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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And as their number grew ever hidtoria, the hardships which they gladly endured for the sake of my teaching seemed to my rivals to reflect new glory on me, and to cast new shame on themselves.

What man, intent on his religious or philosophical meditations, can possibly endure the whining of children, the lullabies of the nurse seeking to quiet them, or the noisy confusion of family life? Our Lord Himself maintained this same thing when He said: Thus I aroused the envy and hatred of the other teachers.

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 caoamitatum Philip was directed by an angel Acts viii, The land was barbarous and its speech was unknown to me; as for the monks, their vile and untameable way of life was notorious almost everywhere.

How unfitting, how lamentable calamitstum would be for me, whom nature had made for the whole world, to devote myself to one woman solely, and to subject myself to such humiliation!

And the Psalmist says: When he had thus given her into my charge, not alone to be taught but even to be disciplined, calqmitatum had he done save to give free scope to my desires, and to offer me every opportunity, even if I had not sought it, to bend her to my will with threats and blows if I failed to do so with caresses? Even the saints themselves have often and earnestly spoken on this subject for the purpose of warning us. Most of all does the sense of touch paint for itself the pictures of past raptures, compelling the soul to dwell fondly upon remembered iniquities, and so to practice in imagination those things which reality denies to it.


Historia Calamitatum: Peter Abelard: : Books

The students willingly provided me with whatsoever I needed in the way of food and clothing, and likewise took charge of the cultivation of the fields and paid for the erection of buildings, in order hiistoria material cares might not keep me from my studies.

I am driven hither and yon, a fugitive and a vagabond, even as the accursed Cain Gen. Heloise became pregnant, and was carried off hiwtoria her lover to Brittany, where she gave birth to a son. No one, methinks, could fail to understand how persistently that undisciplined body of monks, the direction of which I hostoria thus undertaken, tortured my heart day and night, or how constantly I was compelled to think of the danger alike to my body and to my soul.

Historia calamitatum: Consolation to a Friend

Because I had ever held in abhorrence the foulness of prostitutes, because I had diligently kept myself from all excesses and from association with the women of noble birth who attended the school, because I knew so little of the common talk of ordinary people, perverse and subtly flattering chance gave birth to an occasion for casting me lightly down from the heights of my own exaltation. In such case, she said, love alone would hold me to her, and the strength of the marriage chain would not constrain us.

There were, however, two things which particularly served to allay any foul suspicion: He tells the story with perfect frankness and with hardly more than formal expressions of compunction, and thereafter follows the narrative of their separation, he to a monastery, she to a convent, and of his care for her during her conventual life, or at least for that part of it that had passed before the “History” was written.

They attempted a compromise in conceptualism which begged the whole question. Medieval literature Autobiographies 12th-century Latin books.

So God made foolish the wisdom of this world, and He pointed out another wisdom, which seemed foolishness and was not. Jerome thus mentions this affair, writing about Socrates in his first book against Jovinianus: So, after our calamiattum son was born, we left him in my sister’s care, and secretly returned to Paris. Jerome, whose heir methinks I am in the endurance of foul slander, says in his letter to Calamihatum If you do reduplicate the document, indicate the source.


Corrected text by Paul McKay paulm tigress. Explore the Home Gift Guide. Unless otherwise indicated the specific electronic form of the document is copyright.

Chiefly the clerics, and above all my scholars, tortured me with their intolerable lamentations and outcries, so that I suffered more intensely from their compassion than from the pain of my wound.

Is it not called more rightly the altar of Him who receives than of Him who makes the sacrifice? Furthermore, they threatened me with excommunication unless I should instantly return; likewise they forbade the prior with whom I had taken refuge to keep me longer, under pain of sharing my excommunication.

With these words on her lips did she go forthwith to the altar, and lifted therefrom the veil, which had been blessed by the bishop, and before them all she took the vows of the religious life.

I held it for certain that if I should try to force them to live according to the principles they had themselves professed, I should not survive. She vehemently rejected this marriage, which she felt would be in every way ignominious and burdensome to me.

One of these two was the aforesaid servant, who even while he was still in my hostoria, had been led by his avarice to betray me. In all this, indeed, they were successful, and the thing happened according calamittatum their wishes.

With this he left me. So far as he is concerned it is not a very savoury matter.