: “Glossae Hüdegardis,” in Althochdeutsche Glossen, vol. Ill, ed. Elias Steinmeyer and Eduard Sievers (Berlin: Wiedmann, 1895), pp. 390–404.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    See Michael Embach, Die Schriften Hildegards von Bingen: Studien zu ihrer Uberlieferung und Rezeption im Mittelalter und in der Frühen Neuzeit (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 2003), pp. 282–83. Folios 116r–1r of this manuscript are fill with Hüdegard’s special characters, notably between the musical staves of some of her songs.Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    Marianna Schrader and Adelgundis Führkõtter, Die Echtheit des Schriftums der heiligen Hildegard von Bingen: Quellenkritische Untersuchungen (Cologne: Bohlau-Verlag, 1956), pp 52–53.Google Scholar
  5. 7.
    Michael Denis, Codices manuscripti theologici Bibliothecae palatinae Vindobonensis latini aliarumque occidentis linguarum. Vol. 2 n. 721 (Vienna: Wiener Hofliibliothek, 1793–1802), cols 1723–1729. 1 am indebted to Friedrich Simader at the Osterreichische Nationalbibliothek for directing me to this text. Denis: “per duas columnas scriptus, et rubricis distinctus ad vetustissimas pertinet collectiones Scriptoruiii Hildegardis Virginis Antistitae Montis S. Roberti prope Bingham” (col. 1723).Google Scholar
  6. 8.
    WUS remark that it vanished before 1830, a disappearance that cannot be explained (p. vii). Steinmeyer confirms its missing status in his “Glossae Hildegardis” (p. 390); so also does Embach in Die Schriften (p. 61). We face another possible disappearance of the Lingua: in the introduction to her edition of the hiber vite meritorum (CCCM, vol. 90 [Turnhout: Brepols, 1995], Iviii–lix), Angela Carlevaris notes that a manuscript copy of Hildegard’s entire work (voUstandige Sammlung aUer Werke), compiled by the Acta Inquisitiones for her canonization and cited in the Anaiecta Bollandiana 11, 1883, p. 697, has never been found.Google Scholar
  7. 24.
    Reiner Hildebrandt and Klaus Ridder, ed., Summarium Heinrici: Register der deutschen Glossen und ihrer lateinischen Bezugsworter auf der Grundlage der Gesamtüberlieferung, vol. 3 (Berlin and New York: de Gruyter, 1995).Google Scholar

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© Sarah L. Higley 2007

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