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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Even to the present time I stand face to face with this danger, fearing calamihatum sword which threatens my neck so that I can scarcely draw a free breath between one meal and the next. So, after the lapse of several months, did it happen with us.

Historia Calamitatum by Peter Abelard

valamitatum Swayed by repentance for his injustice, and feeling that he had yielded enough to satisfy their rancour, he shortly freed me from the monastery whither I had been taken, and sent me back to my own. 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, After our master had returned, however, he lost nearly all of these followers, and thus was compelled to give up the direction calamitatjm the school.

What steps to take against me, or what snares to set for me, he did not know. What curses would follow such calamitztum loss to the Church, what tears among the philosophers would result from such a marriage!

All these things, philosophy, art, personality, character, were the product caamitatum the time, which, in its definiteness and consistency, stands apart from all other epochs in history. The thing which tormented me most was the fact that, having abandoned my oratory, I could make no suitable provision for the celebration there of the divine office, for indeed the extreme poverty of the place would scarcely provide the necessities of one man.

Among the Jews of old there were the Nazarites, who consecrated themselves to the Lord, some of them calaamitatum sons of the prophet Elias and others the followers of Eliseus, the monks of whom, on the authority of St.


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Thus indeed did it come to pass. But when she found that she could not convince me or dissuade me from my folly by these and like arguments, and because she could not bear to offend me, with grievous sighs and tears she made an end of her resistance, saying: When I pondered over the injury which slander had done to so great a man as this, I was not a little consoled thereby.

Denis, and that there a large convocation of learned men should determine, on the basis of a careful investigation, what ought to be done. And whosoever dissents from this is openly in error, and must not be listened to.

For this purpose I persuaded the girl’s uncle, with the aid of some of his friends, to take me into his household–for he dwelt hard by my school–in return for the payment of a small sum. NOW this venerable man of whom I have spoken was acutely smitten with envy, and straightway incited, as I have already mentioned, by the insinuations of sundry persons, began to persecute me for my lecturing on the Scriptures no less bitterly than my former master, William, had done for my work in philosophy.

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Historia calamitatum: Consolation to a Friend

Read more Read less. And as their number grew ever greater, 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.

I answered that if they wished, I was ready to try it. They gladly laid hold of the daily eagerness of my students to hear me as an excuse whereby they might be rid of me; and finally, at the insistent urging of the students themselves, and with the hearty consent of the abbot and the rest of the brotherhood, I departed thence to a certain hut, there to teach in my wonted way.

And as their number grew ever greater, 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.

Our speech was more of love than of the books which lay open before us; our kisses far outnumbered our reasoned words. A false report, as that same wise man reminds us, is easily crushed, and a man’s later life gives testimony as to his earlier deeds. Out of this sprang the beginning of my misfortunes, which have followed me even to the present day; the more widely my fame was spread abroad, the more bitter was the envy that was kindled against me.


The very cruelty and heartlessness of my punishment, however, made every one who heard the story vehement in censuring it, so that those who had a hand therein were soon eager to disclaim all responsibility, shouldering the blame on others. For this reason they refused to listen either to my own plea or to that of the count.

Is it not called more rightly the altar of Him who receives than of Him who calamitaatum the sacrifice? And likewise the word of truth says: If, however, you care to consider logical explanations, I am prepared to demonstrate that, according to Augustine’s statement, you have yourself fallen into a heresy in believing that a father can possibly be his own son.

Sometimes men just get what they deserve! The error which led them into this false accusation resulted from their failure to perceive the identity of the Paraclete with the Spirit Paraclete. The twelfth and thirteenth centuries were not an age of moral laxity; ideals and standards and conduct were immeasurably higher than they had been for five hundred years, higher than they were to be in the centuries that followed the crest of Mediaevalism. The ideal bed is a name, imagined by ourselves, said Aristotle.

Here, however, I found almost as many enemies as I had in the former days of which I have already spoken, for the vileness and shamelessness of their way of living made them realize that they would again have to endure my censure. But now has Satan beset me to such an extent that I no longer know where I may find rest, or even so much as live.