“The Use of Viriditas in the Works of Hildegard von Bingen and Gregory the Great”
The last significant work of Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) was her Liber divinorum operum, written around 1170. A recent edition of this work (Brepols 1996) prepared by A. Derolez and P. Dronke includes an extensive source apparatus linking references in Hildegard’s works to other authors, which she herself did not cite. A particularly intriguing instance of this is the linking of the word viriditas, a word the figures prominently in her works though with some ambiguity in meaning, to Gregory the Great as one of the only previous authors to make extensive use of such an unusual word. This paper will examine the use of the word viriditas in both Hildegard’s Liber divinorum operum and in works of Gregory the Great which Dronke has cited in effort to come to a better understanding of the meaning and the use of the word.
Hildegard von Bingen, Liber divinorum operum, ed. A. Derolez and P. Dronke. (Corpus Christianorum, Continuatio Mediaevalis, 92.) Turnhout: Brepols, 1996.
Now if only I could figure out what in the world Hildegard is saying!!!