Peter Abelard (1079-1142) was a twelfth century philosopher and teacher. He was one of the central figures in early scholasticism and the development of the university. He is also well known due to his romance and letter exchange with Heloise and for his castration.
The letters exchanged by Abelard and Heloise are considered to be the earliest documented examples of romantic love.
Abelard seems to have been a contentious person and controversy followed him for much of his life. He argued publicly with many of the leading figures of his day, including Bernard of Clairvaux and William of Champeaux. These arguments culminated in his two trials for heresy, the first at Sens in 1120 and then at Soissons in 1140 or 1141.