Abelard And Heloise Of Historia Calamitatum

792 words - 4 pages

The twelfth century was divided into two phases: Early Middle Ages or Dark Ages and the High Middle Ages. It's during the High Middle Ages when things started to take a turn both mentally and physically. Churches developed more stamina and papal bureaucracy was created. The government was revived. Urbanization increased and most of all a sudden increase was brought in cultural revitalization and courtly love was an important aspect of this awakening. Courtly love is defined as humility, courtesy, adultery and religion of love. This is what I believe Abelards's and Heloise's relationship was based on in Abelard's Historia Calamitatum and his letters to Heloise.


Abelard was a ...view middle of the document...


I believe Abelard and Heloise got engaged in the first "modern" love affair. Because they enjoyed each other both sexually and intellectually, just as how it's perceived in today's world. Though Heloise's attitude towards marriage and love was quite different from the other women of the twelfth century. She resisted the idea of marriage because she thought it was more of an economical and political idea than real love and that she would rather be called a whore or a mistress instead of a wife. (Radice 74). This tells us about her individuality and also that she didn't consider marriage part of love unlike most of the women of her time. Love is portrayed in many forms in this book. Like for example love of learning. The first thing Abelard does in his writing of Historia Calamitatum is portray himself as an individual just like Heloise. He denounced the popular and glorious life of a soldier and in order to study words and philosophy. I believe in writing this he shows his clever and different way of thinking by referring to dialectic. "I chose the weapons of dialectic to all the other teachings of philosophy and armed with these, I chose the conflict of disputation instead of trophies of war." (Radice 58).


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