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Anchoress and Abbess in Ninth-Century Saxony

The Lives of Liutbirga of Wendhausen and Hathumoda of Gandersheim

Frederick S. Paxton

Publication Year: 2012

In the growing field of early medieval texts in translation, this book presents the first full English translations of the Lives of Liutbirga of Wendhausen, the first anchoress in Saxony, and Hathumoda, the first abbess of Gandersheim.

Published by: The Catholic University of America Press


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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. vii-ix

This project began over a decade ago when I first wondered if Hathumoda, the founding abbess of Gandersheim, had died to the accompaniment of the medieval Latin death ritual that was just then taking shape in other religious communities in Western Europe. The answer turned out to be yes, but the description of the...


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pp. xi-xii


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pp. xiii-xv

The Families of Luitbirga and Gisla

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p. xvi

The Family of Hathumoda

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p. xvii

Map: The World of Liutbirga and Hathumoda

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p. xviii

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pp. 1-79

This book is about two ninth-century women: Liutbirga of Wendhausen and Hathumoda of Gandersheim. Most of what we know about them is thanks to the fortuitous survival of the texts translated here. Without the Vita Liutbirgae (VL), the Vita Hathumodae (VH), and the poetic Dialogue that accompanies...


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The Life of Liutbirga, Anchoress of Wendhausen

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pp. 83-117

1. In the reign of the great emperor Charles there was a certain Saxon, among the foremost and noblest of his people, named Hessi.1 [Now] Charles was the first in the German lands to gain the title of Caesar Augustus. He subjugated many peoples to the rule of the Franks and gained the support of (among many others) the...

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The Life of Hathumoda, First Abbess of Gandersheim

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pp. 119-142

I am in no way up to the task of expressing at one and the same time how much I owe to your former spiritual mother and how much to your charity. Indeed, I am unable to put into words either the kind of charity you have been accustomed to show me or of what sort and how great were the benefits I received from her in...

The Dialogue of Agius on the Death of Hathumoda

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pp. 143-172


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pp. 173-186

General Index

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pp. 187-201

Index of Scriptural Citations

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pp. 203-204

E-ISBN-13: 9780813217147
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813215693

Page Count: 224
Publication Year: 2012

OCLC Number: 821617895
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Anchoress and Abbess in Ninth-Century Saxony

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Christian women -- Germany -- Biography.
  • Women saints -- Germany -- Biography.
  • Liutbirg, Saint, d. ca. 870.
  • Liutbirg, Saint, d. ca. 870. Vita Liutbirg virginis.
  • Hathumoda, 840-874.
  • Hathumoda, 840-874. Vita Hathumoda.
  • Monastic and religious life of women -- Germany -- History -- To 1500.
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