Origins and characteristics of medieval universities
The universitas often meant simply the student body, usually called the nation, organised for the communal protection of the foreign student body, men who otherwise, being aliens, were at the mercy of local inn-keepers and tradesmen. The term universitas itself originally could mean any community or corporation, unless qualified by the use of such expressions as universitas magistrorum et scharium or similar.
Many famous schools, such as Oxford and Cambridge, were founded at busy commercial centers. A modern university was established at Salerno in This gave the students both the original text and a learned commentary on the work. There were, however, occasional choices as to which teacher to use.
Medieval universities vs modern universities
The Mediaeval Universities. Medieval learning was based on the seven liberal arts. Courses were not elective: the course offerings were set, and everyone had to take the same courses. It became a universitas sometime in the twelfth century, and obtained formal recognition in , but remained solely a medical school and did not influence the style and organization of later universities. Of those that have survived, we are often presented with an image of the cash-strapped student which may resonate with their modern counterparts. It soon became necessary, to avoid abuse of the royal privileges conferred on scholars, to identify and authenticate the persons to whom degrees had been granted. Background The collapse of the Roman Empire in the fourth century created a period of anarchy and economic crisis across Europe. In a Bull of , Emperor Frederick II purported to confer upon his new school at Naples the prestige which earlier studia had acquired by reputation and general consent, and this example was followed by Pope Gregory IX at Toulouse in
This led to uneasy tensions with secular authorities—the demarcation between town and gown. Impact The word university originates from the term universitas, which originally meant any collection of professionals in a guild or organization. Students were also known to engage in drunkenness.
The medical school at Salerno, in southern Italy, is often cited as the first university, or at least one of the first universities.
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