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Origin of the name ABAELARDUS.
Etymology of the name ABAELARDUS.
Meaning of the baby name ABAELARDUS.


ABAELARDUS.  Middle Latin form of French Abailard, meaning "noble firmness."  Also spelled Abelardus. (History of Christian Names, Yonge, 1884)

With reference to the name, it is hardly necessary to say that from the first its spelling fluctuates.  In the editions it is commonly normalised as Abäelardus; the diphthong is altogether a modern invention, disproved by every case in which it occurs in verse.  On the whole it seems that Abaielardus is the earliest form.  This appears, e.g., in the facsimile of the Munich manuscript of the Sic et non given at the end of Henke's edition, as well as in Otto of Freising (ed. Pertz) and John of Salisbury (in his Historia pontificalis), although the former alternates with Abaiolardus.  Of the Paris manuscripts of the thirteenth century, edited by Cousin in the Ouvrages inédits ďAbélard, one gives Abailardus (intr. p. viii), the other two Abäelardus (see the facsimile facing p. 434).  Other rare forms need not be quoted, some of them are uncouth enough; but the fact that the initial a was frequently dropped (see an instance below, Appendix viii.) may be taken as evidence of where the accent lay.  It was natural that the word should become softened in common use; and Abailardus and Abäelardus were no doubt practically undistinguishable in pronunciation.  I select the former, partly because it approaches nearest to the original (though it needs no apology even to the French, since it is accepted in Firmin-Didot's Nouvelle Biographie générale), partly because it avoids those associations with eighteenth-century sentimentalism which surround the name of Abélard and obscure the philosopher's true significance.  The popularity of this last spelling seems to date form its selection by Pierre Bayle in his Dictionaire historique et critique, s.v. (Illustrations of the History of Medieval Thought and Learning, Poole, 1920)


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