Pierre AbélardComments
siblingsChristian supersession from JudaismDavid HumeHagiographyMonasticismNew TestamentPeter LombardProtestant ReformationRené Descartes

Pierre Abélard

Birth in FrancePierre Abélard (Peter Abelard) was born in the north of France in Brittany to a powerful family of local nobility.
Early in life, Abelard studied with Ruscolines (one of the greatest logicians of his time).
1100Around 1100 when he was 21 he studied with William of Champeaux (with whom he developed a contentious relationship).
Abelard in Melun1102Abelard was such a masterful logician that he opened up his own school in Melun.
Abelard in Paris1108By 1108 he went to Paris where he taught in partnership with William of Champeau. There was a great debate at the time on the great philosophical problem of universals. In this field, Peter increased his fame with what he accomplished on this debate.
Abelard in Laon1113Abelard focused on theology in Laon, where people were devoted to writing glosses of the sort eventually made famous by Lombard.
Abelard in Paris1114Returned to Paris to teach at Notre Dame.
Abellard and Helloise1115Abelard became friends with the enemies of his former teacher Champeaux, and in this group was a man named Fulbert whose niece Helloise was about sixteen years old. She fell in love with Abelard and became pregnant by him. As a result, Fulbert and other relatives attacked and castrated Abelard in 1117.
Abelard's Castration1117
1121Abelard was formally condemned by a council of the church.
Sic et Non
(Yes and no)
1125Abelard released Sic et Non in 1125.
Historia calamitatum
(History of my calamities)
1132Like Augustine, he wrote an autobiography with his relationship with Helloise remaining a central theme.
1140Abelard was condemned again,this time by the pope himself Innocent II


Dr. Brian Copenhaver. A Historical Introduction to Philosophy. Lecture, UCLA. August 27, 2012.