Scivias and the illuminations of Hildegard von Bingen

Scivias by Hildegard of Bingen Hildegard von Bingen’s Scivias (short for “Scito vias Domini,” or “Know the Ways of the Lord”) is, as the title suggests, mostly comprised of various divinely-ordained rules for life, with an emphasis on potential social deviancy. In a manner reminiscent of the Book of Revelation (or even the Quran), Hildegard…

A brief history of the fall of Rome

The dissolution of the Western Roman Empire is popularly perceived as a sudden and dramatic cataclysm, with the “fall” of classical civilization often precisely dated to 476 CE. In that year, so the story goes, the child Emperor of the West, Romulus Augustulus, was deposed by the barbarian warlord Odoacer who then established the first…