IMC 2006: Sessions

Session 1022: Latin Letters and Letter Collections, III: Abelard, Heloise, and Pier della Vigna

Wednesday 12 July 2006, 09.00-10.30

Organiser:Lena Wahlgren-Smith, Centre for Medieval & Renaissance Culture, University of Southampton
Moderator/Chair:Lena Wahlgren-Smith, Centre for Medieval & Renaissance Culture, University of Southampton
Paper 1022-aRethinking the Audience of Peter Abelard’s Historia calamitatum
(Language: English)
Andrew Cain, Department of Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder
Index terms: Language and Literature - Latin, Rhetoric
Paper 1022-bA Rhetorical Body of Her Own: Heloise Outmastering Abelard in the Epistole duorum amantium
(Language: English)
Isabelle Pinard, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto, Downtown
Index terms: Language and Literature - Latin, Rhetoric, Women’s Studies
Paper 1022-cThe Epistole of Pier della Vigna and Medieval Readers
(Language: English)
Laurie Shepard, Department of Romance Languages & Literatures, Boston College, Massachusetts
Index terms: Language and Literature - Italian, Language and Literature - Latin, Rhetoric
Abstract

This is the third of three sequential sessions devoted to an important form of Latin writing from classical antiquity onward, the letter, and to collections of letters either subsequently published or at least archivally maintained. Andrew Cain argues from a close philological reading of key passages that Abelard’s autobiographical letter Historia calamitatum was composed for the primary purpose of consoling students of his who were undergoing persecution because of their adherence to his teachings. Isabelle Pinard considers the rhetoric and dialectic of Heloise’s letters to Abelard in the Epistole duorum amantium and finds Heloise surpassing her master at his own game. Finally, Laurie Shepard examines posthumously assembled collections of the letters of Pier della Vigna (Frederick II’s imperial protonotary and a highly accomplished prose stylist), and the extent to which these served as rhetorical models in the late 13th and 14th centuries.