Peter Abelard’s autobiography, the Historia calamitatum, is one of the best-known medieval texts, especially because of the story of his love for Heloise which it. The “Historia Calamitatum” was written while AbĂ©lard was still abbot of the monastery of St. Gildas, in Brittany. The terrors of his existence there are fully dwelt on. The Historia Calamitatum, although in the literary form of a letter, is a sort of autobiography, with distinct echoes of Augustine’s Confessions. It is one of the most.

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This extensive letter provides an honest self-analysis of Peter Abelard’s up to the age of about fifty-four.

Bernard, rode high on the mounting force in its swift and almost violent ascent. We read, too, of that eunuch of great authority under Queen Candace who had charge of all her treasure, him to whose conversion and baptism the apostle Philip was directed by an angel Acts viii, Therein above all should I perceive how it was the hand of God that had touched me, when I should devote my life to the study of letters in freedom from the snares of the flesh and withdrawn from the tumultuous life of this world.

No sooner had I reached the city, therefore, than I went forthwith to the legate; to him I submitted my book for examination and judgment, declaring that if I had written anything repugnant to the Catholic faith, I was quite ready to correct it or otherwise to make satisfactory amends. I went to his lectures less and less often, a thing which some among his eminent followers took sorely to heart, because they interpreted it as a mark of contempt for so illustrious a teacher.

The story of this philosophical soldier of fortune is a romance from beginning to end, a poignant human drama shot through with passion, adventure, pathos and tragedy. Our speech was more of love than of the book which lay open before us; our kisses far outnumbered our reasoned words.

When her uncle and his kinsmen heard of this, they were convinced that now I had completely played them false and had rid myself forever of Heloise by forcing her to become a nun. But if I would heed neither the counsel of the Apostle nor the exhortations of the saints regarding this heavy yoke of matrimony, she bade me at least consider the advice of the philosophers, and weigh carefully what had been written on this subject either by them or concerning their lives.


Amazon Drive Cloud storage from Amazon. Within himself each one’s conscience suffices, but for our own sakes our reputations ought not to be tarnished, but to flourish. Would you like to tell us about a lower price? And — since I found the armory of logical reasoning more to my liking than the other forms of philosophy, I exchanged all other weapons for these, and to the prizes of victory in war I preferred the battle of minds in disputation.

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In what sobriety and continence these men lived it is not for me to prove by illustration, lest I should seem to instruct Minerva herself. But since, as I have said, he had caused my place to be occupied by a rival of mine, I pitched the camp, as it were, of my school outside the city on Mont Ste. Alexa Actionable Analytics for the Web.

He was tortured by the impossibility of rejecting man’s reason by reason; unconsciously sceptical, he forced himself to disbelieve in himself rather than admit a doubt of God.

Straightway upon my summons I went to the council, and there, without further examination or debate, did they compel me with my own hand to cast that memorable book of mine into the flames. This calmitatum method of cslamitatum reflection — also hixtoria in Gratian’s approach to canon law — was to become an important feature of western education and distinguishes it sharply from other world cultures such as Islam and the Confucian world.

And in order to make amends even beyond his extremest hope, I offered to marry her whom I had seduced, provided only the thing could be kept secret, so that I might suffer no loss of reputation thereby. These two, now that both William and Anselm, our erstwhile teachers, were dead, were greedy to reign in their stead, and, so to speak, to succeed them as heirs.

The Historia Calamitatum provides readers with knowledge of his views of women, learning, monastic life, Church and State combined, and the social milieu of the time.

Once the first wildness of shame had passed, it left us calamitatuum shameless than before, and as shame died within us the cause of it seemed to us ever more desirable.


Indeed it is true, as Jerome says: The sixth book of the Ecclesiastical History tells us that the greatest of all Christian philosophers, Origen, inflicted a like injury on himself with his own hand, in order that all suspicion of this nature might calxmitatum completely done away with in his instruction of women in sacred doctrine.

Historia Calamitatum – Wikipedia

The very man who had succeeded to my master’s chair in the Paris school offered me his post, in order that he might put himself under my tutelage along with all the rest, and this in the very place where of old his master and mine had reigned. No sooner had I learned this than I sent her to a convent of nuns at Argenteuil, not far from Paris, where she herself had been brought up and educated as a young girl.

Pick out and give us an exposition of some doubtful passage in the Scriptures, so that we can put this boast of yours to the proof. It appeared from their words that they thought I wished to go to some other abbey, a thing which they regarded as an immense disgrace to their own.

Historia Calamitatum

He himself had some slight acquaintance with me, and had compassion on me by reason of my persecutions, of which the story had reached him. Who would presume to erase from above the door the name of him who is the master of the calamiattum There were, however, two things which particularly served to allay any foul suspicion: Yet more, I had a father who had won some smattering of letters falamitatum he had girded on the soldier’s belt.

This I do so that, in comparing your sorrows with mine, you may discover that yours are in truth nought, or at the most but of small account, and so shall you come to bear them more easily. I saw, too, how justly Valamitatum had punished me in that very part of my body whereby I had sinned.