Vladimir Vladimirovich Andersen, PhD-student, Faculty of Philology Saint-Petersburg State University (Universitetskaya
Andersen V. V. Abelard between St. Augustine and St. Jerome, Religiya. Tserkov’. Obshchestvo. Issledovaniya i publikatsii po teologii i religii [Religion. Church. Society: Research and publications in the field of theology and religious studies], Saint-Petersburg, 2015, vol. 4, pp. 322–333.
The “Historia calamitatum”, Peter Abelard’s famous autobiography, is often compared to the most famous example of autobiography in Late Antiquity, St. Augustine’s “Confessiones”. However, Abelard doesn’t cite Augustine’s personal work even once in “Historia” (which is not surprising at all, considering its only moderate popularity at the time), there is no similarity whatsoever in terms of language or structure. Another literary model has to be looked for. Abelard’s affinity for the Letters of St. Jerome is evident in the text of his autobiography, there are also personal connections. Abelard agrees with Jerome in the key points of his scientific method (Hebraica veritas), feels personally for him being persecuted, lauds Jerome’s work of constructing an ascetic ideal. Abelard’s literary persona is equally influenced by Jerome’s writings in Historia calamitatum and his letters to Heloise.