Much of the life of Abélard, one of the most renowned 12th-century thinkers, is known from his Historia calamitatum, written ca. 1133. Born into a minor noble family in Le Pallet, Brittany, in 1079, Abélard embarked on a career as student, then master, in various French schools. He studied with leading masters at three cathedral schools: Roscelin (Loches), William of Champeaux (Paris), and Anselm of Laon (Laon). He himself taught at Paris (Mont-Sainte-Geneviève, Saint-Denis [while a monk there], and the cathedral school at Notre-Dame), Melun, Corbeil, Laon, and the Paraclete (near Troyes). An intellectual combatant, at Paris he challenged Willliam of Champeaux on the existence of universals and at Laon criticized Anselm as lacking theological insight and dialectical skills. Abélard himself was harshly criticized and rebuked. In 1121, a council at Soissons found him guilty of heresy concerning the Trinity and required him to burn his treatise On the Trinity and Unity of God (or Theologia “Summi Boni”). In the late 1130s, William of Saint-Thierry, deeply troubled by Abélard’s Theologia Christiana, wrote to Bernard of Clairvaux, who had Abélard summoned to a council at Sens in June 1140, where he was charged with heresy. The council condemned nineteen points in Abélard’s theology; the pope soon thereafter also condemned Abélard. Following the condemnation at Sens, the Cluniac abbot Peter the Venerable offered Abélard a refuge at Cluny. According to Peter, Bernard and Abélard were reconciled before Abélard died in April 1142 at Saint-Marcel, a Cluniac priory near Chalons-sur-Saône.