Letters of Abelard and Heloise  

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The Letters of Heloise and Abelard are a series of letters between French priest Peter Abelard and his female student Héloïse d’Argenteuil.

There are two time periods in this correspondence, the first, only recently discovered, are the so-called epistolae duorum amantium.

The second period of letters comes after the publication of Historia Calamitatum, the story of the Abelard's misfortunes as told by himself, and consists of six letters. The first of them is entitled 'Abelard to Philintus' and is followed by a letter from Heloise to Abelard and an answer by Abelard. After this Heloise writes two more letters and finally receives a last answer. The letters were written in Latin.

The letters are only known by posthumous copies which makes it impossible to ascertain their authenticity, no original copies of these letters exist. The historicity of the letters is discussed at length by Constant Mews.

Publication history

The original Latin text was published in Paris in 1616, edited by François d'Amboise, but it was only after the publication of a French translation of the correspondence in 1693 that they began to attract wide public attention.

John Hughes (c. 1678-1720) translated the Letters of Abelard and Heloise, in an edition preceded by a summary of their lives by Pierre Bayle (first published in 1713).

Public domain versions

There is a Wikisource version here[1], edited by Israel Gollancz and Honnor Morten (1861-1913) in 1901, but Wikisource does not include the comments and introductions. However, Sacred-Texts has them here[2]

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Letters of Abelard and Heloise" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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