Heloise shines bright when you examine the abyss we call the Middle Ages. You don’t find many women of particular interest between the time of Empress Theodora and Heloise because Theodora’s husband, Justinian, put the clamps on religion. Heloise reluctantly took one of few good jobs available to women—she became an abbess. Here’s a quick rundown of events:

Heloise, an intelligent child, went to live with her uncle who tutored her.

At age 18, Peter Abelard becomes her tutor and her lover; she gets pregnant and the lovers marry.

The uncle is embarrassed by the pregnancy and castrates Peter. Abelard hides away in a monastery and encourages Heloise to become a nun. Their son, Astrolabius, apparently became a ward of the church.

In their later years, they reconnect through letters and the ones from Heloise show her long-held erotic interests. Abelard mainly feels guilty and ashamed because his erotic interest disappeared with the castration.

I look for women of significance to fill out my fictional fertility cult. Heloise fits the Gnostic model. By coincidence or not, the astrolabe links Hypatia (from my last post) and Heloise..