Reading: Mechthild Of Magdeburg — The Flowing Light of the Godhead

From Caroline Walker Bynum my love of mediæval history narrows to the 13th century and a place not far from Berlin: Magdeburg. Of all the women saints and beguines from the 12th and 13th centuries (and earlier), Mechthild Of Magdeburg seems to me the strangest, a savant outside the usual, writing in vernacular German instead of Latin, highly emotional, erotic. Das fließende Licht der Gottheit (The Flowing Light of the Godhead) is her only work, which survives only in later translations into Latin (from around the time of her death) and Alemannic German (from around fifty years later). I find it somehow appropriate also she was in Magdeburg at the same time the statue of St. Mauritius was sculpted for the Magdeburger Dom.

Yet I, least of all souls,
Take Him in my hand,
Eat Him and drink Him,
And do with Him what I will!
Why then should I trouble myself
As to what the angels experience?