A report on Medieval university

Illustration from a 16th-century manuscript showing a meeting of doctors at the University of Paris
A map of medieval universities
Teaching at Paris, in a late 14th-century Grandes Chroniques de France: the tonsured students sit on the floor
This Mob Quad group of buildings in Merton College, Oxford was constructed in three phases and concluded in c. 1378.
Diagrams, in a volume of treatises on natural science, philosophy, and mathematics. This 1300 manuscript is typical of the sort of book owned by medieval university students.
A university class, Bologna (1350s)
Universitas Istropolitana (a former university building in present-day Bratislava)

Corporation organized during the Middle Ages for the purposes of higher education.

- Medieval university
Illustration from a 16th-century manuscript showing a meeting of doctors at the University of Paris

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The Cross of Mathilde, a crux gemmata made for Mathilde, Abbess of Essen (973–1011), who is shown kneeling before the Virgin and Child in the enamel plaque. The figure of Christ is slightly later. Probably made in Cologne or Essen, the cross demonstrates several medieval techniques: cast figurative sculpture, filigree, enamelling, gem polishing and setting, and the reuse of Classical cameos and engraved gems.

Middle Ages

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In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the 5th to the late 15th centuries, similar to the post-classical period of global history.

In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the 5th to the late 15th centuries, similar to the post-classical period of global history.

The Cross of Mathilde, a crux gemmata made for Mathilde, Abbess of Essen (973–1011), who is shown kneeling before the Virgin and Child in the enamel plaque. The figure of Christ is slightly later. Probably made in Cologne or Essen, the cross demonstrates several medieval techniques: cast figurative sculpture, filigree, enamelling, gem polishing and setting, and the reuse of Classical cameos and engraved gems.
A late Roman sculpture depicting the Tetrarchs, now in Venice, Italy
Barbarian kingdoms and tribes after the end of the Western Roman Empire
A coin of the Ostrogothic leader Theoderic the Great, struck in Milan, Italy, c. AD 491–501
A mosaic showing Justinian with the bishop of Ravenna (Italy), bodyguards, and courtiers.
Reconstruction of an early medieval peasant village in Bavaria
An 11th-century illustration of Gregory the Great dictating to a secretary
Map showing growth of Frankish power from 481 to 814
Charlemagne's palace chapel at Aachen, completed in 805
10th-century Ottonian ivory plaque depicting Christ receiving a church from Otto I
A page from the Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript created in the British Isles in the late 8th or early 9th century
Medieval French manuscript illustration of the three classes of medieval society: those who prayed (the clergy) those who fought (the knights), and those who worked (the peasantry). The relationship between these classes was governed by feudalism and manorialism. (Li Livres dou Sante, 13th century)
13th-century illustration of a Jew (in pointed Jewish hat) and the Christian Petrus Alphonsi debating
Europe and the Mediterranean Sea in 1190
The Bayeux Tapestry (detail) showing William the Conqueror (centre), his half-brothers Robert, Count of Mortain (right) and Odo, Bishop of Bayeux in the Duchy of Normandy (left)
Krak des Chevaliers was built during the Crusades for the Knights Hospitallers.
A medieval scholar making precise measurements in a 14th-century manuscript illustration
Portrait of Cardinal Hugh of Saint-Cher by Tommaso da Modena, 1352, the first known depiction of spectacles
The Romanesque Church of Maria Laach, Germany
The Gothic interior of Laon Cathedral, France
Francis of Assisi, depicted by Bonaventura Berlinghieri in 1235, founded the Franciscan Order.
Sénanque Abbey, Gordes, France
Execution of some of the ringleaders of the jacquerie, from a 14th-century manuscript of the Chroniques de France ou de St Denis
Map of Europe in 1360
Joan of Arc in a 15th-century depiction
Guy of Boulogne crowning Pope Gregory XI in a 15th-century miniature from Froissart's Chroniques
Clerics studying astronomy and geometry, French, early 15th century
Agricultural calendar, c. 1470, from a manuscript of Pietro de Crescenzi
February scene from the 15th-century illuminated manuscript Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry
Medieval illustration of the spherical Earth in a 14th-century copy of L'Image du monde
The early Muslim conquests
Expansion under Muhammad, 622–632
Expansion during the Rashidun Caliphate, 632–661
Expansion during the Umayyad Caliphate, 661–750

Cathedral schools were in turn replaced by the universities established in major European cities.

14th-century image of a university lecture

Scholasticism

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Medieval school of philosophy that employed a critical organic method of philosophical analysis predicated upon the Aristotelian 10 Categories.

Medieval school of philosophy that employed a critical organic method of philosophical analysis predicated upon the Aristotelian 10 Categories.

14th-century image of a university lecture

Endeavoring to harmonize his metaphysics and its account of a prime mover with the Latin Catholic dogmatic trinitarian theology, these monastic schools became the basis of the earliest European medieval universities, and scholasticism dominated education in Europe from about 1100 to 1700.

The cathedral school of Trondheim, founded in 1152, is the oldest school in Norway. Today, the Katedralskole serves as secondary school.

Cathedral school

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The cathedral school of Trondheim, founded in 1152, is the oldest school in Norway. Today, the Katedralskole serves as secondary school.
Philosopher on one of the archivolts over the right door of the west portal at Chartres Cathedral

Cathedral schools began in the Early Middle Ages as centers of advanced education, some of them ultimately evolving into medieval universities.

An Eastern Christian icon depicting Emperor Constantine and the Fathers of the First Council of Nicaea (325) as holding the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381.

Christianity

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Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.

Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.

An Eastern Christian icon depicting Emperor Constantine and the Fathers of the First Council of Nicaea (325) as holding the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381.
Various depictions of Jesus
Crucifixion, representing the death of Jesus on the Cross, painting by Diego Velázquez, c. 1632.
The Law and the Gospel by Lucas Cranach the Elder (1529); Moses and Elijah point the sinner to Jesus for salvation.
The Trinity is the belief that God is one God in three persons: the Father, the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit.
Midnight Mass at a Catholic parish church in Woodside, New York City, U.S.
Show on the life of Jesus at Igreja da Cidade in São José dos Campos, affiliated to the Brazilian Baptist Convention.
An early circular ichthys symbol, created by combining the Greek letters ΙΧΘΥΣ into a wheel, Ephesus, Asia Minor.
The Bible is the sacred book in Christianity.
St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, the largest church in the world and a symbol of the Catholic Church.
The 7th-century Khor Virap monastery in the shadow of Mount Ararat; Armenia was the first state to adopt Christianity as the state religion, in AD 301.
The Monastery of St. Matthew, located atop Mount Alfaf in northern Iraq, is recognized as one of the oldest Christian monasteries in existence.
Kadisha Valley, Lebanon, home to some of the earliest Christian monasteries in the world.
Christendom by A.D. 600 after its spread to Africa and Europe from the Middle East.
An example of Byzantine pictorial art, the Deësis mosaic at the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople.
Pope Urban II at the Council of Clermont, where he preached the First Crusade. Illustration by Jean Colombe from a copy of the Passages d'outremer, c. 1490.
Martin Luther initiated the Reformation with his Ninety-five Theses in 1517.
Michelangelo's 1498–99 Pietà in St. Peter's Basilica; the Catholic Church was among the patronages of the Renaissance.
A depiction of Madonna and Child in a 19th-century Kakure Kirishitan Japanese woodcut.
A Christian procession in Brazil, the country with the largest Catholic population in the world.
Trinity Sunday in Russia; the Russian Orthodox Church has experienced a great revival since the fall of communism.
The global distribution of Christians: Countries colored a darker shade have a higher proportion of Christians.
Pope Francis, the current leader of the Catholic Church.
St. George's Cathedral in Istanbul: It has been the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople whose leader is regarded as the primus inter pares in the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Holy Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa, the seat of the Ethiopian Orthodox.
A 6th-century Nestorian church, St. John the Arab, in the Assyrian village of Geramon in Hakkari, southeastern Turkey.
Saint Mary Church; an ancient Assyrian church located in the city of Urmia, Iran.
A 19th-century drawing of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery receiving the Aaronic priesthood from John the Baptist. Latter Day Saints believe that the Priesthood ceased to exist after the death of the apostles and therefore needed to be restored.
Unitarian Church of Transylvania in Cluj-Napoca.
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A copy of the Summa Theologica by Thomas Aquinas, a famous Christian apologetic work.
Christians fleeing their homes in the Ottoman Empire, circa 1922. Many Christians were persecuted and/or killed during the Armenian genocide, Greek genocide, and Assyrian genocide.
Countries with 50% or more Christians are colored purple; countries with 10% to 50% Christians are colored pink
Nations with Christianity as their state religion are in blue
Distribution of Catholics
Distribution of Protestants
Distribution of Eastern Orthodox
Distribution of Oriental Orthodox
Distribution of other Christians
Links between interdenominational movements and other developments within Protestantism
Historical chart of the main Protestant branches
The Cenacle on Mount Zion in Jerusalem, claimed to be the location of the Last Supper and Pentecost.
A folio from Papyrus 46, an early-3rd-century collection of Pauline epistles

In the West, from the 11th century onward, some older cathedral schools became universities (see, for example, University of Oxford, University of Paris and University of Bologna).

Boys going to school. Bolognese manuscript of the Decretum Gratiani, 14th century

Monastic school

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Monastic schools (Scholae monasticae) were, along with cathedral schools, the most important institutions of higher learning in the Latin West from the early Middle Ages until the 12th century.

Monastic schools (Scholae monasticae) were, along with cathedral schools, the most important institutions of higher learning in the Latin West from the early Middle Ages until the 12th century.

Boys going to school. Bolognese manuscript of the Decretum Gratiani, 14th century

In some places monastic schools evolved into medieval universities which eventually largely superseded both institutions as centers of higher learning.

Christianity – Percentage of population by country (2014 data)

Christendom

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Culturally intertwined with.

Culturally intertwined with.

Christianity – Percentage of population by country (2014 data)
This T-and-O map, which abstracts the then known world to a cross inscribed within an orb, remakes geography in the service of Christian iconography. More detailed versions place Jerusalem at the center of the world.
Icon depicting the Emperor Constantine and the bishops of the First Council of Nicaea (AD 325) holding the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381.
Spread of Christianity by AD 600 (shown in dark blue is the spread of Early Christianity up to AD 325)
St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna.
Picture of Christ in Majesty contained in an illuminated manuscript.
There are few old ceramic icons, such as this St. Theodor icon which dates to ca. 900 (from Preslav, Bulgaria).
The structure of a typical Gothic cathedral.
Science, and particularly geometry and astronomy, was linked directly to the divine for most medieval scholars. Since these Christians believed God imbued the universe with regular geometric and harmonic principles, to seek these principles was therefore to seek and worship God.
Relative geographic prevalence of Christianity versus Islam versus lack of either religion (2006).

Medieval Christianity created the first modern universities.

Map of Medieval Universities in Europe, up to c.1500.

Studium generale

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Map of Medieval Universities in Europe, up to c.1500.
Studium generale of Alcalá de Henares (May 20, 1293).

Studium generale is the old customary name for a medieval university in medieval Europe.

Philosophia et septem artes liberales, the seven liberal arts. From the Hortus deliciarum of Herrad of Landsberg (12th century)

Liberal arts education

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Traditional academic program in Western higher education.

Traditional academic program in Western higher education.

Philosophia et septem artes liberales, the seven liberal arts. From the Hortus deliciarum of Herrad of Landsberg (12th century)
Allegory of the seven liberal arts, The Phoebus Foundation
Page, with illustration of Music, from Marriage of Mercury and Philology
Thompson Library at Vassar College in New York
"Thriumph of S. Tomas & Allegory of the Sciences" by Andrea di Bonaluto. Frasco, 1365-68, Basilica di S. Maria Novella.
"A young man introduced to the seven Liberal Arts" by Sandro Boticelli, c. 1484. Fresco in Villa Lemni, Florence.

It was in that two-fold form that the seven liberal arts were studied in the medieval Western university.

Funerary stele of Licinia Amias on marble, in the National Roman Museum. One of the earliest Christian inscriptions found, it comes from the early 3rd century Vatican necropolis area in Rome. It contains the text ΙΧΘΥϹ ΖΩΝΤΩΝ ("fish of the living"), a predecessor of the Ichthys symbol.

History of Christianity

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The history of Christianity concerns the Christian religion, Christian countries, and the Christians with their various denominations, from the 1st century to the present.

The history of Christianity concerns the Christian religion, Christian countries, and the Christians with their various denominations, from the 1st century to the present.

Funerary stele of Licinia Amias on marble, in the National Roman Museum. One of the earliest Christian inscriptions found, it comes from the early 3rd century Vatican necropolis area in Rome. It contains the text ΙΧΘΥϹ ΖΩΝΤΩΝ ("fish of the living"), a predecessor of the Ichthys symbol.
The eastern Mediterranean region in the time of Paul the Apostle
Christ Jesus, the Good Shepherd, 3rd century
St. Lawrence (martyred 258) before Emperor Valerianus by Fra Angelico
A folio from Papyrus 46, an early-3rd-century collection of Pauline epistles
Virgin and Child. Wall painting from the early Roman catacombs, 4th century.
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Icon depicting the Emperor Constantine (centre) and the bishops of the First Council of Nicaea (325) holding the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381.
Imagined portrait of Arius; detail of a Cretan School icon, c. 1591, depicting the First Council of Nicaea.
The ceiling mosaic of the Arian Baptistery, built in Ravenna by the Ostrogothic King Theodoric the Great.
An Eastern Roman mosaic showing a basilica with towers, mounted with Christian crosses, 5th century, Louvre
The Church of the East during the Middle Ages
Coptic icon of St. Anthony the Great, father of Christian monasticism and early anchorite. The Coptic inscription reads ‘Ⲡⲓⲛⲓϣϯ Ⲁⲃⲃⲁ Ⲁⲛⲧⲱⲛⲓ’ ("the Great Father Anthony").
A mosaic of Justinian I in the Basilica of San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy
Roderick is venerated as one of the Martyrs of Córdoba
Raid on the Monastery of Zobe and the death of hegumenos Michael and his 36 brothers, depicted in the Menologion of Basil II.
"Hospitality of Abraham", icon by Andrei Rublev; the three angels represent the Godhead according to Trinitarian Christians.
Western Europe, the Holy Roman Empire, Kievan Rus', and the Byzantine Empire in the Middle Ages (year 1000)
The spread of Cistercians from their original sites in Western-Central Europe during the Middle Ages
Henry IV, the Holy Roman Emperor at the gate of Canossa Castle in 1077, during the Investiture controversy.
The Kingdom of Jerusalem and the Crusader states with their strongholds in the Holy Land at their height, between the First and the Second Crusade (1135)
St. Cyril and St. Methodius monument on Mt. Radhošť
Christianization of Kievan Rus', the first unified federation of Slavic tribes
Christianization of Moravia under the rule of Rastislav
Jan Hus defending his theses at the Council of Constance (1415), painting by the Czech artist Václav Brožík
Michelangelo's Pietà (1498–99) in St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City
American Discovery Viewed by Native Americans (Thomas Hart Benton, 1922). European discovery and colonization had disastrous effects on the Indigenous peoples of the Americas and their societies.
The Council in Santa Maria Maggiore church; Museo Diocesiano Tridentino, Trento
Galileo before the Holy Office, a 19th-century painting by Joseph-Nicolas Robert-Fleury
Philipp Spener, the founder of Pietism
Churches of the Moscow Kremlin, as seen from the Balchug
Demolition of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow on the orders of Joseph Stalin, 5 December 1931, consistent with the doctrine of state atheism in the USSR
Pope Pius XI
Laying on of hands during a service in a neo-charismatic church in Ghana

Modern western universities have their origins directly in the Medieval Church.

Coat of arms

University of Cambridge

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Collegiate research university in Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Collegiate research university in Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Coat of arms
Coat of arms
Peterhouse, Cambridge's first college, was founded in 1284
Emmanuel College Chapel
Selwyn College was founded in 1882
Newnham College is one of two extant women's colleges
The Mathematical Bridge over the River Cam (at Queens' College)
The entrance to the original Cavendish Laboratory on the New Museums Site
The Faculty of Education
The Faculty of Law on the Sidgwick Site
View over Trinity College, Gonville and Caius, Trinity Hall and Clare College towards King's College Chapel, seen from St John's College chapel whereas on the left, just in front of King's College chapel, is the university Senate House
The President's Lodge at Queens' College
Margaret Wileman Building, Hughes Hall
The Bridge of Sighs at St John's College
Institute of Continuing Education, Madingley Hall.
The Old Schools (left) are the administrative centre of the university
Officers of the Regent House, including Vice- Chancellor Borysiewicz, after a graduation ceremony
Faculty of Divinity at Cambridge University
Light show on the Senate House, for the 800th anniversary of the foundation of the university
Old Court, Clare College
Senate House Passage in the snow with Senate House on the right and Gonville and Caius College on the left
Peterhouse Old Court
Great Court of Trinity College, dating back to the 16th Century
Percentage of state-school students at Oxford and Cambridge
Results for the Cambridge Mathematical Tripos are read out inside Senate House and then tossed from the balcony
Graduands enter the Senate House at a graduation ceremony
University officials leading the Vice-Chancellor's deputy into the Senate House
Trinity College's Wren Library
The Fitzwilliam Museum, the art and antiquities museum of the University of Cambridge
The University Centre main dining hall
The boathouse of the Cambridge University Boat Club
Stephen Fry in the Main Chamber of the Cambridge Union
The Main Hall at Christ's College
The bridge over the River Cam at Clare College during its 2005 May Ball
Charles Darwin—whose family was also benefactor of Darwin College
Stephen Hawking
Paul Dirac, theoretical physicist
Muhammad Iqbal, philosopher, poet
Ludwig Wittgenstein, philosopher
Thomas Cranmer
The Marlowe portrait, often claimed to be Christopher Marlowe, playwright
Lord Byron, English poet
Zadie Smith, Author
Stephen Fry, comedian and actor
Great Court, Trinity College
Corpus Christi College New Court
Gatehouse, Gonville and Caius College
First Court, Pembroke College
Gatehouse, Selwyn College
Main Court, St Catharine's College
Hughes Hall and Fenner's
Bredon House of Wolfson College
St Edmund's College
West Lodge Garden, Downing College
Queens' College Old Gatehouse
Dining Hall of Magdalene College
Chapel Court, Jesus College
Second Court, St John's College
Trinity Hall
The Cavendish Building, Homerton College
Darwin College
The chapel, Sidney Sussex College
Judge Business School interior
The Grove at Fitzwilliam College
Gatehouse, Girton College

After Cambridge was described as a studium generale in a letter from Pope Nicholas IV in 1290, and confirmed as such in a bull by Pope John XXII in 1318, it became common for researchers from other European medieval universities to visit Cambridge to study or to give lecture courses.