Herrad compiled the 300-page
as an educational resource for the abbey nuns.
, she and several other copyists collected texts from classical and biblical sources covering topics ranging from theology to philosophy to cosmology to include in the work. But the encyclopedia's real claim to fame is in its art. In addition to 67 poems and what may be the first example of polyphony—that is, music that includes two or more notes sung simultaneously—from a convent, the tome contains 344 illustrations. Of them, 130 are full-color, full-page illuminations of the text. Unfortunately, the original Hortus Deliciarum burned during a siege in the Franco-Prussian war, so we're only left with recreations of Herrad's trailblazing volume. Learn more about education in the middle ages with the videos below.