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Medieval Autobiographies: Rediscovering Self in the High Middle Ages

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Medieval Autobiographies: Rediscovering Self in the High Middle Ages
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Johnson, William J
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Abbots ( jstor )
Autobiographies ( jstor )
Castration ( jstor )
Chastity ( jstor )
Masculinity ( jstor )
Memoirs ( jstor )
Men ( jstor )
Mothers ( jstor )
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Undergraduate Honors Thesis

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The intent of the project is to analyze and compare the various identities that Peter Abelard and Guibert of No gent presents in their memoirs. 12th century memoirs almost exclusively followed the conventions established by Saint Augustine's Confessions in the 5th century. Although the overall narratives are modeled as a tale of conversion akin to that of Augustine, Abelard and Guibert transition through various class and gender-based identities as the story progresses. Throughout the course ofthe narrative, Abelard presents himself as a reluctant heir, a wandering philosopher, a master scholar, a humiliated celebrity, and a repentant mollie He takes ownership of his own narrative in order to rebuild his trarnished public image. In contrast Guibert builds his identity by describing his life in the context of a divine destiny. Analyzing these identities in the context of the medieval world will aid in revealing the extent to which individuality developed during the period. In tum, this greater understanding of medieval individuality will qualify the extent to which the theorized "12th Century Renaissance" had on the development of Western European society. ( en )
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Awarded Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, on May 2, 2017. Major(s): History
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College or School: College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
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Advisor: Nina Caputo. Advisor Deptarment or School: History

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Copyright William J Johnson. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.

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GRANT OF PERMISSIONS In reference to the following title(s) : [William Johnson]. [Medieval Autobiographies: Rediscovering Self in the High Middle Ages]. [UF History Honors Program] : [UF History Department] [April 19, 2017]. I, 'J:O-,,", ,as copyright holder or licensee with the authority to grant copyright permissions for the aforementioned title(s) hereby authorize the University of Florida acting on behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of Florida, to digitize, distribute and archive the title(s) for nonprofit, educational purposes via the Internet or successive technologies. This is a non-exclusive grant of permissions for on-line and off-line use for an indefinite term. Off-line uses shall be consistent either, for educational uses, with the terms of U S copyright legislation's "fair use" provisions or by the University of Florida, with the maintenance and preservation of an archival copy. Digitization allows the University of Florida to generate imageand text-based versions as appropriate and to provide and enhance access using search software This grant of permissions prohibits use of the digitized versions for commercial use or profit. Signature of'Copyright Holder William Johnson Printed or Typed Name of Copyright Holder May 1 ,2017 Date of Signature Attention: Digital Services / Digital Library Center Smathers Libraries University of Florida P .O. Box 117003 Gainesville FL32611-7003 P : 352.273.2900 DLC@ufhb.ufl.edu Form online : http://digital.ufllb.ufl.edu/procedures/copyrightiGrantofPermissions.doc



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(For Office Use Only) Honors Thesis Submission Form Major: _____ Designation: ____ Graduation Term: __ Name: William Johnson UFID: 0853-6829 Additional Authors: Email: wiljjo@msn.com Major: History Advisor Name: Nina Caputo Advisor Email: ncaputo@ufl.edu Advisor Department: History Thesis Title: Medieval Autobiographies: Rediscovering Self in the High Middle Ages Abstract (200 words max): The intent of the project is to analyze and compare the various identities that Peter Abelard and Guibert of No gent presents in their memoirs. 12th century memoirs almost exclusively followed the conventions established by Saint Augustine's Confessions in the 5th century. Although the overall narratives are modeled as a tale of conversion akin to that of Augustine, Abelard and Guibert transition through various class and gender-based identities as the story progresses. Throughout the course ofthe narrative, Abelard presents himself as a reluctant heir, a wandering philosopher, a master scholar, a humiliated celebrity, and a repentant mollie He takes ownership of his own narrative in order to rebuild his trarnished public image. In contrast Guibert builds his identity by describing his life in the context of a divine destiny. Analyzing these identities in the context of the medieval world will aid in revealing the extent to which individuality developed during the period. In tum, this greater understanding of medieval individuality will qualify the extent to which the theorized "12th Century Renaissance" had on the development of Western European society.

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-. ... Student Signature / Date Thesis Advisor Signature / Date Cz---------4 I '2-0 l r Departmental Honors Coordinator Signature i1fJ.17;{;L t CU> /. Please indicate your preference for public access to your thesis by initialing the appropriate statement below: ittI-grant permission to the University of Florida to list the title and abstract of this thesis in a publicly ac!cessible database. __ I do not grant permission to the University of Florida to list the title and abstract of this thesis publicly. If you wish to make the entire thesis publicly available, you must also complete the Internet Distribution Permissions Form, available at http://digital.uflib.ufl.edu/procedures/copyright/GrantofPermissions.doc If you do not include this form, your thesis will be archived but will not be viewable online.



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1 Medieval Autobiographies: Rediscovering Self in the High Middle Ages William Johnson Undergraduate, Department of History

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2 Table of Contents Introduction 3 Peter Abelard Historia Calamitatum 9 The Knight 11 The Man 14 The Christian 20 Guibert Monodies 23 The Sloth 25 The Son 28 The Man 33 Conclusions 38 Special thanks to those who inspired and encouraged my writing: Dad, Mom, Hunter Johnson, Buffy Johnson, Sarah Piroli and Professor Nina Caputo.

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3 Introduction: The Significance of Self Narrative Saint Augustine on Self, Sin, and Pears ho am I and what am I? What was not evil in my deeds or, if not deeds, in my words or, if not words, in my intentions? But you, Lo had regard to the depth of my dead condition, and from the bottom of my heart had drawn out a 1 These are the words of Saint Augustine of Hippo, written in the dying days of the Roman Empire around 397 CE. Augustine was the Archbishop of Africa, and by the close of the 4 th Century his theological influence was already spreading across the Mediterranean. He was inspired to write an autobiographical narrative after his colleague Aly pius was petitioned to create a similar account of his conversion. 2 Confessions was a complex spiritual reflection of the self; a project with an unprecedented scope. His w o rk explored difficult questions: the nature of sin, the illusion of innocence, the power of conversion, and even the creation of the universe. His genre of choice was unorthodox: never had an autobiography provided such an introspective view of the Christian mind. For a vocal and well published bishop in an increasingly Christian world, this medium gave Augustine the opportunity to mold the fledgling Church with his own life narrative. As Augustine revealed in the pages of his Confessions his life before his conversion was filled with uncertainty and sin. Augustine takes ownership of that checkered past, using his own words to prove his transformation from a lost soul to an honest Chris tian. 1 Augustine, Confessions trans. Henry Chadwick ( Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1992), X: 155 2 Augustine xiii

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4 In the early Church the sacrament of baptism was delayed until later in life when it could wash away the most sins Constantine the Great, the first Roman emperor to a baptism until his deathbed. 3 baptism in his youth. Instead Augustine was denied the protection of faith and wande red deep into the world of sin. 4 Pet h sin and conversion in the context of be placed outside him; they were inside, his sins and his doubts, and the clima 5 Throughout the Confessions attacked basic human assumptions, such as the innocence o f childhood. He analyzed the behavior of infants and found that they universally exhibit many grievous sins. 6 They whine for physical pleasure, they lash out in anger at those around them, and they grow deeply envious of ustine observes that adults generally accept this behavior in infants, the expectation being that they will cease to exhibit it at a certain age. The corruption of sin spared no individual. In Book X of his memoir, Augustine contemplates the value of recor ding his memories for the world to know. He argues that his memoirs will allow others to follow his path to God. 7 3 Timothy E. Gregory A History of Byzantium 2 nd ed. (Chichester, UK: Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2010), 70. 4 Augustine, I: 18. 5 Peter Brown, Augustine of Hippo: A Bibliography (Berkley and Los Angles: University of California Press, 1967), 159. 6 Augustine I:11. 7 Augustine X:181.

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5 The nature of autobiographical writing allows Augustine to apply deep meaning to seemingly insignificant events. In Book II, no less than sev en chapters are filled analyzing a 8 The story of the pear tree supports a major tenant of his work; the refutation of the concept of innocence. Augustine did not steal those pears because he was h ungry; he and his friends threw the pears at pigs. To Augustine, that act was evil for the sake of evil, the darkest form of sin. Augustine identifies the overall cause for the sin to be his absence from God. Thus, the story fits into his narrative of conv ersion by identifying what kind of person he had been without Christianity. Intellectual Development in the 12 th Century shared with the world. It was the first of its kind to appear in the closing decades of the Roman Empire. It was also, as far as we know, the last. Almost 700 years woul d pass before the autobiographical genre was revisited. The details surrounding that gap is the subject of another project. What this project seeks to understand is the period of history in which the autobiographical genre is rediscovered in Western Europe : the 12 th century. In 1927 Charles Homer Haskins published The Renaissance of the Twelfth Century Building on the theories of 19 th century French scholars, the book proposed a scholastic awakening rooted in a revival and rediscovery of Latin classics. Hi s theories have met heavy phenomenon was regional, not European. 9 Despite the ongoing debate, it is apparent that there was some form of intellectual development occurr ing across Europe in the 12 th century In 8 Augustine II:28 34. 9 R.N. Swanson The Twelfth Century Renaissance ( Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1999), 6

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6 England we see the rise of Common Law and trial by a jury of peers under Henry II From prolonged contact with the Arabs in Spain brought Western Europe translations of previously lost Greek classics: the writings of Euclid, Ptolemy, Plato, and most importantly Aristotle. 10 Schools became less tied to local monastic orders, and developed curriculum based on logical debate. 11 It is in this environment that two 12 th century writers would flourish : Peter Abelard and Guib ert of Nogent. Peter Abelard (1079 1142) was a famous philosopher whose life took a dramatic turn when he was forcibly castrated in his mid 30s by his vindictive uncle in law. Following his castration, Abelard retired to monastic life, eventually running a monastery with the help of his former wife, Heloise. He wrote an autobiography in his mid 50s, as he was locked in theological battles with some of the greatest intellectuals of the 12 th century. The autobiography, although originally a letter of consult ation to a friend, was made public to serve as a means of legitimizing his controversial actions (namely his conflicts with other respected medieval minds) in the eyes of the public. Guibert of Nogent (1064 1124) was a French Benedictine monk and a contemp orary of Abelard. Besides his autobiography, Guibert is known for chronicling the First Crusade Guibert was sworn to the monastic life from birth. He lived far removed from the world of the lay folk, seeing the world second hand from his manuscripts. His memoirs do not follow the traditional narrative of a first person perspective; large section of his book is devoted not to personal history, but to the history of a local commune. His writing, though at times following closely to the examples set by August ine, diverges to create a unique story of conversion and monastic life. 10 Swanson 51 52. 11 Swanson, 21.

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7 Finding the Individual R. N. Swanso n summarizes the difficulty of labeling the autobiographies of Abelard and Guibert 12 The issue revolves around These terms are complex; historians continue to debate their precise definitions. The presence of self in literature apparent in the genre of the autobiography, where the author constructs a first person narrative. The concept of the individual is met wi th more controversy from historians Swanson defines individualism within literature as the authors internalizing their own life story and recognizing it as distinct from those of their contemporaries. While authors may hav e in their writing, there is evidence that the supposed cases of individualism are simply rehashing of medieval tropes. Did Abelard actually invent a self reflecting narrative, or did he conform his story to medieval tropes: the knight, the philosopher, the monk, or even Jesus? If the concept of conformity is true, then it could serve as evidence of a shift away from the individual: a retreat back into roles that were familiar and comfortable for 12 th century writers 13 This in turn could point to a form of intellectua l regression that contradicts the basic premise of the 12 th Century Renaissance. This project will cross analyze the literary auto biographies. This analysis will rely on several distinct but interlocking pers pective such as societal expectations and class, gender and sexuality, and love and family. By combining these perspectives, I will demonstrate that Peter Abelard and Guibert of Nogent created works that 12 Swanson 141. 13 Swanson 142.

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8 demonstrated a newfound ownership of personal narrative and self identity. This newfound ability may have been a key contributor discovery of the individual. *** see in myself a body and a soul, one external, the other internal. Which of these should I have questioned about my God, for whom I had already searched through the physical order of things from earth to heaven, as far as I could send the rays of my eyes as messengers? What is inward is 14 Historia Calamitatum Introduction Peter Abelard (1079 1142) was a 12 th century French philosopher, known today for his theological treatises and scandalous personal life. Around 1132 Abelard wrote a memoir, 14 Augustine, X: 184.

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9 formatted as an extended letter t o a grieving friend. It was one of the first autobiographical Confessions a spiritual autobiography written in the 5 th century, was well known by the scholars of the post Roman world. The g enre was known, but not imitated until the 12 th century. Peter Abelard was one of the first medieval scholars to express the narrative of his own life. At a time in which societal, cultural, and theological developments occurred rapidly enough to lead th existed in the middle ages. 15 The medieval world was one of rigid social division. Western European society was divided into three distinct orders: those who fought (the nobility, centered around the knights), those who prayed (the clergy), and those who worked (the peasants that tilled the lands of the nobility). Abelard was an oddity to this formula. As a philosopher, he rejected the material demands and rewards of knighthood while simultaneously accepting its spirit and values. As a monk, he refused to abandon the worldly field of philosophy. His memoir stands almost alone in the medi eval world, yet his story has roots in traditional narratives and tropes. a discussion of his position as a member of the nobility, as a castrated masculine figu re, and as a controversial theologian. While have conflicting perspectives on the identity he attempted to convey. I believe that the self narrative Abelard constructed in his memoir was an a ttempt to define his turbulent and unique life in the context of his traditionally rigid medieval society. 15 For more information on the current theories surrounding the 12 th Century Renaissance, see R.N. Swanson, The Twelfth Century Renaissance ( Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1999 ).

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10 The Life of Peter Abelard Peter inheritance at a young age by refusing to become a knight and instead perusing a career as a philosopher. He travelled across France, quickly rising up to be one of the most respe cted scholars in the Parisian area. At times he attracted thousands of students to his lectures. 30s when he entered a scandalous sexual relationship with the teenaged noblewoman Heloise. This scandal was eventually expo sed, but only after Heloise became pregnant with his child. Abelard married Hel The conflict over Heloise prompted her uncle to take violent action against Abelard. Men hired by the uncle ead of night and surgically castrated him. Humiliated, Abelard fled to monastic life. He continued teaching both secular and theological topics, culminating with the publication of his book Theologia Summi Boni fortunes continued as his book was condemned as heretical at the Council of Soissons by his own students. With the help of friends among th e French nobility Abelard spent the next decade rebuilding his reputation, eventually acquiring his own abbot and reg aining contact with Heloise, who had become a nun. Abelard wrote his memoir ( Historia Calamitatum ) at this time, now a 53 year old castrated abbot. 16 The autobiography, although originally a letter of consultation to a friend, was made public to serve as a means of legitimizing his controversial actions (namely his conflicts with other respected medieval scholars) in the eyes of the public. In the final chapter of his memoir Abelard concluded that although he had undergone immense personal sorrow his life d emonstrated that adversity can purify the soul and bring one closer to God. 16 Peter Abelard and Heloise, The Letters of Abelard and Heloise trans. Betty Radice, revised by M.T Clanchy (London: Penguin Books, 1974).

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11 Abelard the Knight The narrative provides a unique perspective on masculine expectations among Western European nobles in the High Mid dle Ages. Abelard was the first born son of a Frankish knight. By his birth household until the time that he inher ited it. Instead, Abelard left home and became a wandering philosopher Abelard never mentions any resistance t o his abdication, and never at any point is he branded a coward for his actions. Looking at the chronology of his life however, reveals that Abelard came of age at the same time Pope Urban II convened the nobility of France at Clermont to call for the Fir st Crusade to retake Jerusalem and the Ho ly Land 17 through much of southern France, stopped at the town of Angers (about 90 kilometers from 18 Although Abelard does not recount these events in his memoir it would have been unlikely for him to not observe these events as they transpired. Although Abelard makes no mention of the birth of the Crusades in his memoir, he does not fully detach himself from the martial world. Instead he describes his chosen fi eld of learning 19 The next several chapters recount 20 For a medieval nobleman, it was paramount to their existence that that they had the means to fight for the defense of their home and kingdom in war. That ability was not simply a 17 Abelard, ix. 18 Christopher Tyreman, God's War: A New History of the Crusades (Cambridg e, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2006), 91. 19 Abelard, 3. 20 Abelard, 2.

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12 product of their b irth; they had to earn their knighthood through lengthy training. 21 Abelard conveys in his account that he is not any less of a man by choosing academics over war. Rather, he was a defender of intellectual truth. As this paper will discuss in the following section, so identities as a scholar and as a masculine defender that his castration disrupted his career. Most Frankish knights did not serve in the Crusades, so it would not be correct to assume he was labeled a coward for his la ck of participation. It was at this time, however, that new concepts of violence were developing in the Christian world. Starting at the end of the 10 th century the knights and clergy of Western Europe bound themselves into non aggression pacts (the Peace of God and Truce of God) that aimed to prevent Christians from spilling Christian blood through mutual oaths, spiritual reflection, and the threat of excommunication. 22 Pope Urban II took this concept further by arguing that warfare against non Christians could remit sins (rather than being a sin that needed remittance). Tyreman described the movement as warfare if they fought for God 23 Prior to this movement, warfare was a necessary evil for a Christian; now if properly conducted against the enemies of Christ it could be a pathway to salvation. By defining himself with a military vocabulary at a time in which kn ighthood was becoming a more respectable institution (so long as violence was properly directed) Abelard indirectly linked his work with the work of G od. With this logic, Abelard could recount his academic battles and conquests without shame or remorse. 21 Alan Baker, The Knight (Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 2003), 6 7. 22 Tyreman, 43 44. 23 Tyreman, 67.

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13 M T. Clanchy describing him, though their descriptions leaned closer to that of a bloody warlord than a chivalric knight. In 1133, St. Bernard of Clarvoux, a monumental 12 th century abbot, de scribed 24 Considering that Historia Calamitatum was written in 1132, this language could be interpreted as a response 25 If the memoir was circulated from Par is (over 100 kilometers away from the Oratory of the Paraclete) or St. not have gone unnoticed by his contemporaries. His enemies were forced to push back against the rhetoric of this newfound genre. like in his 26 Abelard as a Christ figure adds several new layers to t he understanding of his identity. Like Christ, Abelard faced heavy criticism and oppression for his teachings. Desp ite his enemies, he could still attract into Parallels between the story of Abelard and Christ go beyond basic Biblical allegory: they were written at a time in whic h Christ was evolving into 24 M. T. Clanchy, Abelard: A Medieval Life (Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishers, 1999) 145. 25 Abelard, 47. Although Abelard was technically the abbot of the Oratory of the Paraclete, he rarely visited. Most of that part of his life was spent either at St. Gildas (where he was also the abbot) and Pari s (where he occasionally taught). 26 Abelard, 125.

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14 27 imitatio C hristi (imitation of Christ) ties back to his overall metaph or as a knight at war. He broke away from the basic convention of a sinner guided by God to become a warrior following the banner of Christ to new battlefields. model led him to challenge what he perceived as the sinful monastic communities of Fra nce. 28 youth in the secular world. Philosopher or monk, Abelard saw himself as a warrior. Although he lived in a world where those who prayed (monks, priests) were distinc tly separate from those divides. Abelard the Man When Abelard was castrated, he fled the secular world to take the vows of a monk. In his memoir, he theorized that he would not have been welcome in the secular world any longer, as according to the dread letter of the law, God holds eunuchs in such abomination 29 that to enter a church again would be impossible. He cited passages from Leviticus and Deuteronomy that discriminate against eunuchs as unclean to explain his exodus from society. Yet, it was his own choice, not the discrimination of others, which lead Abelard to a monastic life. Sean Eisen contemporary canon law did not discriminate against eunuchs who had been castrated by others. 30 changing 27 Tyreman, 70. 28 Abelard, 18. 29 Abelard. 30 Sean Eisen Murphy, "The Letter of the Law: Abelard, Moses, and the Problem with Being a Eunuch," Journal of Medieval History 30, no. 2 (2004): 161 85.

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15 embarrassment, one that he was forced to come to terms with in the years that followed. He developed into a person whose station and circumstances put him above the sexual temptation of normal men. There is evidence that his castration was used as ammunition by rival scholars as they refuted Rosceli n argues that because Abelard was no longer fully male the name Petrus w as no longer 31 not cripple Abelard. In fact, its presence in monastic c orrespondence serves as evidence that Abelard remained active in the fields of theology and philosophy almost immediately following the incident. Monastic life was not meant to be a haven from his enemies but rather a tactical retreat; he was able to rebui ld his respectability, gain new students, publish new works (the Theologia Summi Boni) 32 and face new enemies. his trial at the Council of Soissons as incidents where he was victimized, and 33 Therefor the presence of militarized metaphors in his early writing contrasts with was a 31 Martin I B ecoming Male in the Middle Ages, ed. Jeffrey Jerome Cohen and Bonnie Wheeler, (New York: Garland Pub., 1997), 92. 32 Abelard, 20. 33 Irvine, 95.

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16 long 34 While Abelard used his castration as proof of his chastity and obedience to God, Irvine argues that his overall objective was to reenter the masculine world rather than stand apart from it. The fields of scholasticism and theology were overwhelmingly worlds of men, and Abelard could not hope to It is important to note that, despite the taunting from Roscelin Abelard was facing criticism for his proximity to nuns of the Paraclete. 35 Abelard described his relationship with the from his fellow monks. 36 As a direct result of these accusations, Abelard was motivated to closely consider the spiritual significance of his castration in his writing. In both his Historia Calamitatum and his letters to Heloise, Abelard draws a contrast between his own story and that of Origen, a 3 rd century monk who was condemned by the Churc h for self castrating to avoid sin. Abelard considered his own condition to be one of sexual liberation; mutilation. 37 Jennifer T hibodeaux explores concepts of masculinity among mediev al monks and clergy in The Manly Priest She proposes that masculine identity among celibates was maintained 38 One could not be perceived as a guardian of chastity unless they battled agains t temptation on a regular basis. This concept goes removed himself from the danger of sexual desire. T hibodeaux noted that instances of castrated 34 Irvine, 99. 35 Abelard, 36. 36 Abelard, 40. 37 Abelard, 83. 38 Thibodeaux, 33.

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17 monks and priests in the Middle Ages usually correlated with a loss of status. For example, the late 11 th purposes and was subsequently shamed by medieval historians. 39 Whether accidental o r deliberate, castration usually eroded the status of monks and priests. As a monk, Abelard struggled to reconcile his role as a vowed celibate who (because of his castration) cannot prove his chastity. Despite his injury, Abelard was still able to defin e himself as masculine in his memoir. He did this by describing his narrative in the context of a divine destiny. T hibodeaux monastic narratives. Gerald of Wales told the story Eliah, a mo nk who was castrated by angels in his sleep. This castration enabled rather than hindered, allowing him to lead a community of nuns without cardinal temptation. 40 Monodies a pilgrim is tricked by the devil into self castration and sui cide, only to be revived (but not physically restored) by the mercy of God. The pilgrim then devoted his life to showing the world his injury and relaying his story of merciful resurrection. 41 The narrative of castration did not require the emasculation of the subject, so long as the act of castration either stemmed from or received the approval of divine authority. Abelard describes his castration as a form of divine intervention from God. Throughout his memoir, Abelard laments at the damage to his reput ation rather than his manhood. The temptation. 42 39 Thibodeaux, 34. 40 Thibodeaux, 36. 41 Guibert, 174 6. 42 Abelard, 37.

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18 43 The castration was a gift rather than a curse, an advantage over was a ble to flip contemporary concepts of gender. The male body, normally revered even among monastic communities, was described disparagingly. The ideal image was not fully masculine, but the proud emasculated status that no one else could ever hope to achieve To combat the critics, Abelard once again incorporated imitatio Christi. One of the main charges his enemies laid against Abelard was his continued association with women. Abelard drew attention to the fact that Jesus and his followers were regularly a ccompanied by women. criticism; Abelard believed that he deserved the same treatment. 44 between the functionality of his genitalia and those of J esus and his disciples once again underscores the mystical aspect of his condition. He had been given a gift of incredible rarity, an immunity from sin that not even Jesus or his apostles possessed. The narrative of sexuality that Abelard presents in his autobiographical writing is one of self control. By demonstrating that his castration allowed him to gain mastery over his sexual desires, Abelard legitimized himself as a monk. A key part of proving his divine chastity is by redefining his complex relatio nship with Heloise. Near the end of the Historia Calamitatum 45 This distinction was not well reminis ce on their happy days together before his castration. 46 Specifically she referenced the beautiful poetry that Abelard wrote for her. Clanchy notes that Abelard, although a prolific poet 43 Abelard, 82. 44 Abelard, 37 38. 45 Abelard, 35. 46 Abelard, 47, 52.

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19 before his castration, condemned the art after his castration to show his successful adjustment into monastic life. 47 The breaking of both sexual and romantic connections to Heloise reaffirmed While Abelard cut all sexual and romantic ties with Heloise, his continued corres pondence with her indicated to his contemporaries that he was not at risk of returning to Abelard demanding that he distinguish his love for her from his love for Christ. 48 Clanchy also side effects of his castration. 49 between Abelard and Heloise were not private documents. The letters were a public discourse, and their debate allowed Abelard to confirm his dominion over sexual desire. consensus on. Historians continue to stand divided as to whether his post castration writing attempts t o show him as a masculine figure (with rhetorical ability substituting his physical deformity) or a sexless figure (gifted by god to be the perfect monastic scholar). These conflicting identities highlight the fact that medieval notions of gender are fluid. Abelard was not trapped in a rigid masculine or neutered order; instead he defined himself with his narrative. With the autobiographical genre, Abelard exerted cont rol over his public identity. Although Abelard conformed to the typical monastic standards of chastity, he defined his sexual abstinence 47 Clanchy, 134. 48 Abelard, 149. 49 Abelard, 151.

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20 in relation to his career and his conversion. The ability of 12 th century writers to take ownership of their identities allowing the development of individualism. Abelard the Christian Abelard writes his autobiography at a time when the act of recording life events was becoming increasingly common. The laity (nobles) wrote or dictated memoirs as a means of recording their triumphs and legitimizing their claims to property, such as the justification of 50 Monks, in comparison, recorded life events based on the conventions of conversion established by St. Augustine of Confessions memoir of his sinful youth and his eventual conversion to God. In the first chapter of the fir st paths, and my turning back so often to the bosom of Thy Mercy, directed by Thee in spite of 51 Abelard, in contrast, begins his memoir by lamenting his misfortun es and regaling the reader with his fateful decision to become a philosopher. for his misfortune not on his own sins, but on the wickedness of others. 52 Returning to Abe 53 that beset him are not his own sins, but the nefarious intentions of his fellow philosophers and monks. Even as he wrote his memoir, Nay, the persecution carried on by 50 Clanchy, 123. 51 Guibert of Nogent Self and Society in Medieval France (Toronto: University of Toronto Press., 1984), pg 35. 52 Clanchy, 124. 53 Abelard, 21.

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21 my sons rages against me more perilously and continuously than that of my open enemies, for my sons I have always with me, and I am ever exposed to their treacheries. 54 Abelard presented himself as a victim in his memoir, playing the role of a hero under siege by wicked forces. Despite his tendencies to dramatize his writing with a colorful and militant language, Abelad did have real enemies. At the time of the writing, Abelard was one of the most controversial figures in Europe. St. Bernard of Clairvaux especially despised Abelard and his blemish to the study of theology. He even went so far as to accuse Abelard of writing a new 55 Sic et Non compiled the contradictory quotes of various saints throughout history. The intent of the book was to allow students to analyze these contradictions and deduce the true faith for themselves. To t his end his autobiography served the dual purpose of recounting his conversion while at the same time legitimizin g his academic career. Conclusions in a simple story of conversion; it was a gateway into new opportunities for self expression. Abelard transcended the rigid gender and class roles of the medieval w orld, recreating himself as 54 Abelard, 40. 55 Clanchy, 6.

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22 an impoverished but brave knight always ready to do battle against the enemies of the Lord. His identity crisis initiated by the castration caused Abelard to develop a level of self awareness unique to the med ieval world. Throug h this he was able to create a self narrative of desperate combat against unyielding foes and abysmal misfortune. Abelard effectively rewrote his role in mankind abo ut the world they inhabited. This memoir serves as evidence that a medieval conversion story does not have to conclude with the conventional ending of a sinful confessor fading into a quiet and humble monastic life; rather the circumstances of conversi on c ould serve as a focal point for redefining the individual. For Peter Abelard, this meant recreating himself to allow for new adventures and new battles in the name of God Monodies Introduction In 1115 CE Guibert of Nogent completed his Monodies a memoir that blended autobiographical narrative with local history. At the time of his publication, no major autobiographical work had been written in over 700 years. Saint Augustine had been the first and the last writer of Antiquity to de velop a full length self reflexive successor to the autobiographical tradition was not a famous and respected intellectual. Guibert of Nogent was an obscure figure in the 12 th century, overcast by the formidable reputations of men li ke Anselm of Laon, Peter Abelard, and Bernard of Clairvaux. His book was not widely circulated, and historians generally remember Guibert more for his second hand historical

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23 account of the First Crusade. 56 His work demonstrates the development of the concep ts of self reflection and individuality, products of the 12 th century. Early modern historians remembered Guibert as a historian of the Crusades, and placed great value on his Dei gesta per Francos They saw a level of impartiality in his work only possi ble from a moralist who believed that God still punished those he loved (i.e. the French). 57 This theory was challenged in the 1960s by Jacques Chaurand, whose research of Thomas de ir. 58 The modern Monodies In 59 ork to be representative of the Middle Ages, nor Guibert to be representative of the typical medieval man. Instead he saw the narrative as an oddity; an opportunity to see the effects of a rigorous monastic lifestyle and a complex home environment on a med ieval mind. 60 61 perspective into medieval life, Rubenstein labels Guibert as a product of the medieval world. 56 Guibert, Monodies and the Relics of Saints: the Autobiography and a Manifesto of a French Monk from the Time of the Crusades, trans. Joseph McAlhany and Jay Rubenstein (New York, NY: Penguin Books, 2011), vii. 57 Rubenstein, 5. 58 Rubenstein 7 8. 59 Benton, 32. 60 Benton 33. 61 Jay Rubenstein, Guibert of Nogent: Portrait of a Medieval M ind (New York: Routledge, 2002) 7. In 2011 Jay most of the histor utilize the newer translation.

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24 that occurred in the 12 th century. 62 unique perspectives development of individuality that occurred in the 12 th century. Drawing upon the conventions of confession laid out by Augustine as well as the literary conventions of th e High Middle Ages, work is not simply a pale imitation of the Confes sions ; Guibert aspired to define his unique place value as a member of society, as a man, and as a son. Guibert the Sloth Guibert like Abelard and Augustine, was born into minor nobility. Unlike the other authors, he was not the firstborn son. This relieved him of the burden of inheritance, both of wealth and of responsibility. While the firstborn son was expected to become a knigh t and fight throughout Lent. As Easter drew near Guibert flipped in the womb, prompting his father to beseech the Virgin Mary for their safety. He promised to give up his child to the clergy, and 62 Rubenstein, 11.

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25 Guibert was safely born soon afterwards. 63 This narrative, set at the beginning of his memoir, pre ordained path. Guibert claims multiple times in his writing that this pre natal oath defined his natural after the oath was made. Guibert feared that h 64 As Guibert was only about eight months old about the influe understanding of his spiritual and professional destiny must also be considered. study und er a harsh teacher, was free from both the teacher and his mother. The result of this is that he goes through a phase like that of both Augustine and Abelard: a time of sloth. In g to become knights. To gain their companionship, Guibert wore his priestly garb and told his cousins that he 65 Rubenstein interpre ts this as Guibert seeking to become a knight with his cousins. 66 This theory, however, poses a serious problem: it ignores the fact that Guibert mascaraed as a priest to train with his cousins. Western Europe at the time had begun to conceptualize clergy a s playing a role on the battlefield. The Song of Rolland created a fictitious portrayal of Bishop Turpin, 63 Guibert, 9. 64 Guibert, 12. 65 Guibert, 43. 66 Rubenstein, 19.

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26 Odo of Bayeux, was portrayed in the Bayeux tapestry as char ging into Hastings with a club. 67 knights through D orylaeum and Antioch. Yet these examples contain a common thread that does not reach back to Guibert; prestige. The rare accounts of clergy serving in battle refer to finished his studies. So Guibert was most likely not formally training with his cousins, but rather spending his days in their company. Guibert choose to not disclose the memories of his adventures with his cousins, seeing them only as squandering his youth. Instead, Guibert specifically highlighted the sinfulness of his sloth like behavior. Similar events occurred earl y in the narratives of both Augustine and Abelard. Augustine described his obsession with sports as a child, and how it interfered with his studies. 68 Later when financial troubles pause his teenage education, Augustine runs wild with his friends. 69 Abelard interest and concentration flagged, my lectures lacked all inspiration and were merely 70 The authors drew attention to the fact that they were wasting their time. The concept s of waste and missed opportunity are embedded in these narratives. Their prevalence demonstrate that the authors placed value on their time. Abelard felt that his work had more than sex, but for the loss of his work. Augustine, who considered his early education critical to his 67 Emilie Amt, ed. Medieval England, 1000 1500: A Reader (Toronto : Uni versity of Toronto Press, 2000) 72 73. 68 Augustine, 12. 69 Augustine 29. 70 Abelard, 11.

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27 current role as a church leader, saw the childhood d istractions as disruptive to his destiny. To come to these conclusions, the authors had to recognize and weigh the value of their actions as individuals. For Guibert, his slumber was sinful in the sense that it distracted from his studies. Guibert underst time he spent with his cousins was not sinful because of what he was doing; rather it was sinful because of what he was failing to do. He had a duty to become a mo nk. His life only realigns over my heart seemed to move away, and everything to which I had long been blind during my aimless wanderings now began to take hold o to stay up late reading. 71 Modern historians have been quick to label Guibert as an obscure man of his time, 72 It is true that Guibert was a heavily cloistered individual whose work did not widely circulate. Yet in this memoir Guibert attributes to himself value in the form of divine purpose. While Augustine and Abelard were highly public figures (and could therefore weigh the value of t worth was based on accomplishing his mission from God. Guibert the Son Monodies is his readiness to shift the narrative from himself to others. He recounted the life events of both loved ones and strangers. His style is a striking contrast to Peter Abelard, whose Historia Calamitatum gives an 71 Guibert, 45. 72 Rubenstein, vii.

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28 uninterrupted narrative of his own major life events. Guibert chose to define himself through nt human influence on his 73 74 Nancy F. Partner drew attention to how Guibert labeled his mother as his only personal possession, a strong statement for a monk vowed to poverty. Whatever phobias Guibert developed from his mother, he still felt a deep sense of love for his mother. Guibert marginalized the presence of his father and his brothers in the narrative both to claim sole ownership of her life story and to highlight the closeness of their relationship. 75 Most recently, Jay Rubenstein described the narrative of Guiber to think of the mind in four parts: will, affection, reason, and intellect. 76 A balancing of will, affection, and reason leads to intellect (unde re flected when she not only abandons a young Guibert in favor of retirement, but inspires 73 Benton, 12. 74 Benton, 26. 75 Nancy F. Partner, Medieval Mothering ed. John Carmi Parsons and Bonnie Wheeler, (London: Garland, 1996), 360 361. 76 Guibert, 56.

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29 77 Guibert the other characters serving as the balancing points that lead him to his destination. 78 Early the consummation of their union. 79 When the curse was discovered, she spent seven years fighting against her in also battled internal temptation to break her v ows in favor of another man. Guibert describes her sexual activity with instead of her husband. 80 Despite this, she maintained such a strong relationship with her husband that no charge of adultery was ever laid upon her. Guibert uses the chastity story as a form of social commentary. He contrasts her purity with the purity of women in his day, where 81 Despite his accusations, his own life lacks stories of immoral vows to mona stic life) prevented him from prolonged contact with such women. Instead of presenting his ideas through his own non memorable experiences, Guibert crafts an epic story in which his mother triumphs over temptation. 77 Rubenstein, 66 67. 78 The theme of a woman striving to maintain the qualities of the Virgin Mary was demonstrated throughout the middle ages. This theme would collide with self narrative in the 15 th century with the autobiography of Margery Kempe For more information see Caroline Walker Bynum. Fragmentation and Redemption: Essays on Gender and the Human B ody in Medie val religion. (New York: Zone Books, 1991). 79 Guibert, 31. 80 Guibert, 32. 81 Guibert, 32.

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30 r is cast as a figure whose faith grants her protection by divine powers. While her husband was a prisoner of war in the possession of the 82 The parallels to a rape scene are clear, and once again Guib the aid of the Virgin Mary and is rewarded with the intervention of a good spirit. Shortly h away the petitioners. 83 obedience to God allows for the manifestation of divine protec tion. Guibert faces a similar nighttime assault by demonic forces, yet he was not protected by good spirits. Shortly after his commitment to monastic life Guibert was tormented in his sleep by 84 It is not the laments that he had he been braver and fought back with his own faith, he could have won divine protection; his own battle demonstrated that panic leads to helplessness. Despite her pious behavior, memoir she attempts to secure a prebend (regular stipend from the Church) for Guibert from a for violati ng Canon law and taking a wife. After failing in this battle, she places Guibert in a que 82 Guibert, 36. 83 Guibert, 38. 84 Guibert, 46 47.

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31 85 As Rubenstein points out, every person in the story fails to uphold the Gregorian values of the era: the mother co mmits simony, the lord tries to exert control over the local church, and the priest refuses to become celibate. 86 Even the queue that Guibert is placed in is sinful, as he asserts that hoping for death is the same as murder. However, it is important to note that the major period of reform occurred after this story took place. Pope Gregory VII (the father of the Gregorian reforms) would take office in 1073, when Guibert was a teenager nearing the end of his schooling. Guibert exaggerates the severity of the crimes, using them as an example of the problems of pre Gregorian times. Guibert imposes the contemporary church standards (writing in 1115) on his own past. 87 His story brings together the major elements of Church reform (bans on simony, clerical celibacy, clerical independence from the laity) that swept across Western Europe at the end of the 11 th century. The local lord pressuring the priest harks is reminiscent of the Investiture Controversy, where Pope Gregory VII battled Emperor Henry IV for the autono my of the pontificate, but through his mother he is able to connect hims elf to the discussion. Although his mother is at fault, it must be recognized that he depicts her sin differently from the other characters of his memoir. When a monk sins (including Guibert himself), he is physical ailment from God as punishment. 88 Only after the physical ailment takes effect do they realize the error of their ways. His mother did not 85 Guibert, 18 20. 86 Guibert, 294. 87 Pope Gregory VII (the father of the Gregorian reforms) would take office in 1073 when Guibert was a teenager nearing the end of his schooling. 88 Guibert, 78, 81.

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32 of this world so it is no surprise that the things which she chose to provide for herself, she also 89 She realizes the error of her ways without prompting, and corrects herself without the threat of bodily punishment. By doing this, she maintains her i model of willpower and purity. other monks) does not make Monodies any less of an autobiography. The book is an expression of how Guibert views th e world around him. Just like Abelard takes ownership of the tropes of his time (questing knights, wandering philosophers, pious monks) so too does Guibert take ownership of these third person narratives. Guibert stands firmly in the middle of this narrati ve, a monk attempting to understand his divine destiny amidst a sea of external sin and internal temptation. Guibert the Man The Manly Priest explores clerical celibacy and gender identity in the 12 th century. She rejects gender. 90 According to Thibodeaux, religious men in the 12 th century were defined as masculine when they kept their vows and feminine when they broke them. Emasculating behavior could therefore be anything tha t distracted or discouraged members of monastic communities from their normal duties or obligations. Female bodies were perceived to be unclean, and female physiology was contrasted with the male ideal. 91 Much attention was drawn to uncontrollable 89 Guibert, 20. 90 Jennifer D. Thibodeaux, The Manly Priest: Clerical Celibacy, Masculinity, and Reform in England and Normandy, 1066 1300 (Philadelphia: Universi ty of Penns ylvania Press, 2015), 9. 91 Thibodeaux, 8.

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33 female di scharge (menstruation). In the male world, only effeminate men dealt with such problems (in the form of nocturnal emissions). Feminine behavior was just as dangerous. For example, the court of King Henry I of England was criticized in 1105 for allowing its courtiers to 92 Upon meeting the king Bishop Serlo of Sees preached the connection between sin and femininity and convinced the courtiers to change their ways. behavior is seen most often through the stories he tells of other men. Many of their failures stem from physical and sexual impurity. Guibert reveals that he himself skirted near the realm of sexual deviance in his early days as a monk, but in the literary (rather than physical) sense. Through these stories Guibert builds a narrative that underscores the importance of chastity in maintaining a strong monastic community. His ability to identify and distinguish himself from these other monks lends to his cred ibility as an author. The first of the emasculated monks was introduced as a priest who accepted gold coins from a noblewoman. 93 Soon after breaking his vow of poverty, he was struck by a fatal case of dysentery. Despite his situation, the monk indulged i hunched awkwardly over a chamber pot. The abbot left in disgust, and soon afterwards the priest died in his sleep (acco rding to Guibert, strangled by the devil). The story parallels purity and bodily control. The priest was in good health before accepting the coins, but lost control over his bowels once his vow was broken. As noted by 92 Thibodeaux, 28. 93 Guibert, 70.

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34 es, many religious men equated leaking bodies with 94 His masculinity was stripped when he broke his vows, and physically manifested with his dysentery. The abbot recognized this transformation and refused to give him absolution for his si ns. We akened by his feminine behavior, the priest was easy prey for Satan. Shortly after the dysentery narrative, Guibert tells how a valuable chasuble (the colored paying a bribe. 95 The lightning, according to Guibert, was caused by the sin of the bribe. Guibert e behavior, due to his unpopular rule and unwillingness to marry. 96 In this story references emasculate behavior from both William Rufus and the abbot convictions, narrative this behavior led to his death; his hunt (a male only activity) was fatally disrupted by his supposed effeminate distractions. The abbot used bribery to pay for the r eturn of the chasuble, later proven to not be worth the price paid. As their vows dictated that they surrender worldly possessions, it was not proper for a monk to concern himself with mere clothing to the point that he resorts to bribery. Because the chas uble had proven itself a distraction from the sacred duties of a monk, it was destroyed by God. 94 Thibodeaux, 8. 95 Guibert, 74. 96 Guibert, 303.

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35 The most heinous case of emasculating behavior came in the story of a monk who rejected his vows in exchange for dark powers from the devil. 97 According to Gui bert, the monk met the devil in person and was told that a sacrifice of sperm would grant him access to the dark arts. The monk complied, first tasting his own sperm and then sacrificing the rest to the devil. Although Guibert claimed to have multiple stor chose to discuss only one: an instance in which he turned a nun into a dog. 98 The monk was eventually struck by illness and forced into confession, resulting in an excommunication that lasted through the end of h is life. As sworn celibates, the temptation of masturbation and the inevitability of nocturnal emission were considered major concerns for members of a monastic community. The monk broke his vow of chastity in order to gain his supernatural powers. Thibo daux noted that vowed celibates were often compared to milites Christi the soldiers of Christ. 99 Like the Crusaders who fought an external battle with non Christians, the monks fought an internal battle against the flesh. In this story, the monk reversed h is role and instead became a soldier of the devil. His crime was enhanced when he used his powers to corrupt a nun into a beast. With that act, he expanded his sexual deviance beyond himself and began to prevent others from fulfilling their life vows. Gu ibert did not withhold the stories of his own sexual deviance, although his crimes were much milder than those of the other emasculated men. He identifies his greatest sexual offence to have been the composition of erotic poetry shortly after his vows were 97 Guibert, 80. 98 Guibert, 81. 99 Thibodaux, 37.

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36 100 As his poetry became more transgressions. 101 Guibert was scolded, but his erotic poetr y continued in secret until he perceived a sudden debilitating illness as a punishment from God. was being scolded for both his poetry and for masturbation. 102 Once agai n, we see the theme of fluid discharge being linked to the breaking of vows. According to his narrative Guibert followed a lustful obsession for worldly art rather than scripture, and set himself down a path of deception to uphold the battle against the flesh, as a proper milites Christi feminized him in the eyes of his teacher. For a young man in the monastery, this was a key moment in his life. He needed to decide how dedicated he would be to his vows. His desires, his commitments, and his entrance into manhood all collided together. To define himself as a man, Guibert once again put faith in his theory that God had set out a definite path for him to follow. The illness that struck him down is seen as a direct result o f his transgressions. Like the previously discussed stories, physical sin is punished by physical ailment, distorting the masculine body with weakness and (in extreme cases) uncontrollable fluid discharge. Guibert was reminded of the oath that his father m ade, the pact with God that sealed his life path, and was encouraged to throw away the world of eroticism i n favor of the spiritual world. Conclusions 100 Guibert, 53. 101 Guibert, 54. 102 Guibert, 300.

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37 scholastic cel ebrity navigating a life of turmoil and drama, Guibert was a monk living a quiet and was the first of many 12 th century intellectuals that sought to take owners hip of their life story. They were empowered by the rediscovered autobiographical genre to present themselves to the world in a new light. For Guibert, this meant placing his life in the context of a pre natal, divine destiny. Conclusion: The Power of Se lf Narrative you not? When the world stood in ignorance of God, when it lived in shadows and the shadow of death, when it kept a communal silence as the night was driving its course, whose worthy action, whose summons could compel your all 103 12 th Century Renaissance Clearly measuring intellec tual growth over 100 years is a difficult task. The 12 th Century Renaissa nce remains a contested theory among medieval historians. Evidence spans many decades and vast distances; to what extent can they be identified holistically as an intellectual th century 104 The 12 th century saw dramatic changes to the economic, religious, educational, and political institutions on the continent. 103 Guibert, 3. 104 Swanson, 11.

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38 To make sense of the whole, one must look deeper into the various parts of the argument. This paper explored one small aspect of the 12 th Century Renaissance (the growth of individual awareness) by analyzing the return of the autobiographical genre. While many historians recog nized the growth of self narrative, few efforts have been made to decisively analyze the texts, to probe the extent to which individual authors constructed narratives that met or broke the conventions of the period. My paper demonstrates that the ability o f 12 th century autobiographers to take ownership of their life narratives allowed them to redefine themselves in the context of the world. Clearly much more research is needed before any definitive judgement is cast on the 12 th Century Renaissance. Societ y and the Memoir Throughout this paper, I analyzed how the concept of social fluidity (the ability to rise, fall, and cross over to the different orders of society) spurred the self reflection in 12 th century authors. to opportunities and career paths previously inaccessible to men of his social status. Pushing out from his humble origins in Hippo, Augustine studied first in Carthage then in Rome. The grammatical and rhetorical skills that he learned brought Augustine f ar reaching influence as a secular instructor and eventually as a bishop. As Peter Brown suggested, this was the impetus for Augustine to reflect on the events of his life and their context in his role as a Christian. In one night, he went through a startling transformation: from one of the most influential teacher in France to sensational Parisian gossip. How could such an outcast be taken seriously as a teache r of philosophy and theology? In order to protect his influence Abelard had to reinvent himself in his autobiography as a positive contributor to medieval society.

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39 many guises: Abelard the intellectual knight, Abelard the love s truck sinner, and finally Abelard the holy eunuch. Guibert occupied an entirely different place in the world from Augustine and Abelard. Unlike the other two, he was not well known in his time. He never had a life of adventure; of difficult philosophical and spiritual wandering, epic disputation, or fiery romance. He was a monk who lived a quiet life almost from beginning to end. Yet he too felt compelled to put his life on paper. Guibert wanted to present a new side of himself to society. Emulating the le gendary work of St. Augustine, Guibert created a spiritual contextualization his life. He presented to his contemporaries the story of a man who was guided by divine purpose, a monk whose traditionalist ideals corresponded to a life of moral and theologica l discovery. Gender and Memoir This paper also demonstrated the extent to which notions of gender and sexuality could fluctuate in the 12 th century. The medieval world was one of rigid gender roles. Men and women occupied distinct spheres of influence, wit h men lording over both the secular and ecclesiastical world. It is clear however that notions of masculinity and femininity (the extent to which men and women upheld their values and their proper roles in society) permeated 12 th century discourse. In the case of Abelard, the complex trauma of his castration forced a re evaluation his masculinity and his place in society. eunuchs in the Christian world indicates the anxiety surrounding his perceived loss of masculinity. Throughout the course of the text Abelard redefines himself by pointing to the castration as the central moment of conversion in his life. The castration is given a divine

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40 purpose: a mystical spin that transforms his injury from a ter rible curse to a powerful blessing. philosophical and theological discourse. Guibert, a sworn celibate, explained his understanding of masculinity through his analysis of other monks. The sinners share all the conventions of feminine behavior: first the abandonment of morals (both intentional and accidental), loss of bodily control (illness, oozing Guibert believed that he had broken his vows with his erotic poetry, his body was wracked by illness until he returned to the correct path (as laid out in his divine destiny). Family and Memoir Notions of family played an enormous role in each of these na rratives Augustine and served as Mary like spiritual guides that, independent from the influence of a husband, set the author on a path towards salvation. Guibert highlight ed the role his mother had on his life by marginalizing the role of the rest of his family. From thanking God for killing his father to giving only fragmented (and often contradictory) mentions of his brothers, Guibert creates a narrative in which he is th Guibert was able to stay on the path of monastic life and fulfil his divine destiny. Abelar d did not feel the need to root his Christian values in the narrative of a Mary like mother, instead focusing his conversion on the circumstances of his castration. The only direct of his studies. Abelard created a narrative in which he was the central actor: other characters

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41 helped and hindered him, but rarely exerted long term influence. The singular exception to this marginalization. Even as he wrote H istoria Calamitatum Abelard faced criticism for running an oratory with the woman whom he had a marriage and a son. Af te r facing accusations from peers Abelard 105 With his ability to change his relationship to her in the narrative, Abelard deflected the criticism of his enemies. Future Work This paper demonstrated that the 12 th century rediscovery of the autobiographical genre gave individual authors the opportu nity to take ownership of their life narratives. Intellectuals such as Peter Abelard and Guibert of Nogent defined themselves in unique ways, transcending the rigid classifications of medieval society. While their work points towards the development of ind ividualism, more instances of self narrative must be analyzed and compared before conclusions are made. These could include traditional medieval memoirs, such as the conversion story written by Herman the Jew. 106 Other instances of self narrative may be more elusive, hidden in poetry, visual art, or even music. A holistic analysis of this genre may reveal the extent to which the men and women of the 12 th century were empowered to take control of their own narratives. This in turn will demonstrate the range of intellectual development that occurred th Century 105 Abelard, 35. 106 Claude Schmitt and Alex J. Novikoff. The Conversion of Herman the Jew: Autobiography, History, and Fiction in the Twelfth Century University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010.

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42 Bibliography Primary Sources Abel The L etters of Abelard and Heloise. Trans lated by Betty Radice. Revised ed ition London UK : Penguin, 2003. Augustine. Saint Augustine: Confessions Translated by Henry Chadwick. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Guibert. Mono dies and the Relics of Saints: T he Autobiography and a Manifesto of a French Monk from the Time of the Crusades Transl ated by Joseph McAlhany and Jay Rubenstein. New York, NY: Penguin Books, 2011. Secondary Sources Amt, Emilie, ed. Medieval England 1000 1500: a reader. Toronto (Ont.): University of Toronto Press, 2000. Baker, Alan. The K night. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 2003. Benton, John F. Self and Society in Medieval France Toronto: University of Toronto Press., 1984. Clanchy, M. T. Abelard: A Medieval Life Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishers, 1999 Ferroul Becoming Male in the Middle Ages Edited by Jeffrey Jerome Cohen and Bonnie Wheeler. New York: Garland Pub., 1997. Irvine, Martin.

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43 Remascul Becoming Male in the Middle Ages Edited by Jeffrey Jerome. Cohen and Bonnie Wheeler. New York: Garland Pub. 1997. Murphy, Sean Eisen. "The Letter of the Law: Abelard, Mose s, and the Problem with Being a Eunuch." Journal of Medieval History 30, no. 2 (2004): 161 85. Partner Nancy F. Medieval Mothering Edited by John Carmi Parso ns and Bonnie Wheeler. London: Garland, 1996. Rubenstein, Jay. Guibert of Nogent: Portrait of a Medie val M ind. New York: Routledge, 2002. Swanson, Robert N. The Twelfth Century Renaissance. Manc hester: Manchester Univ. Press, 2002. Thibodeaux, Jennifer D. The Manly Priest: Clerical Celibacy, Masculinity, and Reform in England and Normandy, 1066 1300 Phil adelphia: University of Pennsylvania Pr ess, 2015. Tyerman, Christopher. God's War: A New H istory of the Crusades. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard Univ. Press, 2006. Wheeler, Bonnie. Becoming Male in the Middle Ages Edited by Jeffrey Jerome Cohen and Bonnie Wheeler. New York: Garland Pub., 1997.