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Peter Abelard

1079-1142. Scholastic philosopher and theologian. Born in Pallet, Brittany, he studied successively under the Nominalist Roscellinus, the extreme Realist [[William of Champeaux]] (whom he made appear inconsistent on the issue of universals), and [[Anselm of Laon]]. A brilliant debater and lecturer, Abelard attracted large numbers of enthusiastic students, first in dialectics and later in theology. His arrogance, however, and his celebrated love affair with the beautiful and talented Héloïse almost ruined his professorial career. About 1115, Abelard was in Paris where he lived in the home of Fulbert, canon of Notre Dame, whose teenage niece Héloïse he had agreed to tutor; but the relationship became too personal, and they had a son whom they named Astrolabe. To pacify Fulbert, Abelard secretly married Héloïse after the son's birth. When calumnious rumors began to circulate, Héloïse agreed to retire to the convent of Argenteuil rather than further damage Abelard's teaching career. Fulbe