About Me

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I am a medievalist and an adjunct college instructor in the humanities at Union College. My research includes medieval theologies of history, text/image relationships in visionary and mystical texts, and the writings of the twelfth-century Doctor of the Church, St. Hildegard of Bingen. I am also a translator of medieval Latin and German texts, especially as relate to my research. My translation of Hildegard's Book of Divine Works is available from Catholic University of America Press here. I completed a Master's in Medieval Studies at the University of Notre Dame in 2010, a Fulbright Fellowship in Germany in 2008, and a B.A. in Classics and German at Boston College in 2007.

Friday, December 27, 2013

O speculum columbe (Symphonia 35)

An Antiphon for the Feast of St. John the Apostle and Evangelist
by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]

St. John, the beloved disciple,
resting with Jesus.
Andachtsbild, carved and
painted wood, ca. 1320.
From the Dominican convent
in Sankt-Katharinenthal
Museum Mayer van den Bergh,
Antwerp / Web Gallery of Art.
O speculum columbe
castissime forme,
qui inspexisti misticam
in purissimo fonte:

O mira floriditas
que numquam arescens cecidisti,  
quia altissimus plantator
     misit te:

O suavissima quies
amplexuum solis:
tu es specialis filius Agni
in electa amicicia
nove sobolis.
O mirror of the dove—
the perfect form of chastity—
you gazed upon the mystic
within the clearest font:

O wondrous, flourished bloom
that never withered, never fell—
the Gardener on high
     has sent you forth:

O sweet repose
of sunshine’s warm embrace:
the Lamb’s especial son you are
within that privileged friendship of
a new posterity.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

O factura Dei (Symphonia R 405rb)

For Christmas, the Nativity of the Lord, a Verse on the Incarnation
by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]

God enthroned upon
the mountain, with
Fear of the Lord (L)
& Poor in Spirit (R),
Scivias I.1.
Rupertsberg MS,
fol. 2r.
O factura Dei que es homo,
in magna sanctitate edificata es,
quia sancta divinitas
in humilitate celos penetravit.
O quam magna pietas est
quod in limo terre deitas claruit,    
et quod angeli Deo ministrantes
Deum in humanitate vident.
O what a work of God you are, O human,
forged and established in great holiness—
for now divinity most holy has
the heavens pierced in your humility.
How great indeed that loving kindness is,
as in the earthy clay the Godhead beamed,
the angels in their ministry to God
see now that God within humanity.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

O splendidissima gemma (Symphonia 10)

For the Fourth Sunday in Advent, an Antiphon for the Virgin
by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]

Scivias I.4:
Conception of
Soul and Body.
Rupertsberg MS,
fol. 22r (detail)
O splendidissima gemma
et serenum decus solis
qui tibi infusus est,
fons saliens
de corde Patris,
quod est unicum Verbum suum,
     per quod creavit
mundi primam materiam,
quam Eva turbavit.

Hoc Verbum effabricavit
tibi Pater hominem,
et ob hoc es tu illa
     lucida materia
per quam hoc ipsum Verbum
omnes virtutes,
     ut eduxit
in prima materia omnes creaturas. 
O jewel resplendent
and bright and joyous beauty of the sun
that’s flooded into you—
the fountain leaping
from the Father’s heart.
This is his single Word
     by which he did create
the world’s primordial matter,
a motherhood into confusion cast by Eve.

This Word the Father made
for you into a man—
and this is why you are that bright
     and shining matter,
through which that Word
     has breathed
forth every virtue’s pow’r,
     as he brought forth
all creatures in a primal motherhood.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

O Verbum Patris (Symphonia R 404va)

A Verse for Word and Wisdom by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]

Scivias II.1: Creation
Rupertsberg MS,
fol. 41v (detail)
O Verbum Patris,
tu lumen prime aurore
in circulo rote es,
omnia in divina vi operans.
O tu prescientia Dei,
omnia opera tua previdisti,
sicut voluisti,
ita quod in medio potencie tue latuit   
quod omnia prescivisti,
et operatus es
quasi in similitudine rote
cuncta circueuntis,
que inicium non accepit
nec in fine prostrata est.
O Word of the Father,
you are the first dawn’s light
within the circuit of the wheel,
performing all in energy divine.
O God’s foreknowledge,
you have foreseen your every deed
according to your will—
all that you have foreknown lay held
within your power’s heart.
Your working is
as like a wheel
that all encompasses—
beginning kept it not
nor ever was it wound down to an end.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Ave generosa (Symphonia 17)

For the Third Sunday in Advent, a Hymn for the Virgin
by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]

Virgin Mary, Queen of Heavens'
Symphony, Scivias III.13
Rupertsberg MS, fol. 229r
1. Ave generosa,
gloriosa et intacta puella.
Tu pupilla castitatis,
tu materia sanctitatis,
que Deo placuit.

2. Nam hec superna infusio   
     in te fuit,
quod supernum Verbum
     in te carnem induit.
1. Hail, nobly born,
O Maiden, honored and inviolate.
You are the piercing gaze of chastity,
you the material of holiness—
the one who pleasèd God.

2. For heaven’s flood poured
     into you
as heaven’s Word was clothed
     in flesh in you.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Article Published: "Visio-Theological Designs in Hildegard of Bingen's Rupertsberg Scivias Manuscript"

I am pleased to announce that the full article upon which the paper I presented at the Kalamazoo conference earlier this year was based has now been published in the art history journal Eikón / Imago 4 (2013, Vol. 2, No. 2), pp. 1-68.

"Imago expandit splendorem suum: Hildegard of Bingen’s Visio-Theological Designs in the Rupertsberg Scivias Manuscript" can be viewed on the journal's website here or on my Academia.edu profile here.

Monday, December 09, 2013

O Euchari, in leta via (Symphonia 53)

For the Feast of St. Eucharius, First Bishop of Trier (transferred fr. Dec. 8)
A Sequence by St. Hildegard of Bingen [1]

Choir of Bishops
and Confessors, from
Scivias III.13: Symphonia
Rupertsberg MS, fol. 229r
1a. O Euchari,
in leta via ambulasti
ubi cum Filio Dei mansisti,
illum tangendo
et miracula eius que fecit

1b. Tu eum perfecte amasti
cum sodales tui exterriti erant,     
pro eo quod homines erant,
nec possibilitatem habebant
bona perfecte intueri.
1a. O St. Eucharius,
you walked upon the blessed way
when with the Son of God you stayed—
you touched the man
and saw with your own eyes
     his miracles.

1b. You loved him perfectly
while your companions trembled,
frightened by their mere humanity,
unable as they were to gaze
entirely upon the good.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Hodie aperuit nobis (Symphonia 11)

(Nunc aperuit nobis)
For the Feast of the Immaculate Conception upon the Second Sunday
of Advent, an Antiphon for the Virgin by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]

Humility, from
Scivias III.8: The Pillar
of the Savior's Humanity.
Rupertsberg MS, fol. 178r.
aperuit nobis
clausa porta
quod serpens in muliere       
unde lucet in aurora
flos de Virgine Maria.
was opened unto us
a shut-up gate.
For the serpent drew it tight,
      in woman choked—
yet from it gleams within the dawn
the Virgin Mary’s flow’r.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Ave Maria, O auctrix vite (Symphonia 8)

For the First Sunday in Advent, a Responsory for the Virgin
by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]

Misericordia Dei
(Mercy of God)

Scivias III.3
Rupertsberg MS,
fol. 139r
V. Ave Maria,
o auctrix vite,
reedificando salutem,
que mortem conturbasti
et serpentem contrivisti,
ad quem se Eva erexit
erecta cervice
cum sufflatu superbie.
Hunc conculcasti
dum de celo Filium Dei genuisti:    

R. Quem inspiravit
Spiritus Dei.
V. Hail Mary,
O authoress of life,
rebuilding up salvation’s health,
for death you have disturbed,
that serpent crushed
to whom Eve raised herself,
her neck outstretched
with puffed-up pride.
That serpent’s head you ground to dust
when heaven’s Son of God you bore:

R. on whom God’s Spirit