(fl 1160–70; d Hohenbourg, Alsace, July 25, 1195).
German writer and ?illuminator. She was Abbess (1167–95) of the convent of Ste Odile in Hohenbourg. She is best known for writing (c. 1175–95) a complex pictorial encyclopedia in Latin called the Hortus deliciarum (‘Garden of delights’), a compendium of medieval learning intended for the women in her convent. This encyclopedic work covered biblical, moral, and theological material. It was accompanied by several hundred miniatures that depicted biblical scenes, allegorical figures and gardening hints, as well as a portrait of Herrad with the nuns of Hohenbourg. Referring to herself metaphorically as a bee, she described the book in the following way: ‘I drew from many flowers of sacred and philosophic writing this book…and have put it together to the praise of Christ and the Church, and to your enjoyment’. The original manuscript was destroyed by fire at the municipal library of Strasbourg during the city’s bombardment in ...