Mechthild von Magdeburg was one of the most influential late-medieval German mystical authors. As her name itself indicates, Mechthild originated from Magdeburg in northeastern Germany and seems to have been the daughter of a low-ranking noble family. She was born c. 1208 and died c. 1282 or 1294. While she lived most of her life as a Beguine in the vicinity of Magdeburg, in her old age she moved to the Cistercian monastery of Helfta near Eisleben in Saxony-Anhalt, where c. 200 years later the famous future Protestant reformer, Martin Luther, was born in 1483. Although Mechthild wrote all of her texts in Middle Low German, and not in Latin, she enjoyed a high reputation both among her fellow-sisters in Helfta, and later all over Germany. Unfortunately, her original text, the

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Citation: Classen, Albrecht. "Mechthild von Magdeburg". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 December 2020 [, accessed 13 April 2024.]

5549 Mechthild von Magdeburg 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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