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Peter Abelard Quotes

Quotations Written by Philosopher Peter Abelard


  • Against the disease of writing one must take special precautions, since it is a dangerous and contagious disease.
    -- Letter 8 to Heloise

  • O how great and glorious are those sabbaths which the heavenly court for ever celebrates!
    (O quanta qualia sunt illa sabata,
    Quae semper celebrat superna curia
    -- Hymnus Paraclitensis

  • Often the hearts of men and women are stirred, as likewise they are soothed in their sorrows, more by example than by words. And therefore, because I too have known some consolation from speech had with one who was a witness thereof, am I now minded to write of the sufferings which have sprung out of my misfortunes, for the eyes of one who, though absent, is of himself ever a consoler. This I do so that, in comparing your sorrows with mine, you may discover that yours are in truth nought, or at the most but of small account, and so shall you come to bear them more easily.
    -- Historia Calamitatum, translated by Henry Adams Bellows

  • The first key to wisdom is defined, of course, as assiduous and frequent questioning.
    -- Sic et Non, translated by W. J. Lewis

  • Under the pretext of study we spent our hours in the happiness of love, and learning held out to us the secret opportunities that our passion craved. Our speech was more of love than of the books which lay open before us; our kisses far outnumbered our reasoned words.
    -- Historia Calamitatum, translated by Henry Adams Bellows

  • We call the intention good which is right in itself, but the action is good, not because it contains within it some good, but because it issues from a good intention. The same act may be done by the same man at different times. According to the diversity of his intention, however, this act may be at one time good, at another bad.
    -- Ethics, translated by J.R. McCallum

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