Medieval universities. The first universities in Western Europe

The development of medieval towns, as well asOther changes that occurred in the life of society were always accompanied by changes in education. If in the early Middle Ages it was received mainly in monasteries, then later schools began to open in which law, philosophy, medicine were studied, students read the works of many Arab, Greek authors, etc.Medieval Universities

History of occurrence

The word "university" in Latinmeans "aggregate," or "unification." I must say that today, as in the old days, it has not lost its significance. Medieval universities and schools were communities of teachers and students. They were organized with one goal: to give and receive education. Medieval universities lived according to certain rules. Only they could assign degrees, give graduates the right to teach. So it was in all Christian Europe. The medieval universities got a similar right from those who founded them - popes, emperors or kings, that is, those who at that time possessed the highest power. The founding of such educational institutions is attributed to the most famous monarchs. It is considered, for example, that Oxford University was founded by Alfred the Great, and the Parisian one by Charlemagne.

How was the medieval university arranged

The head was usually headed by the rector. His post was elected. Just like in our time, medieval universities were divided into departments. Each of them was headed by a dean. After listening to a certain number of courses, students became bachelors, and then masters and received the right to teach. At the same time, they could continue their education, but already in one of the "higher" faculties considered specialties in medicine, law or theology.How was the medieval university arranged

The way the medieval university was organized,practically does not differ from the modern method of education. They were open to everyone. And although among the students there were predominantly children from wealthy families, however, there were quite a few people from the poor class. However, from the moment of admission to medieval universities and to obtaining the highest degree of doctor passed many years, and therefore very few passed this way to the end, but the academic degree of lucky ones provided both honor and the possibility of a quick career.


Many young people in search of the bestteachers moved from one city to another and even left for a neighboring European country. It must be said that ignorance of the languages ​​did not bother them at all. European medieval universities taught in Latin, which was considered the language of science and the church. Many students sometimes led the life of a stranger, and therefore received the nickname "Vagant" - "roaming". Among them there were also excellent poets, whose creations still arouse great interest among contemporaries.

The order of life of students was simple: in the mornings lectures, and in the evenings - the repetition of the passed material. Together with the constant memory training in the universities of the Middle Ages, great attention was paid to the ability to argue. This skill was worked out during daily disputes.

student life

However, not only did the life developthose who had the fortune to enter the medieval universities. In her time there was time for solemn ceremonies, and for noisy feasts. The students of that time were very fond of their educational institutions, here they spent the best years of their lives, getting knowledge and finding protection from strangers. They called them "alma mater".Traditions of medieval universities preserved to this day

Students usually gathered in small groupsnations or fellow-countrymen, uniting students from the most diverse regions. Together they could rent an apartment, although many lived in colleges - colleges. The latter, as a rule, were formed by nationalities: in each group representatives from one community were gathered.

University Science in Europe

Scholasticism began its formation in thethe eleventh century. Her most important feature was the unlimited belief in the power of reason in the knowledge of the world. However, in the course of time in the Middle Ages, university science became a dogma, the provisions of which were considered final and infallible. In the 14-15 centuries. Scholasticism, which used logic alone and completely rejected any experiment, began to turn into an obvious brake on the development of natural scientific thought in the territory of Western Europe. Almost completely the formation of medieval universities was then in the hands of the monks of the Franciscan and Dominican orders. The educational system of that time had a rather strong influence on the evolution of the formation of Western European civilization.

Only centuries later the medieval universities of Western Europe began to promote the growth of public self-awareness, the progress of scientific thought and personal freedom.


To get the status of an educational,The institution was to have a papal bull approving its creation. By this decree, the pontiff withdrew the institution from the control of secular or local church authorities, legitimizing the existence of this university. The rights of the educational institution were also confirmed by the privileges received. These were special documents signed either by the popes, or by the reigning persons. Privileges ensured the autonomy of this educational institution - a form of government, permission to have one's own court, as well as the right to grant academic degrees and the release of students from military service. Thus, medieval universities became a completely independent organization. Professors, students and employees of the educational institution, in a word, everything, were no longer subordinate to the city government, but solely to the elected rector and deans. And if the students admitted some misconduct, then the leadership of this locality could only ask them to condemn or punish the guilty.Education of medieval universities


Medieval universities provided an opportunityget a good education. Many well-known figures were trained in them. Graduates of these educational institutions were Pierre Abelard and Duns Scott, Peter Lombard and William Okkam, Thomas Aquinas and many others.

As a rule, he graduated from such an institution expecteda magnificent career. After all, on the one hand, medieval schools and universities were in active contact with the church, and on the other, along with the expansion of administrative apparatuses of different cities, the need for educated and literate people also increased. Many yesterday's students worked as notaries, prosecutors, scribes, judges or lawyers.

Structural subdivision

In the Middle Ages, there was no division of higherand secondary education, so the structure of the medieval university included both senior and junior faculties. After a deep training of 15-16-year-old young people of Latin in the elementary school, they were transferred to the preparatory level. Here they studied the "seven liberal arts" in two cycles. This was a "trivium" (grammar, as well as rhetoric and dialectics) and "quadrium" (arithmetic, music, astronomy and geometry). But only after studying the course of philosophy, the student had the right to enter the senior faculty for legal, medical or theological specialty.European medieval universities

Principle of training

And today in modern universities are usedtraditions of medieval universities. The curricula that survived to this day were compiled for a year, which in those days was divided into two unequal parts, not for two semesters. The big ordinary period lasted from October to Easter, and the small one lasted until the end of June. The division of the academic year into semesters appeared only towards the end of the Middle Ages in some German universities.

There were three main forms of teaching. Lectio, or lectures, represented a complete and systematic presentation at certain times of a particular academic subject, as previously stated in the statute or in the statute of the university. They were divided into ordinary, or compulsory, courses and on extraordinary, or additional. The same principle was used to classify teachers.

For example, compulsory lectures usually appointedin the morning hours - from the very dawn to nine in the morning. This time was considered more convenient and designed for the fresh strength of students. In turn, extraordinary lectures were given to listeners during the afternoon hours. They started at six and ended at ten in the evening. The lesson lasted one or two hours.

Traditions of medieval universities

The main task of medieval teachersuniversities was that, collating the various versions of texts, on the way to give the necessary explanations. Statutes students were forbidden to demand a repetition of the material or even a slow reading. They had to come to lectures with books, which in those days were very expensive, so the students took them for rent.Medieval schools and universities

Since the eighteenth century, universities have becomeaccumulate manuscripts, copying them and creating their own sample texts. The audience did not exist long enough. The first medieval university, in which professors began to organize school premises - Bologna, - from the fourteenth century began to create public buildings to accommodate rooms for lectures.

Before that, students were grouped together in one place. For example, in Paris it was Foir avenue, or Straw's street, named for this because listeners sat on the floor, at the straw at the feet of their teacher. Later, the similarities of the partners began to appear - long tables, which could fit up to twenty people. Chairs began to arrange on the dais.

Assignment of degrees

After graduation in the medievaluniversity students stood the exam, which was taken by several masters from each nation. Supervised examining the dean. The student had to prove that he had read all the recommended books and had managed to participate in the volume of disputes laid by the statutes. Interested in the commission and the behavior of the graduate. After the successful passage of these stages, the student was admitted to a public debate, on which he had to answer all questions. As a result, he was awarded the first bachelor's degree. Two academic years, he had to assist the master to get the right to teach. And only after six months he was also awarded a master's degree. The graduate should have read the lecture, uttered an oath and made a feast.Structure of the medieval university

It is interesting

The history of the oldest universities takes itsbeginning from the twelfth century. It was then that educational institutions such as Bologna in Italy and Paris in France were born. In the thirteenth century Oxford and Cambridge appeared in England, Montpellier in Toulouse, and already in the fourteenth fourteenth century the first universities appeared in the Czech Republic and Germany, Austria and Poland. Each school had its own traditions and privileges. By the end of the fifteenth century, there were about one hundred universities in Europe that were structured in three types, depending on who received the teacher's salary. The first was in Bologna. Here students hired and paid for teachers. The second type of university was in Paris, where teachers financed the church. Oxford and Cambridge were supported by both the crown and the state. I must say that it was the fact that helped them survive in 1538 the dissolution of monasteries and the subsequent removal of the main British Catholic institutions.

All three types of structures had their own peculiarities. For example, in Bologna, for example, students managed almost everything, and this fact often brought teachers a great inconvenience. In Paris it was the other way around. It was because teachers paid the church that theology was the main subject at this university. But in Bologna students chose more secular studies. Here the main subject was the law.

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