Litterae Ignotae
of Abbess Hildegard

Ian James
© May 2015

script name

This “unknown alphabet” was devised by (or divinely revealed to) the German mystic Hildegard of Bingen in around 1200 AD. It was occasionally used to write down her secretive Lingua Ignota “unknown language”. It is a simple cypher of Latin letters, and it is interesting to compare this alphabet to the later Enochian alphabet of Kelley and Dee.

Chart of letters

The font used here is a stylized, typographical version based on Hildegard’s original key. In it, I have tried to distinguish letter shape-families, and make the alphabet amenable to book text. There are some interesting orthographical effects to be seen in written examples, despite this being a simple cypher.


This is a verse from the 5th Song of Solomon, transliterated from Latin into the litterae ignotae, using the font shown above.

example text  
Ego dormio et cor meum vigilat
vox dilecti mei pulsantis; aperi mihi
soror mea amica mea columba mea
inmaculata meaquia caput meum plenum est
rore et cincinni mei guttis noctium;


Last modified May.10,2015