abbess of Hohenburger in Alsace (1125 - 1195)

These women were leaders of great communities. During the Middle Ages, women who were in abbeys could engage more in scholarship than the general population could (see Sor Juana Inez de la Cruz or Hildegard von Bingen in this WWW site)

She was abbess of the convent of Ste Odile in Hohenbourg and compiler-illuminator of the Hortus Deliciarum (The Garden of Delights). This large folio consisted of 324 pages and 636 miniature illustrations that depicted biblical scenes and allegorical figures. In it there are over a thousand texts by different authors on different subjects including poems by Herrad herself - a compendium of medieval learning of the knowledge and history of the world intended for the women in her convent. This encyclopedic work covered biblical, moral and theological material.

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