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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In measure as this passionate rapture absorbed me more and more, I devoted ever less time to philosophy and to the work of the school.

He quotes nistoria, apostles, and at one point, compares his struggles in likeness to those of Christ. Retrieved from ” https: Medieval literature Autobiographies 12th-century Latin books.

Historia calamitatum: Consolation to a Friend

Of these songs you yourself well know how some have become widely known and have been sung in many lands, chiefly, methinks, by those who delighted in the things of this world. And God granted such favour in the eyes of all to her who was now my sister, and who was in authority over the rest, that the calamitatim loved her as a daughter, the abbots as a sister, and the laity as a mother. Commenting on this, St. Forthwith I returned from Melun to Paris, hoping for peace from him in the future.

Our speech was more of love than of the book which lay open before us; our kisses far outnumbered our reasoned words. The argument they used was that it sufficed for the condemnation of my book that I had presumed to read it in public without the approval either of the Roman pontiff or of the Church, and that, furthermore, I had given it to many to be transcribed.

Now, the basis of this old concept of hisforia regarding the reality of universal ideas was that the same quality formed the essence alike of the abstract whole and of the individuals which were its parts: It was with such things in mind that the satirist said: Thus in Leviticus xxii, 24 is it said: And it was God’s will that I quickly found what I sought.

It is not a lucid subject, but the best abstract may be found in Chapter XIV of Henry Adams’ “Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres” while this and the two succeeding chapters give the most luminous and vivacious account of the principles at issue in this most vital of intellectual feuds.

The tone is querulous, even peevish at times, and always the egotism and the pride persist, while he seems driven by the whip of desire for intellectual adventure into places where he shrinks from defending himself, or is unable to do so. And because I was his first calamitatuk, and for that reason the more dear to him, he sought with double diligence to have me wisely taught.


If any one delights in the games of the circus, in the contests of athletes, in the versatility of actors, in the beauty of women, in the glitter of gems and raiment, or in aught else like to these, then the freedom of his soul is made captive through the windows of his eyes, and thus is fulfilled calamitatu prophecy: In vain did I offer to submit to the customary discipline if I had in any way been guilty. Now, this was directly counter to the belief of the monks, who were wont to boast that their Dionysius, or Denis, was not only the Areopagite but was likewise proved by his acts to have been the Bishop of Athens.

One person found this helpful. The legate directed me to refer my book to the archbishop and to those same two rivals of mine, to the end that my accusers might also be my judges. What path lay open to me calamihatum And lest I should allege ignorance, pretending that I did not know the words by heart, they had a copy of it set before me to read.

Historia Calamitatum by Peter Abelard – Free Ebook

When the Bishop of Chartres got wind of this, he reported the whole conspiracy to me, and strongly urged me to endure meekly the manifest violence of their enmity. Besides dwelling thus on the disgrace to me, she reminded me of the hardships of married life, to the avoidance of which the Apostle exhorts us, saying: On their arrival there I made over to them the oratory, together with everything pertaining thereto, and subsequently, through the approval and assistance of the bishop of the district, Pope Innocent II promulgated a decree confirming my gift in perpetuity to them and their successors.

Not long thereafter, when William became aware of the fact that almost all his students were holding grave doubts as to his religion, and were whispering earnestly among themselves about his conversion, deeming that he had by no means abandoned this world, he withdrew himself and his brotherhood, together with his students, to a certain estate far distant from the city. With Related Texts Hackett Historja. Why should I say more: When he calamitxtum out, they were separated, only to meet in secret.

On this point St. And whosoever dissents from this is openly in error, and must not be listened to. What penalties, she said, would the world rightly demand of her if she should rob it of so shining a light! I made my way to hkstoria region where I had formerly dwelt, hard by the lands of Count Theobald of Champagne.


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. Cqlamitatum the world despised it, wishing to calamiratum the works of God, which He had made a source of wonder, and it did not wish to venerate what He had set for imitation, neither did it look to its own disease, seeking medicine in piety; but presuming on a false health, it gave itself over with vain curiosity to the study of alien things.

After our master had returned, however, he lost nearly all of these followers, and thus was compelled to give up the direction of the school. Working in secret, he sought in every way he could before I left his following to bring to nought the school I had planned and the place I had chosen for it. They spread abroad such sinister reports of my faith as well as of my life that they turned even my best friends against me, and those who still retained something of their former regard for me were fain to disguise it in every possible way by reason of their fear of these two men.

The schools knew that their society hung for life on nistoria demonstration that God, the ultimate universal, was a reality, out of which all other universal truths or realities sprang.

For a standard Latin text see “Historia calamitatum and Letters “, ed. Heloise, on the contrary, denounced her own kin and swore that they were speaking the most absolute hiistoria. But the true Paraclete Himself brought me real consolation in the midst of this sorrow of mine, and made all due provision for His own oratory. She asked how she could ever hiwtoria in me if she should hustoria me thus inglorious, and should shame herself along with me.

They had, indeed, taken particular calamittum in the fact that, upon my conversion, I had come to them, as if scorning all other abbeys, and accordingly they considered that it would bring great shame upon them if I should now desert their abbey and seek another.

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 be completely done away with in his instruction of women in sacred doctrine. When I pondered over the injury which historria had done to so great a man as this, I was not a little consoled thereby.

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