[MUSIC] Welcome back to The Age of Cathedrals. In our last time together we looked at the Southern and Northern portal entrances to Notre Dame in Paris. The all important tympanum of the first contains the story of the stoning of St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr. And the tympanum of the second displays the story of Christ's infancy, along with the miracle story of Theophilus, who makes a pact with the devil, repents, and is saved by the Virgin, who redeems the charter signed in blood. The whole is kept by the Bishop who reads Theophilus' story to the assembly of the faithful. In this tale, it involves at least three scenes of writing. The advent of writing within what had been an essentially oral culture, was one of the great features of the Age of Cathedrals. One cannot overestimate the extent to which orality and especially the sacredness of oaths, was privileged over written expression in preceding centuries. Many literary forms existed only orally. Public rites and ceremonies were conducted orally, as were legal proceedings under the assumption that written law was hopelessly material, manipulable, and contained the letter of the law and not its spirit. The miracle of Theophilus, however, with its devilish bargains and contracts, summons the world of commerce with its written records and charters. It is finally a relativist, even an existentialist tale. Who one is, how one acts is a function of one's situation in relation to others. Before he is wronged, Theophilus is a faithful Christian. When he's wronged by the Bishop he passes to the devil's side. Having exhausted the things of this world, Theophilus reverts back to the Virgin. The saved Christian is finally a realist and a rationalist. And, if we read the Miracle of Theophilus, from the point of view of emerging urban values, he is a supreme strategist, who talks his way out of two difficult, and quite opposed, situations. Theophilus underlines the value and importance of negotiation. Now, if ever there was a rationalist, a rationalizer, a relativist, it is Peter Abelard, who lived, wrote, and worked in the first half of the 12th century on Paris's Left Bank, or Latin Quarter. Here we see him depicted in a 19th century rendering by Jules Cavelier. Today, we will spend our time discussing Abelard and the rise of the scholastic method of debate, in the emerging university. As we know from Abelard's autobiography, which he delicately titled, The Story of My Misfortunes, Abelard was born at some geographic distance from Paris. He is from the borders of Brittany, which was considered in the 12th century a wild, uncivilized place. Abelard claims that the name Brittany comes from that of Brutus, a descendent of the Trojan hero Aeneas, who was supposedly the founder and first king of Britain. Using an argument based on etymology, Abelard maintains that not all Bretons are brutes, but most are. Abelard's move, from Brittany to Paris, was in line with the rebirth of cities and the rise of a money economy, and long-range trade routes in the 12th century. Cathedral building, which began just around the time of Abelard's death in 1142, was no less a part of this urban renewal. Abelard, one among many who moved from countryside to the capital, was a mobile sort, a mover and shaker, a shifter. The very figure of an itinerant scholar, planted in Paris under Montagne St. Genevieve. In the space of philosophy, as distinct from theology, in a new space within the city, one that is still there, that is to say the university. We have seen just how closely the cathedral and the university were linked in the series of for Dados on the south side of the nave of Notre Dame, the side facing the Latin or the student quarter. In the upper quadrant, which is a quatrefoil, we see what may be a master and students, or a group of students, some seated and some standing, pouring over the pages of books. Note that all around the framing quatrefoil, we detect more casual scenes of frivolity. With a kind of animals, some real and some phantasmatic, that one finds in the margins of Medieval Gothic manuscripts. In the upper Dados, students seem anxious to engage, what appears to be the face of a woman, in a window in the upper right, and a woman coming down the stairs on a ladder to greet a couple of students below. The lower right, again shows a woman wearing not the cowl of male students, but a wimple in a scene of potential mixed social life. It is rare to see such scenes of everyday life, especially in the context of the cathedral, whose statues and stained glass are filled with figures and stories from the Old and New Testaments, from the Apocrypha or even from a geographical history, saint's lives like the miracle of Theophilus. Abelard, or one of his fellow students from a slightly later period, could have been one of the socializing, reading, debating or lecturing figures on the Dados of the South side of Notre Dame.