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A medieval university was a
corporation A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company—authorized by the State (polity), state to act as a single entity (a legal entity recognized by private and public law "born out of statute"; a legal person in legal ...

corporation
organized during the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
for the purposes of
higher education Higher education is tertiary education leading to award of an academic degree. Higher education, also called post-secondary education, third-level or tertiary education, is an optional final stage of formal learning that occurs after completion ...
. The first Western European institutions generally considered to be
universities A university () is an of (or ) and which awards s in several . Universities typically offer both and programs in different schools or faculties of learning. The word ''university'' is derived from the ''universitas magistrorum et scholari ...

universities
were established in the
Kingdom of Italy The Kingdom of Italy ( it, Regno d'Italia) was a state that existed from 1861—when King Victor Emmanuel II of Kingdom of Sardinia, Sardinia was proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy, proclaimed King of Italy—until 1946, when civil discontent l ...
(then part of the
Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Romanum Imperium; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town i ...
), the
Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or ...

Kingdom of England
, the
Kingdom of France The Kingdom of France ( fro, Reaume de France; frm, Royaulme de France; french: link=yes, Royaume de France) is the historiographical name or Hyponymy and hypernymy, umbrella term given to various political entities of France in the Middle Ages ...
, the
Kingdom of Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_ ...
, and the
Kingdom of Portugal The Kingdom of Portugal ( la, Regnum Portugalliae, pt, Reino de Portugal) was a monarchy A monarchy is a form of government in which a person, the monarch A monarch is a head of stateWebster's II New College DictionarMonarch Hou ...
between the 11th and 15th centuries for the study of the
arts The arts refers to the theory, human application and physical expression of creativity Creativity is a phenomenon whereby something somehow new and somehow valuable is formed. The created item may be intangible (such as an idea, a scienti ...
and the higher disciplines of
theology Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the divine Divinity or the divine are things that are either related to, devoted to, or proceeding from a deity A deity or god is a supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed ...
,
law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by its boundari ...
, and
medicine Medicine is the science Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something, such as facts ( descriptive knowledge), skills (proced ...

medicine
.de Ridder-Symoens (1992), pp. 47–55 During the 14th century there was an increase in growth of universities and colleges around Europe. These universities evolved from much older
Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ''Christian'' derive from the Koi ...

Christian
cathedral school Cathedral schools began in the Early Middle Ages The Early Middle Ages or Early Medieval Period, sometimes referred to as the Dark Ages (historiography), Dark Ages, is typically regarded by historians as lasting from the late 5th or early 6t ...
s and
monastic school Monastic schools ( la, Scholae monasticae) were, along with cathedral school Cathedral schools began in the Early Middle Ages The Early Middle Ages or Early Medieval Period, sometimes referred to as the Dark Ages (historiography), Dark Ages, ...
s, and it is difficult to define the exact date when they became true universities, though the lists of studia generalia for higher education in Europe held by the
Vatican Vatican City Vatican City (), officially the Vatican City State ( it, Stato della Città del Vaticano; la, Status Civitatis Vaticanae),—' * german: Vatikanstadt, cf. '—' (in Austria: ') * pl, Miasto Watykańskie, cf. '—' * pt, Ci ...
are a useful guide. The word originally applied only to the scholastic
guild A guild is an association of artisan Wood carver in Bali An artisan (from french: artisan, it, artigiano) is a skilled craft worker who makes or creates material objects partly or entirely by hand. These objects may be functional ...
s—that is, the corporation of students and masters—within the , and it was always modified, as , , or . Eventually, probably in the late 14th century, the term began to appear by itself to exclusively mean a self-regulating community of teachers and scholars recognized and sanctioned by civil or ecclesiastical authority. From the
Early Modern period The early modern period of modern history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of Human, humanity's past. It is understood through archaeology, anthropology, genetics, and linguistics, and since the History of writing, adve ...
onward, this
Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town in the US *Western Creek, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western Junction, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western world, countries that ide ...

Western
-style organizational form gradually spread from the medieval Latin west across the globe, eventually replacing all other higher-learning institutions and becoming the pre-eminent model for higher education everywhere.


Antecedents

The university is generally regarded as a formal institution that has its origin in the Medieval Christian setting. Prior to the establishment of universities, European higher education took place for hundreds of years in
Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ''Christian'' derive from the Koi ...

Christian
cathedral school Cathedral schools began in the Early Middle Ages The Early Middle Ages or Early Medieval Period, sometimes referred to as the Dark Ages (historiography), Dark Ages, is typically regarded by historians as lasting from the late 5th or early 6t ...
s or
monastic school Monastic schools ( la, Scholae monasticae) were, along with cathedral school Cathedral schools began in the Early Middle Ages The Early Middle Ages or Early Medieval Period, sometimes referred to as the Dark Ages (historiography), Dark Ages, ...
s (''scholae monasticae''), in which
monk A monk (, from el, μοναχός, ''monachos'', "single, solitary" via ''monachus'') is a person who practices religious by living, either alone or with any number of other monks. A monk may be a person who decides to dedicate his life ...

monk
s and
nun A nun is a woman who vows to dedicate her life to religious service, typically living under vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience The three evangelical counsels or counsels of perfection in Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic rel ...

nun
s taught classes. Evidence of these immediate forerunners of the later university at many places dates back to the 6th century AD. With the increasing growth and urbanization of European society during the 12th and 13th centuries, a demand grew for professional
clergy Clergy are formal leaders within established s. Their roles and functions vary in different religious traditions, but usually involve presiding over specific rituals and teaching their religion's s and practices. Some of the terms used for ind ...
. Before the 12th century, the intellectual life of Western Europe had been largely relegated to
monasteries A monastery is a building or complex of buildings comprising the domestic quarters and workplaces of monastics, monk A monk (, from el, μοναχός, ''monachos'', "single, solitary" via Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical langua ...

monasteries
, which were mostly concerned with performing the
liturgy Liturgy is the customary public worship performed by a religious group. As a religious phenomenon, liturgy represents a community, communal response to and participation in the sacred through activities reflecting praise, thanksgiving, remembrance ...
and prayer; relatively few monasteries could boast true intellectuals. Following the
Gregorian Reform#REDIRECT Gregorian Reform : ''Should not be confused with the Gregorian calendar''. The Gregorian Reforms were a series of reforms initiated by Pope Gregory VII and the circle he formed in the Roman Curia, papal curia, c. 1050–80, which dealt w ...
's emphasis on canon law and the study of the
sacrament A sacrament is a Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ...
s, bishops formed
cathedral school Cathedral schools began in the Early Middle Ages The Early Middle Ages or Early Medieval Period, sometimes referred to as the Dark Ages (historiography), Dark Ages, is typically regarded by historians as lasting from the late 5th or early 6t ...
s to train the clergy in
Canon law Canon law (from grc, κανών, , a 'straight measuring rod, ruler A ruler, sometimes called a rule or line gauge, is a device used in geometry and technical drawing, as well as the engineering and construction industries, to measure dis ...
, but also in the more secular aspects of religious administration, including logic and disputation for use in preaching and theological discussion, and accounting to control finances more effectively.
Pope Gregory VII Pope Gregory VII ( la, Gregorius VII; 1015 – 25 May 1085), born Hildebrand of Sovana ( it, Ildebrando da Soana), was pope The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as the supreme pontiff () or t ...

Pope Gregory VII
was critical in promoting and regulating the concept of modern university as his 1079 Papal Decree ordered the regulated establishment of cathedral schools that transformed themselves into the first European universities. Learning became essential to advancing in the ecclesiastical hierarchy, and teachers also gained prestige. Demand quickly outstripped the capacity of cathedral schools, each of which was essentially run by one teacher. In addition, tensions rose between the students of cathedral schools and burghers in smaller towns. As a result, cathedral schools migrated to large cities, like
Bologna Bologna (, , ; egl, label=Bolognese dialect, Bolognese, Bulåggna ; lat, Bonōnia) is the capital and largest city of the Emilia-Romagna region in Northern Italy. It is the seventh most populous city in Italy with about 390,000 inhabitants ...

Bologna
,
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...

Rome
and
Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,175,601 residents , in an area of more than . Since the 17th century, Paris ha ...

Paris
. Syed Farid Alatas has noted some parallels between
Madrasah Madrasa (, also , ; Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental cou ...

Madrasah
s and early European
college A college (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in rel ...

college
s and has thus inferred that the first universities in Europe were influenced by the Madrasahs in
Islamic Spain
Islamic Spain
and the
Emirate of Sicily The Emirate of Sicily ( ar, إِمَارَة صِقِلِّيَة, ʾImārat Ṣiqilliya) was an Islamic kingdom that ruled the island of Sicily Sicily ( it, Sicilia ; scn, Sicilia ) is the in the and one of the 20 of . It is one of the ...
. George Makdisi,
Toby Huff Toby E. Huff was born in Portland, Maine, on April 24, 1942. He was trained as a sociologist but has been increasingly drawn to questions in the history, philosophy and sociology of science. Those inquiries led him to undertake Max Weber-inspired ...
and Norman Daniel, however, have questioned this, citing the lack of evidence for an actual transmission from the Islamic world to
Christian Europe Christendom historically refers to the "Christian world": Christian states, Christian-majority countries and the countries in which Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on th ...
and highlighting the differences in the structure, methodologies, procedures, curricula and legal status of the "Islamic college" (''madrasa'') versus the European university.


Establishment

Hastings Rashdall Hastings Rashdall (24 June 1858 – 9 February 1924) was an English philosopher, theologian, historian, and Anglican priest. He expounded a theory known as Utilitarianism#Ideal utilitarianism, ideal utilitarianism, and he was a major historian ...
set out the modern understanding of the medieval origins of the universities, noting that the earliest universities emerged spontaneously as "a scholastic Guild, whether of Masters or Students... without any express authorization of King, Pope, Prince or Prelate." Among the earliest universities of this type were the
University of Bologna The University of Bologna ( it, Alma mater studiorum - Università di Bologna, UNIBO) is a research university in Bologna, Italy. Founded in 1088 by an organised guild of students (hence ''studiorum''), it is the List of oldest universities in con ...
(1088),
University of Paris , image_name = Coat of arms of the University of Paris.svg , image_size = 150px , caption = , latin_name = Universitas magistrorum et scholarium Parisiensis , motto = ''Hic et ubique terrarum'' (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical ...
(1150),
University of Oxford The University of Oxford is a collegiate university, collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as early as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the List of oldest universit ...
(1167),
University of Modena The University of Modena and Reggio Emilia ( it, Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia), located in Modena and Reggio Emilia, Emilia-Romagna, Italy, is one of the oldest universities in Italy, founded in 1175, with a population of 20,00 ...
(1175),
University of Palencia A university ( la, universitas, 'a whole') is an institution Institutions, according to Samuel P. Huntington, are "stable, valued, recurring patterns of behavior". Institutions can refer to mechanisms which govern the behavior Behavio ...
(1208),
University of Cambridge , mottoeng = Literal: From here, light and sacred draughts. Non literal: From this place, we gain enlightenment and precious knowledge. , established = , other_name = The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of ...
(1209),
University of Salamanca The University of Salamanca ( es, Universidad de Salamanca) is a Spanish higher education Higher education is tertiary education leading to award of an academic degree. Higher education, also called post-secondary education, third-level ...

University of Salamanca
(1218),
University of Montpellier The University of Montpellier (french: Université de Montpellier) is a French public research university A research university is a university A university ( la, universitas, 'a whole') is an educational institution, institution of highe ...
(1220),
University of Padua The University of Padua ( it, Università degli Studi di Padova, UNIPD) is an Italian university located in the city of Padua, region of Veneto it, Veneto (man) it, Veneta (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , p ...
(1222),
University of Toulouse The University of Toulouse (french: Université de Toulouse) is a university in France that was established by papal bull in 1229, making it one of the earliest University, universities to emerge in Europe. Since the closing of the university in 17 ...
(1229),
University of Orleans A university ( la, universitas, 'a whole') is an institution Institutions, according to Samuel P. Huntington, are "stable, valued, recurring patterns of behavior". Institutions can refer to mechanisms which govern the behavior Behavio ...
(1235),
University of Siena The University of Siena ( it, Università degli Studi di Siena, abbreviation: UNISI) in Siena Siena ( , ; in English sometimes spelled Sienna; lat, Sena Iulia) is a city in Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the province of Siena. The ci ...
(1240),
University of Valladolid The University of Valladolid is a public university A public university or public college is a university or college that is in state ownership or receives significant Government spending, public funds through a national or subnational governme ...
(1241)
University of Northampton The University of Northampton is a public university A public university or public college is a university or college that is in state ownership or receives significant Government spending, public funds through a national or subnational govern ...
(1261),
University of Coimbra The University of Coimbra (UC; pt, Universidade de Coimbra, ) is a Portuguese public university in Coimbra, Portugal. First established in Lisbon in 1290, it went through a number of relocations until moving permanently to Coimbra in 1537. The ...

University of Coimbra
(1288),
University of Pisa The University of Pisa ( it, Università di Pisa, UniPi) is a public research university A public university or public college is a university A university ( la, universitas, 'a whole') is an educational institution, institution of higher ...
(1343),
Charles University in Prague Charles University, known also as Charles University in Prague ( cs, Univerzita Karlova (UK); la, Universitas Carolina; german: Karls-Universität) or historically as the University of Prague ( la, Universitas Pragensis), is the oldest and larges ...
(1348),
Jagiellonian University The Jagiellonian University ( Polish: ''Uniwersytet Jagielloński''; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around ...
(1364),
University of Vienna The University of Vienna (german: Universität Wien) is a public university, public research university located in Vienna, Austria. It was founded by Rudolf IV, Duke of Austria, Duke Rudolph IV in 1365 and is the oldest university in the Geograph ...
(1365),
Heidelberg University } Heidelberg University, officially the Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg, (german: Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg; la, Universitas Ruperto Carola Heidelbergensis) is a public university, public research university in Heidelberg, B ...

Heidelberg University
(1386) and the
University of St Andrews (Aien aristeuein) , motto_lang = grc , mottoeng = Ever to ExcelorEver to be the Best , established = , type = Public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an indi ...
(1413) begun as private corporations of teachers and their pupils. In many cases universities petitioned secular power for privileges and this became a model. Emperor
Frederick IFrederick I may refer to: * Frederick of Utrecht or Frederick I (815/16–834/38), Bishop of Utrecht. * Frederick I, Duke of Upper Lorraine (942–978) * Frederick I, Duke of Swabia (1050–1105) * Frederick I, Count of Zollern ...

Frederick I
in ''
Authentica Habita ''Authentica habita'',"Authentica Habita."
''
'' (1158) gave the first privileges to students in Bologna. Another step was when
Pope Alexander III Pope Alexander III (c. 1100/1105 – 30 August 1181), born Roland ( it, Rolando), was the Bishop of Rome A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a po ...

Pope Alexander III
in 1179 "forbidding masters of the church schools to take fees for granting the license to teach (''licentia docendi''), and obliging them to give license to properly qualified teachers". Kemal Gürüz
Quality Assurance in a Globalized Higher Education Environment: An Historical Perspective
, Istanbul, 2007, p. 5
Hastings Rashdall considered that the integrity of a university was only preserved in such an internally regulated corporation, which protected the scholars from external intervention. This independently evolving organization was absent in the universities of southern Italy and Spain, which served the bureaucratic needs of monarchs—and were, according to Rashdall, their artificial creations. The University of Paris was formally recognized when
Pope Gregory IX Pope Gregory IX ( la, Gregorius IX; born Ugolino di Conti; c. 1145 or before 1170 – 22 August 1241) was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the , with 1.3 billion Cathol ...

Pope Gregory IX
issued the bull '' Parens scientiarum'' (1231). This was a revolutionary step: ''
studium generale ''Studium generale'' is the old customary name for a medieval university in medieval Europe. Overview There is no official definition for the term ''studium generale''. The term ''studium generale'' first appeared at the beginning of the 13th cen ...
'' (university) and ''universitas'' (corporation of students or teachers) existed even before, but after the issuing of the bull, they attained
autonomy In developmental psychology Developmental psychology is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions ...

autonomy
. " e papal bull of 1233, which stipulated that anyone admitted as a teacher in
Toulouse Toulouse ( , ; oc, Tolosa ) is the prefecture A prefecture (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area ...

Toulouse
had the right to teach everywhere without further examinations (''ius ubique docendi''), in time, transformed this privilege into the single most important defining characteristic of the university and made it the symbol of its institutional autonomy .... By the year 1292, even the two oldest universities, Bologna and Paris, felt the need to seek similar bulls from
Pope Nicholas IV Pope Nicholas IV ( la, Nicolaus IV; 30 September 1227 – 4 April 1292), born Girolamo Masci, was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by nu ...

Pope Nicholas IV
." By the 13th century, almost half of the highest offices in the Church were occupied by degree masters (
abbot Abbot (from Aramaic: ''Abba'' "father") is an ecclesiastical title A title is one or more words used before or after a person's name, in certain contexts. It may signify either generation, an official position, or a professional or academic ...

abbot
s,
archbishop In many Christian Denominations Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' an ...
s,
cardinals Cardinal or The Cardinal may refer to: Christianity * Cardinal (Catholic Church), a senior official of the Catholic Church * Cardinal (Church of England), two members of the College of Minor Canons of St. Paul's Cathedral Navigation * Cardina ...
), and over one-third of the second-highest offices were occupied by masters. In addition, some of the greatest theologians of the
High Middle Ages The High Middle Ages, or High Medieval Period, was the period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in musical c ...
,
Thomas Aquinas Thomas Aquinas (; it, Tommaso d'Aquino, lit=Thomas of Aquino; 1225 – 7 March 1274) was an Italian Dominican Dominican may refer to: * Someone or something from or related to the Dominican Republic The Dominican Republic ( ; es, ...

Thomas Aquinas
and
Robert Grosseteste Robert Grosseteste, ', ', or ') or the gallicized Robert Grosstête ( ; la, Robertus Grossetesta or '). Also known as Robert of Lincoln ( la, Robertus Lincolniensis, ', &c.) or Rupert of Lincoln ( la, Rubertus Lincolniensis, &c.). ( ; la, Robe ...

Robert Grosseteste
, were products of the medieval university. The development of the medieval university coincided with the widespread reintroduction of
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental quest ...

Aristotle
from
Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survi ...

Byzantine
and
Arab scholars This is a list of Arab The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, ISO 233 The international standard are technical standards developed by international organizations (intergovernmental organizations), such as Codex Alimenta ...

Arab scholars
. In fact, the European university put Aristotelian and other natural science texts at the center of its curriculum, with the result that the "medieval university laid far greater emphasis on science than does its modern counterpart and descendent." Although it has been assumed that the universities went into decline during the
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in ...

Renaissance
due to the scholastic and Aristotelian emphasis of its curriculum being less popular than the cultural studies of
Renaissance humanism Renaissance humanism was a revival in the study of classical antiquity Classical antiquity (also the classical era, classical period or classical age) is the period of cultural history between the 8th century BC and the 6th century AD cent ...
, Toby Huff has noted the continued importance of the European universities, with their focus on Aristotle and other scientific and philosophical texts into the early modern period, arguing that they played a crucial role in the
Scientific Revolution The Scientific Revolution was a series of events that marked the emergence of modern science during the early modern period, when developments in History of mathematics#Mathematics during the Scientific Revolution, mathematics, History of phys ...

Scientific Revolution
of the 16th and 17th centuries. As he puts it "
Copernicus Nicolaus Copernicus (; pl, Mikołaj Kopernik; german: link=no, Niclas Koppernigk, modern: ''Nikolaus Kopernikus''; 19 February 1473 – 24 May 1543) was a Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. was a ...

Copernicus
,
Galileo Galileo di Vincenzo Bonaiuti de' Galilei ( , ; 15 February 1564 – 8 January 1642), commonly referred to as Galileo, was an astronomer An astronomer is a scientist in the field of astronomy who focuses their studies on a specific qu ...

Galileo
,
Tycho Brahe Tycho Brahe ( ; born Tyge Ottesen Brahe; 14 December 154624 October 1601) was a Danish , known for his accurate and comprehensive astronomical observations. He was born in , which became part of Sweden in the next century. Tycho was well known ...

Tycho Brahe
,
Kepler Johannes Kepler (; ; 27 December 1571 – 15 November 1630) was a German , , , and writer on music. He is a key figure in the 17th-century , best known for his , and his books ', ', and '. These works also provided one of the foundations for ...

Kepler
, and
Newton Newton most commonly refers to: * Isaac Newton (1642–1726/1727), English scientist * Newton (unit), SI unit of force named after Isaac Newton Newton may also refer to: Arts and entertainment * Newton (film), ''Newton'' (film), a 2017 Indian fil ...

Newton
were all extraordinary products of the apparently Procrustean and allegedly Scholastic universities of Europe... Sociological and historical accounts of the role of the university as an institutional locus for science and as an incubator of scientific thought and arguments have been vastly understated."


Characteristics

Initially medieval universities did not have physical facilities such as the
campus A campus is traditionally the land on which a college A college (Latin: ''collegium'') is an educational institution or a University system, constituent part of one. A college may be a academic degree, degree-awarding Tertiary education, t ...

campus
of a modern university. Classes were taught wherever space was available, such as churches and homes. A university was not a physical space but a collection of individuals banded together as a ''universitas''. Soon, however, universities began to rent, buy or construct buildings specifically for the purposes of teaching. Universities were generally structured along three types, depending on who paid the teachers. The first type was in
Bologna Bologna (, , ; egl, label=Bolognese dialect, Bolognese, Bulåggna ; lat, Bonōnia) is the capital and largest city of the Emilia-Romagna region in Northern Italy. It is the seventh most populous city in Italy with about 390,000 inhabitants ...
, where students hired and paid for the teachers. The second type was in
Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,175,601 residents , in an area of more than . Since the 17th century, Paris ha ...
, where teachers were paid by the church. Oxford and Cambridge were predominantly supported by the crown and the state, which helped them survive the
Dissolution of the Monasteries#REDIRECT Dissolution of the monasteries {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
in 1538 and the subsequent removal of all principal
Catholic The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian r ...

Catholic
institutions in
England England is a that is part of the . It shares land borders with to its west and to its north. The lies northwest of England and the to the southwest. England is separated from by the to the east and the to the south. The country cover ...

England
. These structural differences created other characteristics. At the Bologna university the students ran everything—a fact that often put teachers under great pressure and disadvantage. In Paris, teachers ran the school; thus Paris became the premiere spot for teachers from all over Europe. Also, in Paris the main subject matter was theology, so control of the qualifications awarded was in the hands of an external authority – the chancellor of the diocese. In Bologna, where students chose more secular studies, the main subject was law. It was also characteristic of teachers and scholars to move around. Universities often competed to secure the best and most popular teachers, leading to the marketisation of teaching. Universities published their list of scholars to entice students to study at their institution. Students of
Peter Abelard Peter Abelard (; french: link=no, Pierre Abélard; la, Petrus Abaelardus or ''Abailardus''; 21 April 1142) was a medieval In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, or ...

Peter Abelard
followed him to Melun, Corbeil, and Paris, showing that popular teachers brought students with them.


Students

Students attended the medieval university at different ages—from 14 if they were attending Oxford or Paris to study the arts, to their 30s if they were studying law in Bologna. During this period of study, students often lived far from home and unsupervised, and as such developed a reputation, both among contemporary commentators and modern historians, for drunken debauchery. Students are frequently criticized in the Middle Ages for neglecting their studies for drinking, gambling and sleeping with prostitutes. In Bologna, some of their laws permitted students to be citizens of the city if they were enrolled at a university.


Course of study

University studies took six years for a
Master of Arts A Master of Arts ( la, Magister Artium or ''Artium Magister''; abbreviated MA or AM) is the holder of a master's degree A master's degree (from Latin ) is an academic degree awarded by University, universities or colleges upon completion of a ...
degree (a
Bachelor of Arts Bachelor of Arts (BA or AB; from the Latin ' or ') is the holder of a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate education, undergraduate program in the arts and sciences. A Bachelor of Arts degree course is generally completed in three or f ...
degree was awarded after completing the third or fourth year). Studies for this were organized by the
faculty of arts A faculty is a division within a university A university ( la, universitas, 'a whole') is an educational institution, institution of higher education, higher (or Tertiary education, tertiary) education and research which awards academic degree ...
, where the seven liberal arts were taught: arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, music theory, grammar, logic, and rhetoric. All instruction was given in Latin and students were expected to converse in that language. The ''trivium'' comprised the three subjects that were taught first: grammar, logic, and rhetoric.Rait (1912), p. 138. The ''quadrivium'' consisted of arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy. The quadrivium was taught after the preparatory work of the trivium and would lead to the degree of Master of Arts. The curriculum came also to include the three Aristotelianism, Aristotelian philosophies: Aristotelian physics, physics, Aristotelian metaphysics, metaphysics and Aristotelian ethics, moral philosophy. Much of medieval thought in philosophy and theology can be found in scholastic textual commentary because scholasticism was such a popular method of teaching. Aelius Donatus' ''Ars grammatica'' was the standard textbook for grammar; also studied were the works of Priscian and ''Graecismus'' by Eberhard of Béthune. Writings of Marcus Tullius Cicero, Cicero's works were used for the study of rhetoric. Studied books on logic included Porphyry (philosopher), Porphyry's Isagoge, introduction to Aristotelian logic, Gilbert de la Porrée's ''De sex principiis'' and ''Summulae Logicales'' by Petrus Hispanus (later Pope John XXI).Rait (1912), p. 139. The standard work of astronomy was ''Tractatus de sphaera''. Once a
Master of Arts A Master of Arts ( la, Magister Artium or ''Artium Magister''; abbreviated MA or AM) is the holder of a master's degree A master's degree (from Latin ) is an academic degree awarded by University, universities or colleges upon completion of a ...
degree had been conferred, the student could leave the university or pursue further studies in one of the higher faculties,
law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by its boundari ...
,
medicine Medicine is the science Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something, such as facts ( descriptive knowledge), skills (proced ...

medicine
, or
theology Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the divine Divinity or the divine are things that are either related to, devoted to, or proceeding from a deity A deity or god is a supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed ...
, the last one being the most prestigious. Originally, only few universities had a faculty of theology, because the popes wanted to control the theological studies. Until the mid-14th century, theology could be studied only at universities in Paris, Oxford, Cambridge and Rome. First the establishment of the Charles University, University of Prague (1347) ended their monopoly and afterwards also other universities got the right to establish theological faculties. A popular textbook for theological study was called the ''Sentences'' (''Quattuor libri sententiarum'') of Peter Lombard; theology students as well as masters were required to lecture or to write extensive commentaries on this text as part of their curriculum. Studies in the higher faculties could take up to twelve years for a master's degree or doctorate (initially the two were synonymous), though again a bachelor's and a Licentiate (degree), licentiate's degree could be awarded along the way. Courses were offered according to books, not by subject or theme. For example, a course might be on a book by
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental quest ...

Aristotle
, or a book from the Bible. Courses were not elective: the course offerings were set, and everyone had to take the same courses. There were, however, occasional choices as to which teacher to use. Students often entered the university at fourteen to fifteen years of age, though many were older. Classes usually started at 5:00 or 6:00 a.m.


Legal status

As students had the legal status of clerics, Canon Law prohibited women from being admitted into universities. Students were afforded the legal protection of the clergy, as well. In this way, no one was allowed to physically harm them; they could only be tried for crimes in an ecclesiastical court, and were thus immune from any corporal punishment. This gave students free rein in urban environments to break secular laws with impunity, which led to many abuses: theft, rape, and murder. Students did not face serious consequences from the law. Students were also known to engage in drunkenness. Sometimes citizens were forbidden to interact with students because they made accusations against the university. This led to uneasy tensions with secular authorities—the demarcation between town and gown. Masters and students would sometimes "strike" by leaving a city and not returning for years. This happened at the University of Paris strike of 1229 after a riot left a number of students dead. The university went on strike and they did not return for two years. Most universities in Europe were recognized by the Holy See as , testified by a papal bull. Members of these institutions were encouraged to disseminate their knowledge across Europe, often lecturing at a different . Indeed, one of the privileges the papal bull confirmed was the right to confer the , an entitlement to teach everywhere.Rashdall [1895] 1987, vol. 1, ch. I, p. 8.


See also

* Ancient higher-learning institutions * Ancient universities of Scotland * List of oldest universities in continuous operation * Nation (university) * Renaissance of the 12th century * Studium Generale * Town and gown * University


References


Bibliography

* Cobban, Alan B. ''English University Life in the Middle Ages'' Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1999. * Ferruolo, Stephen: ''The Origins of the University: The Schools of Paris and their Critics, 1100-1215'' Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1998. * Charles Homer Haskins, Haskins, Charles Homer: ''The Rise of Universities.'' Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1972. * Hastings Rashdall, Rashdall, Hastings; revd. by Powicke, F. M., and Emden, A. B.
''The Universities of Europe in the Middle Ages''
3 vols. Oxford: Clarendon Press, [1895] 1987, * Lee, John S., and Steer, Christian (eds.)
''Commemoration in Medieval Cambridge''
History of the University of Cambridge, Boydell, 2018. * de Ridder-Symoens, Hilde (ed.): ''A History of the University in Europe, A History of the University in Europe. Vol. I: Universities in the Middle Ages'', Cambridge University Press, 1992, * Robert Rait, Rait, Robert S.: ''Life in the Medieval University'', Cambridge University Press, [1912] 1931, * Pedersen, Olaf, ''The First Universities: Studium Generale and the Origins of University Education in Europe'', Cambridge University Press, 1997. * Seybolt, Robert Francis (trans.): ''The Manuale Scholarium: An Original Account of Life in the Mediaeval University'', Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1921 * Thorndike, Lynn (trans. and ed.): ''University Records and Life in the Middle Ages'', New York: Columbia University Press, 1975, *


External links


The Shift of Medical Education into the Universities


* [http://rmc.library.cornell.edu/medievalbook/intro.htm From Manuscript to Print: Evolution of the Mediaeval Book.]
Life of the Students at Paris.







Quality Assurance In A Globalized Higher Education Environment: An Historical Perspective
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The Rise of Universities (classic), Charles Homer Haskins, 1923
{{DEFAULTSORT:Medieval University History of academia Medieval European education Medieval organizations School types