The Letter Collection of Peter Abelard and Heloise

Hardcover | September 27, 2013

EditorDavid Luscombe

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The collected letters of Peter Abelard and Heloise provide an extraordinarily vivid account of one of the most celebrated love affairs in the western world. It was an affair that developed into a vigorous quarrel and raised fundamental questions about love, marriage, and religious life, andalso provided a uniquely valuable illustration of the intellectual and religious ferment that is called the Renaissance of the twelfth century. Abelard was the leading philosopher of his time and a very public figure in France, as well as being a fiercely attacked theologian and unpopular abbot. Heloise, his brilliant pupil, lover, and wife, also became a nun and abbess, much against her will. She provoked this brilliantly writtencorrespondence which is widely regarded as one of the finest literary compositions of the twelfth century. These letters have for many centuries given enjoyment to their readers and have inspired numerous creative imitations.They have also given rise to huge disagreements over their historical content and significance. The collection opens with an autobiography which contains the story of the calamities that followed Abelard's successes - his castration, his condemnation for heresy, and the unhappiness of the couple'sseparation. Heloise's letters show an exceptional outpouring of grief and bitter recrimination. Yet the correspondence closes with thoroughly serious, scholarly, and original enquiries into the origins and development of pagan, Jewish, and Christian ideals of religious life both male and female. Itconstitutes a fundamental source for discussion and debate about important features of thought and religion in the Middle Ages. A new critical edition based on all the manuscripts has long been needed. Its appearance here with a facing English translation, a full introduction, extensive annotation taking into account recent scholarship, and detailed indexes will enable all kinds of readers to enjoy the letters and to jointhe debates which they always stir.

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The collected letters of Peter Abelard and Heloise provide an extraordinarily vivid account of one of the most celebrated love affairs in the western world. It was an affair that developed into a vigorous quarrel and raised fundamental questions about love, marriage, and religious life, andalso provided a uniquely valuable illustration...

David Luscombe studied and taught in the University of Cambridge and was Professor of Medieval History in the University of Sheffield until 2003. He has edited other writings by Abelard and has written extensively on the history of medieval thought and religion. He has been a Fellow of the British Academy since 1986 and was President ...

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Paperback|Apr 1 1997

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:842 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.1 inPublished:September 27, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198222483

ISBN - 13:9780198222484

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Table of Contents

IntroductionHistory And LegendThe Letter CollectionOther LettersOther Letters Relating to the Oratory of the ParacleteAuthorship and Authenticity of the Letter CollectionStyle and StructureEpistulae Duorum AmantiumThe Development of the Oratory of the ParacleteHistory of the TextThe Surviving ManuscriptsLost or Uncertainly Identified Manuscripts and other Testimonies to the Letter Collection Prior to the First Printed EditionRejected ManuscriptsSummary List of Surviving and Lost or Uncertainly Identified Manuscripts in Approximate Chronological Order and of their Provenance or Earliest Known PossessorsPrinted Editions of the Letter Collection: Before 1800Printed Editions from 1800 of the Letter Collection which use one or more Manuscripts, both Latin and FrenchThe Present EditionRelationships between the ManuscriptsStemmaThe EditionThe TranslationSigla of the ManuscriptsSummary of Manuscript Witnesses to each of the Letters and of their ExtentsLetter 1Letter 2Letter 3Letter 4Letter 5Letter 6Letter 7Letter 8The RuleBibliographyConcordanceIndexes