Tuesday, November 3, 2009

uncovering the ghosts

My Hildegard writing has been slow, and I have decided that's okay. Today I didn't write. I sifted through my box of research begun eight years ago, looking for an article I needed. There must be a more organized way, but I haven't found it. It was time well-spent because I unearthed a scholar's debate that affects my manuscript.

On All Saints' Day, over 900 years ago,young Hildegard took the vows of a nun and was sealed in a stone anchorage. Scholars do not agree on the year. Some have thought Hildegard was age eight, some fourteen. I have leaned to age fourteen.

Now I've been reminded of a newer theory that says Hildegard was probably age ten. The case is made on the basis of monastery records stating the enclosure happened on All Saints' Day. Enclosures were allowed on certain feast days and on Sundays. All Saints' Day occurred on a Sunday in 1108 when Hildegard was ten, not when she was eight in 1106 or fourteen in 1112.

Scholarship is often a ghost hunt!

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