"Peter Abelard was a medieval philosopher, poet and musician, born in France in 1079. He taught at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, lodging with Canon Fulbert, whoadmired his work. In time, he also became tutor to Fulbert's beautiful seventeen-yearoldniece, Heloïse.
Abelard and Heloïse began a passionate love affair (Dance of Peter and Heloïse),which resulted in a son, Astrolabe.
For the sake of Abelard's position, they married secretly, and Canon Fulbert waspresent at their marriage. But Fulbert later reacted furiously to news that Abelard hadsent Heloïse to a convent, believing that he had abandoned her in favour of his owncareer. In revenge, he had Abelard castrated (Revenge of Canon Fulbert).
After his mutilation, Abelard became a monk, and he and Heloïse remained constantcorrespondents for the remainder of his life. He composed a hymnbook for Heloïse,who by then was Abbess of the convent of the Paraclete. Among the hymns was avisionary poem of the New Jerusalem, set to a beautiful melody in the Dorian mode,O Quanta Qualia.
On his death in 1142, his remains were taken to the Paraclete at Heloïse's request, andher body was later laid to rest in the same tomb. Finally, their remains were taken toParis and in 1817 they were buried together in one sepulchre (In Paradisum).
Peter Abelard documented much of his own story in a number of writings, includingthe Historia Calamitatum Mearum (The story of my troubles)."