1140 (The People's Chronology)
The usurper Stephen of Blois bestows the earldom of Essex on Geoffrey de Mandeville, a great landowner whose services Stephen has found indispensable in his struggle against Matilda (see 1139; 1141).
Bohemia's Sobeslav I dies after a 15-year reign and is succeeded by Vladislav II, who will reign until 1173.
The Guelph (Welf) fortress of Weinsberg falls in December to the forces of Conrad III, who permits the women of the town to leave (see 1138). Each is permitted to take with her as much property as she can carry on her back and each comes out bearing on her back a husband, father, or son, who thus escapes.
Pierre Abelard is condemned for his "heresies" June 3 by the Council of Sens. The Cistercian theologian Bernard of Clairvaux, now 50, opposes Abelard's Nominalistic doctrines on the Trinity and his other teachings; he has denounced Abelard to council members the previous evening, quoting him out of context, and Abelard sets out for Rome to present his defense to Pope Innocent II (see 1142).
Spanish poet-philosopher Judah ha-Levi (Abul Hasan), now 64, arrives at Alexandria May 3 en route to the Holy Land (see religion 1108). He has expressed opposition to the Karaite doctrine that opposes blind, unquestioning adherence to tradition. Given an enthusiastic welcome by the Jewish community, most of whom know his famous "Ode to Zion" ("Zionide"), he is invited to stay at the palatial home of the physician and judge Aaron ibn al-ammani, where many prominent Egyptian Jews come to meet him; he proceeds from there to Cairo, where he stays with Samuel ben Hananiah, the nagid (head) of all Egyptian Jews, and where he continues to write.