Book Series Toronto Medieval Latin Texts, vol. 32

Peter Abelard

Historia calamitatum: Consolation to a Friend: Edited from Troyes, Médiathèque du Grand Troyes, MS 802

Alexander Andrée (ed)

  • Pages: 108 p.
  • Size:140 x 215 mm
  • Language(s):Latin, English
  • Publication Year:2015

Temporarily Out of Stock
  • ISBN: 978-0-88844-482-0
  • Paperback
  • Temporarily Out of Stock


"Any commentary with a pedagogical focus will generate quibbles in choice and presentation, yet readers of every kind, from struggling Latin students to Abelard scholars, will discover something of value here. All who approach this edition in the spirit in which it was created will be grateful for its inclusion in the Toronto Medieval Latin Series, and Andrée and PIMS are to be applauded for producing this exceptionally useful and affordable resource." (Joseph McAlhany, in: The Medieval Review 16.02.16)

« (…) il est clair que le travail d’Alexander Andrée met désormais à la disposition des chercheurs le meilleur texte actuellement disponible, le plus conforme au manuscrit de Troyes dont personne ne conteste l’autorité, et que c’est donc à lui qu’il conviendra désormais de se référer (…) » (Jacques Verger, dans Francia Recensio, 1, 2017)

« (…) la confrontation de cas de figure variés, sur une période rarement étudiée comme un ensemble, est riche d’enseignements et constitue une contribution notable a l’histoire urbaine. » (Frédérique Lachaud, dans Le Moyen Âge, 1/124, 2018, p. 166)


Alexander Andrée is an Associate Professor of Medieval Studies (Palaeography and Medieval Latin) and a Fellow of St Michael’s College, Toronto.


Peter Abelard’s Letter to a Friend, frequently known as The Story of My Calamities, recounts the meteoric and disastrous career of one of the driving forces of the twelfth-century renaissance. The son of a minor Breton noble family, a public intellectual who turned the academic establishment on its head, lover of Heloise, and sometimes his own worst enemy, Abelard produced in elegant prose one of the signal works of medieval autobiography. This new edition presents the Latin text as it appears in the earliest manuscript—until recently misdated by a hundred years—studded with a commentary that explicates the circumstances of its composition, context, and language.