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Chapter 2 - Living and Working in a Twelfth-Century Women’s Monastic Community

from Part I - Life and Monastic Context

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 October 2021

Jennifer Bain
Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia
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This chapter imagines an ordinary day in the life of a female monastic community in twelfth-century Germany. The chapter, like the monastic day, is organized around the celebration of the monastic liturgy of the hours. Between the liturgical hours in the oratory, the nuns attend to their daily business in the cloister, chapter house, lavatory, refectory, and workshops. The flow and activities of this monastic day are based primarily on the Rule of St. Benedict, the customary of Hirsau, and Hildegard of Bingen’s own commentary on the Rule of St. Benedict, as well as on archaeological and bioarchaeological evidence that reflects medieval monastic lifeways.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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Primary Sources

Hildegard of Bingen. De Regula sancti Benedicti. In Hildegardis Bingensis: Opera minora, ed. Feiss, Hugh. Corpus Christianorum Continuatio Mediaevalis 226. Turnhout: Brepols, 2007, 2397.Google Scholar
Hildegard of Bingen Explanation of the Rule of Benedict, trans. Feiss, Hugh. Toronto: Peregrina Publishing, 1990; rpt. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2005. Scholar

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