Abelard and Finding the True Career

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This paper encompasses a discussion of Abelard and Finding the True Career from The letters of Abelard and Heloise. The true career will be examined and the examination will encompass the first five letters from the book.


His father, Berengar, was lord of the village, his mother's name was Lucia; both afterwards entered the monastic state. Peter, the oldest of their children, was intended for a military career, but, as he himself tells us, he abandoned Mars for Minerva, the profession of arms for that of learning. Accordingly, at an early age, he left his father's castle and sought instruction as a wandering scholar at the schools of the most renowned teachers of those days. Among these teachers was Roscelin the Nominalist, at whose school at Locmenach, near Vannes, Abelard certainly spent some time before he proceeded to Paris. Although the University of Paris did not exist as a corporate institution until more than half a century after Abelard's death, there flourished at Paris in his time the Cathedral School, the School of Ste. Genevive, and that of St. Germain des Pr, the forerunners of the university schools of the following century. The Cathedral School was undoubtedly the most important of these, and thither the young Abelard directed his steps in order to study dialectic under the renowned master (scholasticus) William of Champeaux. Soon, (New Advent) however, the youth from the province, for whom the prestige of a great name was far from awe-inspiring, not only ventured to object to the teaching of the Parisian master, but also attempted to set up as a rival teacher. ...
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