Historia calamitatum: Consolation to a Friend (Toronto Medieval Latin Texts)

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9780888444820: Historia calamitatum: Consolation to a Friend (Toronto Medieval Latin Texts)
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Peter Abelard's Letter to a Friend, frequently known as The Story of My Calamities, recounts the meteoric and disastrous career of one of the driving forces of the twelfth-century renaissance. The son of a minor Breton noble family, a public intellectual who turned the academic establishment on its head, lover of Heloise, and sometimes his own worst enemy, Abelard produced in elegant prose one of the signal works of medieval autobiography. This new edition presents the Latin text as it appears in the earliest manuscript--until recently misdated by a hundred years--studded with a commentary that explicates the circumstances of its composition, context, and language.

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About the Author:

Peter Abelard (1079-1142) was the preeminent philosopher of the twelfth century and perhaps the greatest logician of the middle ages. During his life he was equally famous as a poet and a composer, and might also have ranked as the preeminent theologian of his day had his ideas earned more converts and less condemnation. In all areas Abelard was brilliant, innovative, and controversial. He was a genius. He knew it, and made no apologies. His vast knowledge, wit, charm, and even arrogance drew a generation of Europe's finest minds to Paris to learn from him. Many of the misfortunes which the "Historia Calamitatum" relates were the direct outcome of Abélard's uncompromising position as a rationalist, and this important document is above all interesting for the picture it gives of Peter Abélard himself, against the background of early twelfth century France.

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