Peter Abelard's Expositio in hexaemeron, or interpretation of the six-day work of creation, was commissioned by Heloise for the community of the Paraclete. The work is unusual in that it gives priority to the historical over the allegorical sense, and bears strong affinities to the writings of Thierry of Chartres and other twelfth century students of the natural sciences. As such, it is evidence both for the general state of twelfth century knowledge of cosmology, and for the quality of scholarship available in particular to a community of women religious.
The source text of this volume appeared in Corpus Christianorum Continuatio Mediaeualis as Expositio in Hexameron (CCCM 15). References to the corresponding pages of the Corpus Christianorum edition are provided in the margins of this translation.
Wanda Zemler-Cizewski is Associate Professor of historical theology in the Department of Theology at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She received her doctorate in Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto in 1983, and is the author of numerous articles on early scholastic biblical interpretation and theology.