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Bernard And William Of Saint Thierry

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Chapter Summary

The key figure for understanding the enduring tension between Bernard and Peter Abelard, political as much as intellectual and spiritual, was William of Champeaux. William had reflected on rhetoric commentaries on the De inventione of Cicero and the Rhetorica ad Herennium and on the topics or principles underpinning arguments as taught by Boethius. Within a collection of more than 100 love letters and poems, exchanged between a brilliant but controversial master and his unusually gifted female student, we find the two protagonists debating precisely the one passage from Cicero's De amicitia that Abelard subsequently includes, alongside many patristic texts about love, in the Sic et Non.

Keywords:Bernard; Champeaux; Clairvaux; Peter Abelard



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