Rebirth, Reform, and Resilience: Universities in Transition, 1300-1700


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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 , Rome and Paris. Some scholars such as Syed Farid Alatas have noted some parallels between Madrasahs and early European colleges and have thus inferred that the first universities in Europe were influenced by the Madrasahs in Islamic Spain and the Emirate of Sicily.

Hastings Rashdall set out the modern understanding [13] of the medieval origins of the universities, noting that the earliest universities emerged spontaneously as "a scholastic Guild, whether of Masters or Students Among the earliest universities of this type were the University of Bologna , University of Paris teach. In many cases universities petitioned secular power for privileges and this became a model. Another step was when Pope Alexander III in "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".

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. By the year , even the two oldest universities, Bologna and Paris, felt the need to seek similar bulls from Pope Nicholas IV.

By the 13th century, almost half of the highest offices in the Church were occupied by degree masters abbots , archbishops , cardinals , 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 , Thomas Aquinas and Robert Grosseteste , were products of the medieval university.

The development of the medieval university coincided with the widespread reintroduction of Aristotle from Byzantine and Arab scholars. In fact, the European university put Aristotelian and other natural science texts at the center of its curriculum, [19] 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 due to the scholastic and Aristotelian emphasis of its curriculum being less popular than the cultural studies of Renaissance humanism , 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 of the 16th and 17th centuries.

As he puts it " Copernicus , Galileo , Tycho Brahe , Kepler , and 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.

Rebirth, reform, and resilience: universities in transition,

Initially medieval universities did not have physical facilities such as the 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 , where students hired and paid for the teachers.

The second type was in Paris , 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 in and the subsequent removal of all principal Catholic institutions in 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 followed him to Melun, Corbeil, and Paris, [23] showing that popular teachers brought students with them. 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. University studies took six years for a Master of Arts degree a Bachelor of Arts degree was awarded after completing the third or fourth year. Studies for this were organized by the faculty of arts , where the seven liberal arts were taught: arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, music theory, grammar, logic, and rhetoric.

The quadrivium was taught after the preparatory work of the trivium and would lead to the degree of Master of Arts. Much of medieval thought in philosophy and theology can be found in scholastic textual commentary because scholasticism was such a popular method of teaching. Once a Master of Arts degree had been conferred, the student could leave the university or pursue further studies in one of the higher faculties, law , medicine , or theology , 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 midth cenutry, theology could be studied only at universities in Paris, Oxford, Cambridge and Rome. In addition, some of the greatest theologians of the High Middle Ages , Thomas Aquinas and Robert Grosseteste , were products of the medieval university. The development of the medieval university coincided with the widespread reintroduction of Aristotle from Byzantine and Arab scholars. In fact, the European university put Aristotelian and other natural science texts at the center of its curriculum, [19] 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 due to the scholastic and Aristotelian emphasis of its curriculum being less popular than the cultural studies of Renaissance humanism , 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 of the 16th and 17th centuries. As he puts it " Copernicus , Galileo , Tycho Brahe , Kepler , and 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.

Initially medieval universities did not have physical facilities such as the 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 , where students hired and paid for the teachers.

The second type was in Paris , 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 in and the subsequent removal of all principal Catholic institutions in 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 followed him to Melun, Corbeil, and Paris, [23] showing that popular teachers brought students with them. 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.

Establishment

University studies took six years for a Master of Arts degree a Bachelor of Arts degree was awarded after completing the third or fourth year. Studies for this were organized by the faculty of arts , where the seven liberal arts were taught: arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, music theory, grammar, logic, and rhetoric. The quadrivium was taught after the preparatory work of the trivium and would lead to the degree of Master of Arts. Much of medieval thought in philosophy and theology can be found in scholastic textual commentary because scholasticism was such a popular method of teaching.

Once a Master of Arts degree had been conferred, the student could leave the university or pursue further studies in one of the higher faculties, law , medicine , or theology , 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 midth cenutry, theology could be studied only at universities in Paris, Oxford, Cambridge and Rome. First the establishment of the University of Prague 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 write extensive commentaries on this text as part of their curriculum.

Courses were offered according to books, not by subject or theme. For example, a course might be on a book by 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. Students were afforded the legal protection of the clergy. 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 [37] 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. By contrast, universities have shown a truly remarkable durability. This point is in fact made so clearly that it would be easy to draw from it the further inference that somehow, no matter the noise level, universities were not truly under serious attack from the mid- fourteenth through the mid-sixteenth centuries.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The most startling fact about the criticism of universities is that it came from within the larger world of learning itself. The list of critics in this period is jammed not so much with ever-parsimonious patrons and grasping politicians, as would be so later, but with names drawn from the very front ranks of European thinkers.

Coincidentally, this Pope was Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini, one of the better known among those very humanist critics of universities. Aristotle, could be so biting as to suggest mere envy and jealousy. You tell me of an old dialectician who has been violently annoyed by my letter, as though I had condemned his profession.

He is raging in public, you say, and threatens to assail our field in a letter of his, and you have been waiting for this letter in vain for months. Do not expect it any longer. Believe me, it will never come. That much good sense is left of him. So tell you old man that I do not condemn the liberal arts, but childish old people.

For as there is nothing more disgraceful than "an old man in a first-grade class," as Seneca says, so there is nothing so ugly as an old man who is a dialectic debator. Petrarch gave his learned opponents, real or imagined, the back of his hand. Valla preferred a mild form of slander:. I would prefer. For it seems to me that they have a poor opinion of our religion if they think it needs the protection of philosophy. The followers of the Apostles, truly columns in the temple of God. In fact, if we look carefully, the heresies of those times, which we understand were many and not insignificant, derived almost entirely from philosophic sources, so that philosophy not only profited our most sacred religion little but even violently injured it.

But they of whom I speak consider philosophy a tool for weeding out heresies, when actually it is a seedbed of heresy.

Download Rebirth Reform And Resilience Universities In Transition 1300 1700 1984

Changes in both method and sources were in order. They also declared that a university education, and one from the higher faculties in particular, was so useless and harmful that it should be replaced by different objectives as well as different methods and sources. What is the use-I beseech you-of knowing the nature of quadrupeds, fowls, fishes, and serpents and not knowing or even neglecting man's nature, the purpose for which we were born, and whence and whereto we travel?

Valla was of the same mind. Let us then shun knowledge of high things. This fundamental critique had its consequences for universities. As recounted below by Professor Screech, the career of Noel Beda, syndic of the theological faculty of the University of Paris, and satirized by both Erasmus and Rabelais, was certainly not one to be envied. Through the Reuchlin Affair and countless other university-centered disputes, they called the moral authority of university faculties deeply into question by appealing outside the university to the larger community of scholars.

Yet, granted that universities endured, one question naturally poses itself: "What abiding impact did the humanists have upon the universities of Old Europe whose work they so criticized? Negatively, this criticism amounted to a mildly skeptical tendency that inclined the humanists to doubt either the know- ability or usefulness of general propositions in whatever field. To remain in the realm of theology, Erasmus was more concerned with enlightened piety than true doctrine; in law a figure such as Zasius championed the principle of ejueiKeia or equity in applying the law according to its spirit rather than its letter.

In both cases universal knowledge of a propositional nature was the loser. It would, however, be far beyond the scope of this essay to trace changes in the form and content of university curricula in general even during the sixteenth century alone. Fortunately, a useful case is at hand in the form of what was initially the Academy and finally the University of Strasbourg. In the first place, the Academy was a new foundation; therefore its creators were free to establish exactly the sort of educational program they preferred without deference to long-standing traditions or procedures.

Thirdly, and most tellingly for present purposes, the Academy had a quasi-theological faculty from the very beginning to train pastors and teachers for the new church. Here the purpose was to teach true doctrine in some depth. Consequently, from the very outset the Academy pursued the objectives of both the new humanistic educational program and of the most traditional part of the traditional university, namely the theological faculty.

The answer is, not very well. Initially, in the persons of Peter Martyr Vermigli and Giralomo Zanchi, the theological faculty in this Lutheran town harbored professors with distinct Reformed learnings. As the result of a sharp dispute that lasted from to , Martyr and Zanchi left. Strasbourg so that the theological faculty, like the Company of Pastors, became securely Lutheran both in its professors and in its stated intention to teach according to the unaltered Augsburg Confession. During this period, Sturm, as rector of the Academy, and Marbach, as the city's chief theologian and pastor, worked together to secure an Imperial license that would recognize the Academy's right to offer the Master of Arts degree.

Sturm himself initiated the controversies that led to this decision, and to his own eventual dismissal, on 19 December , when he requested a vote of confidence from the Scholarchen, or lay commissioners for the school. From the very outset, therefore, the real issue was who was to control theological education and what were to be its purposes and nature. This conclusion is most evident in reform proposals Sturm put forth during the following three years. In the first place, he wished the faculty of the entire Academy to be consulted on appointments to any part of it, a procedure that, by virtue of numbers, would give the arts faculty control over the faculty of theology.

But his chief target was the two preachers' colleges that housed the ministrial candidates and theology students. Indeed, the heart of his reform proposal was that "the two colleges. For it is from these two colleges that barbarism insinuates itself into our school. In fact, the plan of study with which he came forth in June was so weighted toward the typical humanistic curriculum—and away from dogmatic theology—that it included Luther's catechism only in the eighth and ninth classes. In late or early Marbach and the other pastors and theologians presented a lengthy document to the commission charged with judging the affair in which they argued that the theologians should not be made subject to the school as a whole.

To them it was "unheard of" for theologians not to meet as a faculty to manage their own affairs, as did the faculties of law, medicine, and the arts. Nowhere, Marbach added, are "theological issues and matters of faith given over for grammarians and philosophers to judge and consider. Finally, in , the Senate and XXI, Strasbourg's highest governing council, forced a peace treaty upon Marbach and Sturm according to which they were to leave one another alone in the exercise of their offices and "entirely and in every respect" forgive and forget.

Even copies of all the writings the affair spawned were to be handed over to the government. This new situation is perhaps best revealed in the beginnings of yet another controversy, and one that decisively turned the tables on Sturm. Upon hearing of it, Sturm charged Pappus with failing to secure the required approval from the Dean of the Academy two weeks before publishing and defending his theses.

He added that they would never have been approved, had normal procedures been followed, because they were contentious and badly-timed. Clearly, Sturm deplored making doctrinal judgments at all among non-Catholics, and he certainly opposed granting this authority to a class of professional theologians.

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The other side also held to its position. Pappus himself was relatively silent, but he received support from the University of Tubingen, which had granted him his own doctorate in theology. Against Sturm, Lucas Osiander declared that "to explicate religious controversies reliably. This was the work of professionals.

But in discussions regarding a successor to Marbach, who died on 18 March , all the responsibilities that had once been Marbach's were placed in Pappus's hands. Symbolically at least, the doctorate, i. As a result, however much the studia humanitatis were now prerequisite to theology, the dream of Petrarch and Valla, Erasmus and Rabelais did not become a reality, even in the one university designed specifically to embody it.

James M. Kittelson

After all, the story has been told largely from within the fledgling University of Strasbourg in spite of abundant evidence that forces from without also played a role. The Senate and XXI was in fact the decisive voice in all these controversies. More importantly, they decided the issues before them without respect to their educational or intellectual merits. Rather, he. Rather, the University's patrons expected it to govern itself except in the most extreme instances. Both from within and from without the universities of Old Europe were indeed remarkably durable institutions. The essays that follow, although agreeing on this point, also offer some intriguing hints as to why universities endured through such a time of turmoil, criticism, and change.

Universities are thus pictured in both studies as not merely creators of but also responders to the demands of the wider culture about them. In this very resilience lies a factor that led to durability. One other factor that may account in part for the durability of universities appears at first glance to contradict the point just made about their adaptability.

Professor Courtenay, in tracing the arrival of English thought in continental universities, certainly demonstrates that changes in the content of teaching and curricula were wrought by university people themselves. Such fundamental cultural changes occurred as the result of solitary scholars' deciding to pursue their studies in a manner that seemed most convincing to them.

The result was a depth of human conviction that changed, but did so slowly and thoughtfully. To be sure, this situation could create anomalies, as Professor Grant's treatment of science in the medieval universities well illustrates. Nonetheless, the unwillingness of professors to whore after the latest intellectual fashion proved on balance a source of strength to the universities of Old Europe. In just this regard, it is intriguing that Cracow's professors, hopelessly out of step with royal policy on the conciliar issue by , nonetheless insisted upon consulting their colleagues at other universities before bowing to reality- This Professor Knoll reads as a sign of independence, and rightfully so.

It may also be taken as a sign of the integritas of the universitas. Finally, the universities' very connection with society may also be taken as a source of their durability. It also gave those closest to this ragtag batch of masters and students a clear interest in retaining them and therefore put undoubted limits upon the extent to which tense town-gown relations would be allowed to do genuine damage to the university. In sum, the universities of Old Europe were socially useful institutions. Herein lies another part of the explanation for their durability.

It is not even possible to assay how much universities may have changed internally while retaining their external structure and status during these years. For example, in all the work that has been done on universities and university people during the last decade, precious little has gone to elucidate even what students may have been taught during their years of study. Dare one ask what they may have learned? As a consequence, finally, it is impossible to determine what positive or negative role universities may have played during these centuries upon the dominant themes in the development of Western civilization, and surely this is the most important question of all.

As is common, therefore, when the grand syntheses begin to break down, exciting possibilities for new work appear. This volume is dedicated to that end. The position to which P. Kristeller, Renaissance Thought. Ernst Cassirer, P. Kristeller, and John Herman Randall, Jr. Lewis W. Cassirer, Renaissance Philosophy, pp. Charles G. Nauert, Jr. William J. James D. All of this is not to maintain that the humanists refused to accept the actual teachings of their nominalist adversaries.


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Erasmus in fact did on occasion. Gymnasium und Akademie in Strassburg, Wiesbaden, On the dispute, see James M. Kittelson, "Marbach vs. In general and for what follows, see Schindling, Humanistische Hochschule, esp. Archives municipales de Strasbourg. Archivum S. Thomae , fol.

AST 79, fol. Schindling, Humanistische Hochschule, pp. Herbert J. Bouman St. Louis, Protocolles des Senat et XXI, , fol. For similar tensions in and among Calvinist academies, see Brian G. Armstrong, Calvinism and the Amyraut Heresy. E, pp. The problem was discussed at length during the sessions of April 5, 17, 21, and 29, Studies of single universities have appeared in impressive number during that productive century between and The mythological female wizard with the alphabet in hand offers access to the world within the cloister walls where the trivium under the guidance of Aristotle, Cicero, and Boethius underlies the quadrivium, of which only arithmetic is not shown.

On this foundation natural and moral philosophy are studied, and the whole edifice is topped off by Peter Lombard d. At this point, however, we should observe the cloister walls and the inscription across the access door: congruitas. The university claims to be a microcosm of the real world outside, a world that it represents, orders, and encompasses.

Surely here is a view of academia that. It is not by chance that university research in the English- speaking tradition coined the term "town and gown" and began to discuss the dimension of social strife and political tension in "the world outside" that was evoked by these new institutions called "universities. Emden were much closer to society than their German colleagues. But even there, in the struggle between "town and gown," the town is all too often of interest only as it reflects the envy evoked by the stupendous dimensions of papal and imperial privileges, or of the exemptions conferred upon the studium generate.

Thanks to Pearl Kibre we can trace the history of the authentica habita or privilegia scholastica since the reign of Frederick I and note the decline in the privileges of the university masters, whom she rightly views as "products of the social needs of their time. When we reach the threshold of modern times, however— somewhere in the period between and historians begin to ignore the university to a striking extent.

Three very different explanations can be given that will help account for this mysterious tendency to bypass the university with a polite salute at best. First, the history of universities is regarded as the domain of. Libraries, monasteries, the Curia, the Imperial and lesser courts, and currently the town preferably the life of Imperial Cities as recorded in tax records and property lists seem to offer far more touch with "reality. Scholars of the Renaissance intend more or less explicitly and more or less consciously to show how the progressive forces of that era had to assail the conservative ambiance of the stubbornly medieval universities.

Though we will have to return to the question of the relation between the northern Renaissance and the German universities, it may help at the outset to place the Letters of Obscure Men in perspective by quoting a similar protest agains the proud "Masters. To take such parodies as evidence is not unlike quoting a bon mot inserted in the Sapientia Commentary of Robert Holcot d.

Rather, the warning that "an illiterate King is a crowned ass" should alert us to the fact that not merely politics but also a lengthy medieval tradition of so-called Furstenspiegel underlay the later initiatives of so many German rulers to found a university in their own principalities. The third reason for taking the pulse of the times everywhere but in the university is perhaps the most formidable one.

The best of university historians themselves have argued that on the threshold of modern times the universities deserted their social obligations and were driven into an internal crisis that lamed them at precisely the moment they were most needed. O r - t o invert cause and effect —the universities are presented as having been written out of court and paralyzed by the challenge of northern humanism, the Reformation movement, and the resulting confessionalism.

Howard Kaminsky, for example, has made a convincing case for Prague that. After Tabor's defeat in that university "was only a ghost of itself. Yet, when we look at Germany this is exactly the period during which a fresh wave of new foundations rolled through the country from Ingolstadt to Tubingen and Wittenberg. This fact in itself cautions us against generalizing about the crisis and the decline of the university in Europe.

But were these new foundations themselves not merely external monuments to regional chauvinism that mark little more than an advanced state of ossification of the university ideal itself? Some of the best German scholars have indeed argued this way and thus brought Germany in line with what is held to be the situation in countries to the south and west of the Empire. Gerhard Ritter, for one, used Heidelberg to illustrate the general state of the later medieval German university and diagnosed a sickness unto death due to the crisis of the scholastic method itself.

In a posthumously published article of the highly gifted young scholar, Jiirgen Bucking, Ritter's line of argument is extended to the sixteenth century. By highlighting the university's desolate situation —and without presenting an alternative — humanism and the Reformation created a spiritual vacuum "that, driven by necessity, called the civil powers into the picture.

The verdict of the greatest living authority on the University of Erfurt, Erich Kleineidam, is. Nonetheless, Kleineidam's analysis of the withering of one university supports the sweeping summary of Alfred Miiller- Armack, who declared without hesitation or qualification that the Lutheran princes were responsible for the German universities' losing their medieval breadth and universality in the process of being "transformed" into factories for civil servants.

With this sample of contemporary 'relevance,' we have arrived at the end of part 1 and are back to the point of departure, namely the bifurcation of history and historiography. Hence, any alternative view will be shaped by a vision. This is not the place to discuss the problem of "epochs" and prolong the seemingly endless debate about the content of that most elusive word "modern.

None of these will be uncontested with respect to their long-term impact and perennial value, but all of them deserve to be recounted. Vern L. Indeed, one must be awed by his industry and gifts of calculation; he did come up with some interesting results, for example, his finding that for a career in eighteenth-century Scotland the length of schooling was far more significant than social class origins. Well before Mr. Bullough moves smoothly back in time and space to fourteenth-century Florence, it becomes clear that no amount of quantification can help to objectify the initial decision as to the meaning given to the term "achievement.

The older work by L. Dax and H. Keussen, as complemented today by J. Gill, P. It is not, however, without significance for our further argument to correct Black's research on one crucial point, namely that at Basel "most of the university support for the conciliar programme. On the eve of the Reformation and before humanism settled north of the Alps, Observantism in piety and in learning, the pursuit of wisdom, and the drive for knowledge-had been seeking the protection and support of the new patrons: the territorial estates.

Hence, the territorialization of the universities was not an unwanted result but a desired goal and intended accomplishment, which is to be located on the medieval side of this threshold and to be interpreted not as crisis but as achievement. To take but three examples: Ingolstadt , Tubingen , and Wittenberg admittedly requested the traditional accreditation from Pope and Emperor —though not always in that order Wittenberg!

Yet in all three cases there can be no doubt that these young German universities were territorial foundations meant to serve a function in territorial politics: in the case of Duke Ludwig the Rich for Bavaria, of Count Eberhart the Bearded in the interest of Wufttemberg, and of Prince Frederick for electoral Saxony.

Moreover, not for all young universities does Heinz Scheible's correct observation hold, that "the University of Wittenberg is a purely princely foundation without 'standische,' ecclesiastical or municipal cooperation. And in the time of the Reformation we find examples of at least an attempt at purely municipal universities in Strasbourg, Basel, and Geneva. Indeed, the Reformation movement in southern Germany and Switzerland preferred a citizen's university, trusting "townhall" rather than princely overseers.

Nonetheless, we may say in general that, during the fifteenth century when a true founding wave swept through Germany, the establishment of a university was one of the characteristics of the development so conveniently called "territorialization. Once again, in a striking parallel to conciliar practice in its evolution from the Council of Constance to the Council of Basel, the concept of organizing according to nations was also widely abandoned by the new universities.

The statutes of Ingolstadt, Tubingen, and Wittenberg no longer allowed for separate nations as organizational units. Rather, in an effort to establish a cohesive republic of learning, they introduced instead into the faculty of arts the scholarly more relevant and too often inappropriately disparaged alternatives of the via antiqua and the via moderna. These universities were to assume the social role of providing the territorial princes with a newly required class of councillors, judges, ambassadors, lawyers, and in general with civil servants for the rapidly expanding state departments.

On the eve of the Reformation, the doctoral office had therefore achieved a new height of respectability and authority, well after the Conciliar Movement had collapsed and at the very time its one seemingly lasting fruit, the Gallican Freedoms and the establishment of a national French Church, had been crushed by the Concordat of between Rome and Paris. As the new class of civil servants, the doctores had been riding high with the tide of conciliarism, but did not have to share its dismal descent.

One incident is instructive in just this regard. Johann Eck, alumnus of Tubingen, professor and vice-chancellor at Ingolstadt, and future opponent of Luther, posted his theses to defend the propriety of taking interest at five percent; and he did so while knowing full well that the Council of Vienna had condemned the mere intention of taking interest on a loan as heresy! Five percent, after all, was a mere third of the going rates of the Fuggers in Augsburg and their competitors.

The Nuremberg humanists around Christoph Scheurl, later known as the Sodalitas Staupitziana, accused Eck of being in the pay of the Fuggers, and evidence available today gives them the nod. They succeeded in convincing Gabriel von Eyb, ordinarius loci and Chancellor of Ingolstadt, to cancel the disputation. Hitherto unknown documents reveal an intriguing turn in the debate away from the issue of usury and toward the authority of the university and its doctores. Eck, in his ecclesiology on a middle road between conciliarism and curialism, defended and articulated the independence of the doctoral office that had been propagated in the years between Constance and Basel and that was to provide Martin Luther three years later with the platform and authority to send Archbishop Albrecht of Mainz his 95 Theses in which he called for the immediate reversal of Albrecht's indulgences policy on the basis of his, Luther's doctoral findings.

We may conclude this second part with the observation that far from being paralyzed by inner strife and far from being doomed to social irrelevancy by introspection and self-contentment, the. They were prepared to invoke their ancient papal and imperial prerogatives as a platform for a reform that reached well beyond the hallowed walls of the university and went to the roots of society and the public life of their age.

It is high time, therefore, that we free ourselves from an overall interpretation that is based upon the perspective of the Letters of Obscure Men. Intended by their authors as caricature and parody, they are unfortunately taken too often as factual evidence, as if sworn to under oath in a court of law. There is no need here to recount his answer in any detail. Bundy claims, "It was not under the sway of Washington-neither the federal dollar nor the seductions of political power had Harvard in thrall. The moral of this story is simple: what is glorified as "public service" in our time is too easily interpreted as the subservience of a prince's lackey when it comes to the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

One more element of the Daedalus article is worthy of being underlined. Bundy tried-and, I may add, successfully-to. This decade had characteristics all its own in comparison with the forties and the sixties. Yet, as soon as we historians turn to the transitions between and , we are all too easily trapped by the assumption that a century in that time did not last one hundred years and did not equal ten decades of change.

I cannot rid myself of the suspicion that the theories of crisis and decline that were presented in part 1 and discussed in part 2 paint on too large a canvas with strokes of whole centuries, which on closer consideration results from looking at the past from too large a distance to do justice to our theme —a theme that calls for regional as well as social differentiation with all of these to be provided a clear time index.

Well before the Reformation and about the time the Italian Renaissance began to make its first converts north of the Alps, the ideal of a concilium generate lost much of its earlier appeal. All of us are prepared to grant that we have not yet begun to measure the impact or rather the repercussion of the failure of the conciliar movement after the middle of the fifteenth century. The conciliar reform ideal did not die nor did it, like the famous old soldier, fade away.

The very shock widely experienced by Luther's challenge of the infallibility of the Council of Constance during his debate with Eck in the summer of is witness to the fact that at least some forms of conciliarism were merely dormant and by no means dead. But in the later part of the fifteenth century, we see that even the last loyal supporters of conciliarism, the reformed or observant wings of the mendicant friars, no longer expected a council to bring about the intended reformation.

It was a university professor, John of Paltz d. To quote from his widely read Supplementum Coelifodinae, first published in Erfurt, "Many mendicant friars badly need to be reformed. The devotio moderna, so appropriately demythologized by R. Post and divested of its glorious association with the Christian Renaissance, did indeed begin as an antiintellectual movement of the petite bourgeoisie and craftsmen in the small merchant cities of the Ijsseldelta in Holland.

After the death of its founder Geert Groote in , it moved up to the Rhine valley to provide the first three generations of academic teachers after Gabriel Biel d. But again the time index should be noticed. What we called. With the publication in of the final section of Biel's Collectorium in Paris, the University of Tubingen seemed to have broken into international prominence.

Biel's compend was indeed the harvest of centuries of medieval thought. Yet the preface by Johannes Brassikan the Younger d. But such reverance had already become unusual. Scholasticism came under siege from the liberal arts, and biting judgments were delivered in a far from polite style by these students of polite letters. Labelled the faint ghost from an era long dead, scholasticism was repudiated as the embodiment of medieval barbarism and obscurantism. Yet, the pre- Reformation achievements of the Tubingen masters, which need not be listed here, establish this university as a significant "German Connection": a reform movement of great vitality on the threshold of modern times.

About a second German Connection it is possible to be brief. Over against all the current theses of crisis and decline of the universities, it must be remembered that Luther's Reformation movement started in a university. To put the matter differently, and more strongly, Luther's Reformation is inconceivable without the institutional framework and protection of his university. In a little-noticed document, the Rector and Senate of Wittenberg stood up for Luther in response to the charge of heresy by the Dominicans and certified publicly at the time the curia had opened its case against Luther as a heretic that the disputation on the Theses had taken place in keeping with academic constitutions that guaranteed the right of the doctores to investigate matters of truth in exactly this way.

Finally, the silent, but stubborn and effective protection by Frederick the Wise was not granted to Luther as a person but as an eminent member of his favorite Landesuniversitdt. The Devotio Moderna and the Reformatio Moderna, so different in their programs for the reform of piety and of theology, both owed much of their success to the fact that they gained a solid foothold in the one institution outside the existing monastic orders that was able to provide them a durable base for operations, namely the university. Reform humanism in the tradition of the Northern Renaissance was less fortunate in its burgeoning stages.

The lowest three levels there, presented under the names of Cicero, Donatus, and Priscianus,. What the students of Erasmus wanted was to scale the heights above the elementary studies in the trivium and quadrivium. Further evidence of the humanists' tenuous position comes from a recent critical edition of the proceedings of the Dominicans in Lower Germany.

In they decided not to admit to the order students who specialized in "studiis ut vocant humanitatis aut bonis literris. As early as , Cologne, the sister university of Louvain, had already voted against granting students permission to attend lectures in poetry well before Luther appeared on the scene. The progress made in the via moderna was thwarted; the move from metaphysics to physics and its programmatic distinction between the realm of faith and the realm of experience and experiment-its greatest advance-was ignored.

Moreover, exactly the same development as in reformed urban universities took place in the Jesuit institutions of higher learning that did so much to stem the tide of the Reformation in Europe. A virtually unknown document, preserved in the Vatican Archives to be dated about , presents a vivid picture of the emergency plans laid for the Dominican order in view of the loss of so many universities to the 'heretics. We call attention to an anonymous report to be dated about of an unofficial papal nuncio to Germany who requested support for the new Jesuit "university" in Dillingen because "Tubingen, Leipzig, Jena, Wittenberg, Marburg, Helmstedt, Rostock, Frankfurt-an-der-Oder, Strasbourg, Altdorf, Heidelberg, and Basel" were no longer in Catholic hands.

The report concludes with the sentence: "It is advisable to send to these. Oxford, , 1: Salerno, Bologna, Paris, p. Hereafter cited as The Universities of Europe. The first edition was published in London, For the precarious nature of the licentia docendi due to the competition between the curia, the university chancellor! Arno Borst, "Krise und Reform der Universitatten im friihen Jahrhundert," Mediaevalia Bohemica 3 Gabriel and G.

Boyce, eds. See also A. Oberman and T. Brady, Jr. For the Reuchlin case, see James H. Edelestand Du Meril, Poesies populaires latines du moyen age Paris, , p. Content and metrical form suggest the deletion of 'ab' between 'et' and 'aliis. Super libros sapientiae Hagenau, ; reprint Frankfurt a. Alexander Neckam, De naturis rerum. Libri duo, ed. Wright London, By this time.

Baldwin and R. Arno Borst, "Krise und Reform der Universitaten im fruhen Jahrhundert," Mediaevalia Bohemica 3 : Rabe, H. Molitor, H. W, , pp. Jahrhunderts Heidelberg, ; reprint Darmstadt, , p. Alfred Muller-Armack, "Holzwege der Universitatsreform. IJsewijn and J. Louis, ; G. Posthumus Meyjes, jean Gerson. Pichler, Die Verbindlichkeit der Konstanzer Dekrete. For the Council of Basel, see esp. Assemblies, ed. Cuming and D. Baker, Studies in Church History 7 Cambridge, , pp. Dax has argued that the doctores had received a right to vote already at Pisa in Die Universitdten und die Konzilien, p.

Cambridge, , f. See the contrary conclusions of J. Stieber, Pope Eugenius IV, pp. Black, "The Universities and the Council of Basel," p.

Rebirth, Reform, and Resilience: Universities in Transition, 1300-1700 Rebirth, Reform, and Resilience: Universities in Transition, 1300-1700
Rebirth, Reform, and Resilience: Universities in Transition, 1300-1700 Rebirth, Reform, and Resilience: Universities in Transition, 1300-1700
Rebirth, Reform, and Resilience: Universities in Transition, 1300-1700 Rebirth, Reform, and Resilience: Universities in Transition, 1300-1700
Rebirth, Reform, and Resilience: Universities in Transition, 1300-1700 Rebirth, Reform, and Resilience: Universities in Transition, 1300-1700
Rebirth, Reform, and Resilience: Universities in Transition, 1300-1700 Rebirth, Reform, and Resilience: Universities in Transition, 1300-1700
Rebirth, Reform, and Resilience: Universities in Transition, 1300-1700 Rebirth, Reform, and Resilience: Universities in Transition, 1300-1700
Rebirth, Reform, and Resilience: Universities in Transition, 1300-1700 Rebirth, Reform, and Resilience: Universities in Transition, 1300-1700
Rebirth, Reform, and Resilience: Universities in Transition, 1300-1700 Rebirth, Reform, and Resilience: Universities in Transition, 1300-1700

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