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Peter Abelard
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Philosopher
    (1079-April 21, 1142)
    Born in Le Pallet, France
    Scholastic philosopher, theologian and teacher
    Known for his affair, marriage and correspondence with his student Heloise
    Wrote 'Sic et Non' ('Yes and No'), 'Scito Te Ipsum' ('Know Yourself'), 'Dialectica,' 'Dailogue of a Philosopher with a Jew and a Christian' and the autobiographical 'The Story of My Misfortunes'
    He considered himself the 'only undefeated philosopher.'
    He convinced Heloise's uncle/guardian, Fulbert, to let him move into their house so he could tutor her, then seduced her.
    He knocked her up, then married her secretly after the birth of their son.
    He joined the Abbey of St. Denis only to be kicked out for trying to prove that the monastery had not actually been founded by St. Denis.
    He was repeatedly accused of heresy and forced to burn some of his works.
    Ironically for a philosopher, his last words were said to be, 'I don't know.'
    He is much more famous for his affair with Heloise than for his philosophy.
    Fulbert got his revenge against Abelard by hiring thugs to castrate him.
    He attracted crowds of thousands of students.
    The monks at St. Gildas-de-Rhuys tried to poison him when he tried to get them to give up their concubines.
    He was a composer whose songs were praised by Heloise for their 'great charm and sweetness in language and music.'
    Couples leave letters at his and Heloise's tomb in Pere Lachaise in hope of finding true love.

Credit: C. Fishel


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