Antecedents[ edit ] A map of medieval universities The university is generally regarded as a formal institution that has its origin in the Medieval Christian setting. Evidence of these immediate forerunners of the later university at many places dates back to the 6th century AD. Before the 12th century, the intellectual life of Western Europe had been largely relegated to monasterieswhich were mostly concerned with performing the liturgy and prayer; relatively few monasteries could boast true intellectuals.
The Rise of the Universities As students at a university, you are part of a great tradition. Consider the words you use: These are the language of the university, and they are all derived from Latin, almost unchanged from their medieval origins.
The organization of this university, its activities and its traditions, are continuations of a barroom brawl that took place in Paris almost years ago. He issued a decretal the every cathedral and monastery was to establish a school to provide a free education to every boy who had the intelligence and the perseverance to follow a demanding course of study.
Since the aim was to create a large body of educated priests upon which both the empire and local communities could draw for leadership, girls were ignored.
Their object was to train priests, and their curriculum was designed to do that and little more. The course of study consisted of two parts, the grammar school in which the trivium the "three- part curriculum," from which our word "trivial" is derivedconsisting of grammar, rhetoric, and logic.
Grammar trained the student to read, write, and speak Latin, the universal language of the European educated classes; rhetoric taught the art of public speaking and served as an introduction to literature; and logic provided means of demonstrating the validity of propositions, as well as serving as an introduction to the quadrivium the "four-part curriculum" of arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music.
Astronomy was necessary for calculating the date of Easter, predicting eclipses, and marking the passing of the seasons. For some time, about all the cathedral and monastery schools could manage was to train enough priests to provide the bare essential of educated local leaders.
Some integrated their curricula by adopting a standard text such as The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius, or some other compendium of knowledge, the most famous being those written by Cassidorus, Martianus Capella, or Isidore of Seville. The masters at some other schools developed a more flexible approach to the concept of education and attempted to extend knowledge as well as impart it to their students.
One of the latter was the cathedral school of Reims, where the Spanish-trained Gerbert of Aurillac developed the mathematical aspects of the quadrivium by introducing Arabic numerical notation, the use of the abacus for numerical calculation, and the astrolabe for astronomical observation.
Other schools developed in different directions, with Orleans specializing in classical studies, and Chartres in the mathematical theory of music. Still another such center of specialized learning was the little Norman monastery of Bec, which, under the leadership of Lanfranc, and Anselm, became known throughout northern Europe for the teaching of Law.
Inhe issued a papal decree ordering all cathedrals and major monasteries to establish schools for the training of clergy. The result was a great expansion of education, and some places in which there were a number of monasteries concentrated, became centers of education.
Nowhere was this more true that in Paris. Naturally, the cathedral and surrounding buildings housed and impressive number of teachers and students attached to the cathedral school.
The royal palace, across the square from the cathedral, was the center from which the provost of the city worked. Leading his own police force, the provost was the royal deputy charged with running the city.
Since the king and archbishop had more important affairs, the provost and chancellor were the heads of the secular and ecclesiastical government of Paris, and generally worked together rather closely. On the left bank of the Seine, there were several monasteries, each with its own school: Germain des Pres, and St.
Although each of these schools had a master, he was not the only teacher there, as had been the case in many of the earlier cathedral and monastery schools. Some instructors resided in the monastery itself and some outside, providing the basis for a distinction that persists in the professor and associate professor.
The professors hired assistants assistant professorswho might someday become professors themselves, while particularly able students might be hired to teach basic subjects in the grammar school as instructors. The professors usually offered a course, or series, of lectures in which they would read from a text, a work generally accepted as being important to know, so the students could copy down the words, and then the lecturer would offer explanations of the text, while the students made notes in the wide margins they had left for that purpose marginalia.
As an aside, it was customary for notes referring to other works relevant to the passage to be put at the bottom, of foot, of the page, a practice that has survived as the modern footnote. When the student felt ready he could appear before the chancellor to be examined.
If approved, he was given a diploma, an official document that permitted him to preach or teach in the diocese of Paris. Students could attend any courses they wished from any of the faculty in any of these schools, since all that really counted was whether they could satisfy the chancellor that they were competent.
So they tended to find rooms in the district of the city between these centers and to pick and choose which lectures they wished to hear on which books. The instructors began to rent halls in the district in which to give their lectures, and this part of Paris became a center of learning, being known as the Latin Quarter, since the common language for the various people living and studying there was Latin.
The cathedral school of Notre Dame was the home base of the most respected and well known teachers, and at first overshadowed the schools of the Latin Quarter but that began to change.
The chancellor of Notre Dame considered the fact that all teachers and all students, too were in "holy orders," that is, they were clergy although neither priests nor monks. As the representative of the bishop, the chancellor felt that all clergy in Paris owed him obedience and tried to tell the instructors not only what to teach, but how they were to teach it.
This clash between the chancellor and masters was only the beginning of a tension that continues to the present day. Just as the chancellor of Notre Dame claimed the power to command the obedience of the masters in all things because they were members of the Church, so too in many state universities today, chancellors or presidents attempt to extend their authority over the faculty because the faculty are state employees.
In medieval Paris, this conflict caused many masters instructors to move to the Latin Quarter and join the "faculties" of the monastery schools there. Peter Abelard, a student in the Latin Quarter who had returned to become a master in the school of Notre Dame, set both students and masters on their ears with his book entitled Sic et non Yes and Noin which he demonstrated that the accepted authorities that everyone had been studying contradicted one another on almost every basic point that one could think of.Medieval and Modern Universities are institutions of higher education.
Universities were originally established as a way to foster a new generation of leaders and still today, hundreds of years later, universities are still based on the same basic purposes as they were in medieval Europe. The structures of both universities were heavily influenced by the example of Merton College, Oxford, which was established in as a residence for secular clergy- those who lived a communal life but, unlike the regular clergy, were not monastic (8).
Examining How Medieval Universities Have Impacted Modern Universities Words 3 Pages One major contribution from the Middle Ages that has made a profound impact which still affects us today is the rise of universities and higher education.
History of Medieval Education, Middle Ages European Learning. Below is a background review of the history of college education, medieval universities and higher learning education in the university and schools setting in europe, and origin and timeline information on the evolution of education in that system.
Medieval Education: The Histor Higher education plays a major part in today's society. Expected to continue their education beyond high school, many students attend four-year universities and colleges. The emergence of such higher education was first recorded in Europe during the Middle Ages.
During this period of study, students were often living far from home and were unsupervised; thus students developed a reputation, both among contemporary sources .