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VI. The Middle Ages

Voluntary celibacy gains dramatically in popularity.

Chivalry Not Dead

The structure of society itself continues to doom many romances. The institutions of the day, when called into play during a breakup, also render minimal the rate of "getting back together."

Abelard and Heloise:
Young Heloise (1101-1163) has what we can only assume was a sexually as well as intellectually satisfying affair with her tutor, the Parisian scholar Abelard. Once word gets out, though, Heloise's uncle has Abelard hunted down and castrated. At Abelard's request, Heloise takes vows at the local holy order. His suggestion is considered an early manifestation of the "If I can't have you, no one can" syndrome.

NEXT: VII. Renaissance & Reformation

I | II | III | IV | V | VI | VII | VIII & IX | X | XI | XII

A World History of the Breakup:

Big Bang

Geologic Ages

Near East

Classical Antiquity

Roman Empire

Middle Ages


The New World & Revolution


Industrial Revolution

Modern America


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A World History of the Breakup

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