Saturday, May 15, 2010

Tragic story of Heloise and Abélard

May 15, 1162 (Sources differ as to dates) Heloise (b. 1101) died in Paraclete Abbey. She was the brilliant student and later lover of French theologian and philosopher Pierre Abélard (Peter Abelard; 1079 - 1142), but their tragic love affair resulted in his castration.

The medieval story of Heloise and Abélard, written down by two of the protagonists of the tale, tells us that Heloise was an orphan, 18 years old, living with a canon of Nôtre Dame Cathedral at Paris, Fulbert, who was her uncle and guardian. Abélard was her tutor, at first by mail, and she grew greatly in learning. Abélard, twice her age, was the most famed man of his time, a rising teacher, philosopher and theologian, and pupils came to him by the thousands. He was also very attractive to women, had a good voice and sang beautifully. Heloise wrote "Female hearts were unable to resist (his singing)" ...

This is just a snippet of today's stories. Read all about today in folklore, historical oddities, inspiration and alternatives, with many more links, at the Wilson's Almanac Book of Days, every day. Click today's date (or your birthday).

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