The life of Mechthild of Diessen (d. 1160), by Engelhard of Langheim
in Noble Society
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At some point around the year 1200, a noblewoman asked the Cistercian monk Engelhard of Langheim to write a vita of the canoness Mechthild of Diessen, who had briefly been the abbess of Edelstetten. At the time of Pope Anastasius IV, she reluctantly agreed to become the abbess of Edelstetten, a convent desperately in need of reform in Engelhard's version of events. She successfully improved the religious practices and commitment to the spiritual life at Edelstetten, but her time there seems to have been relatively short. The descriptions of Mechthild's interactions with people inside and outside the religious houses are a rich source for the thin grey line that separated the ecclesiastical and secular spheres in the German kingdom during the twelfth century.

Noble Society

Five lives from twelfth-century Germany

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