Vol. 5, Chapter XI (Cont’d) – The University of Bologna


Literature: Muratori: Antiqq. Ital., III. 884 sqq. Important documents bearing on the state of learning in Italy. — Acta nationis Germanicae univ. Bononiensis, ed. E. Friedländer et C. Malagola, Berl., 1887. — Carlo Malagola: Statuti delta università e dei collegi dello studio Bolognese, p. 524, Bologna, 1888. — Denifle: D. Statutem d. Juristen Univ. Bologna, 1317-1347, in Archiv. für Lit. -und Kirchengesch., III. 196-409 1887. Superseded by Malagola. — Giacomo Cassani (Prof. of Canon Law, Bologna): Dell’ antico Studio di Bologna a sua origine, Bologna, 1888. — H. Fitting: Die Anfänge der Rechtsschule zu Bologna, Berl., 1888. — Savigny (see above) gives a full account with special reference to the study of Roman law, but must be supplemented and corrected by Denifle: Universitäten, etc. — For publications called forth by the eighth centenary, 1888, see P. Schaff: Lit. and Poetry, p. 278. For full Lit., see Rashdall, I. 89-91.

Bologna is the most venerable of European universities. Salerno, which preceded it in time, became sufficiently famous as a medical school to call forth from Petrarch the praise of being the fountain-head of medicine, — fons medicinae, — but its career was limited to two centuries. The origin of Salerno is lost in obscurity. There seems to be no sufficient evidence to show that the school owed its origin to the convent of Monte Cassino which was eighty miles away. It was the outgrowth of the awakened interest in medicine in Southern Italy in which Greek and Arabic influences had a part.

In 1888, Bologna celebrated its eight hundredth anniversary and continues to be one of the most flourishing schools of Southern Europe. As early as the thirteenth century, the tradition was current that Theodosius II., in 433, had granted to it a charter. But its beginnings go no further back than the latter part of the eleventh or the earlier years of the twelfth century. At that period Irnerius, d. about 1130, was teaching the code of Justinian and a little later the Camaldulensian monk, Gratian, taught canon law in the convent of St. Felix. These two masters of jurisprudence, civil and ecclesiastical, are looked upon as the fathers of the university.

Bologna became the chief school for the study of both laws in Europe. The schools of arts added 1221, of medicine 1260, and theology 1360 — by a bull of Innocent VI. — never obtained the importance of the school of law.

On a visit to the city in 1155 Frederick Barbarossa granted the university recognition and in 1158, on the field of Roncaglia, gave it its first charter. This is the oldest piece of university legislation. Thenceforth Bologna was a second and better Berytus, the nurse of jurisprudence, legum nutrix, and adopted the proud device, Bononia docet — “Bologna teaches.” To papal patronage she owed little or nothing, and in this respect as in others her history did not run parallel with the University of Paris. Students flocked to her by hundreds and thousands from all parts of Western Europe.

The student body, which was in control, was at first divided into four “universities” or guilds. The statutes of the German “nation” have been preserved and declare as its object fraternal charity, mutual association, the care of the sick and support of the needy, the conduct of funerals, the termination of quarrels, and the proper escort of students about to take the examination for the degree of doctor. By the fourteenth century, the four “universities” had given place to the two groups called the Ultramontanes and the Cismontanes, each of which was subdivided into smaller groups presided over by counsellors, conciliarii.

The rectors of the faculties were elected for two years and were required to be secular clerics, unmarried, and wearing the clerical habit. The ceremonies of installation included the placing of a hood on their heads. The two rectors of the two jurist “universities” gave place to a single rector after the middle of the fourteenth century.

The professors took oaths to the student bodies, to follow their codes. If they wished to be absent from their duties, they were obliged to get leave of absence from the rectors. They were required to begin and close their lectures promptly at the ringing of the bell under penalty of a fine and were forbidden to skip any part of the text-books or postpone the answer to questions to the end of the lecture hour. Another rule required them to cover a certain amount of ground in a given period. The professors were kept in awe by the threat which the student body held over them of migrating when there was cause for dissatisfaction. This sort of boycott was exercised a number of times as when Bolognese students decamped and departed to Vicenza 1204, Padua 1222, and for the last time to Siena 1321.

The professors, at first, were dependent upon fees and at times stopped their lectures because of the failure of the students to pay up. The jurist, Odefridus of Bologna, announced on one occasion that he would not lecture in the afternoons of the ensuing term because, “the scholars want to profit but not to pay.” Professorial appointments were at first in the hands of the student body but afterwards became the prerogative of the municipality. This change was due in part to the obligation undertaken by the city government to pay fixed salaries. Strange to say, about the middle of the thirteenth century, the professorships at Bologna became largely hereditary.

A noticeable, though not exceptional, feature of Bologna was the admission of learned women to its teaching chairs. Novella d’Andrea, 1312-1366, the daughter of the celebrated jurist Giovanni d’Andrea, lectured on philosophy and law, but behind a curtain, lest her face should attract the attention of the students from their studies. Among other female professors have been Laura Bassi, d. 1778, doctor and professor of philosophy and mathematics; Chlotilda Tambroni, who expounded the Greek classics, 1794-1817; and Giuseppina Cattani, who, until a few years ago, lectured on pathology. In Salerno, also, women practised medicine and lectured, as did Trotula, about 1059, who wrote on the diseases of women. In Paris, as we have been reminded by Denifle, the daughters of one Mangold taught theology in the latter part of the eleventh century.

On the other hand, due care was taken to protect the students of Bologna against the wiles of women. The statutes of its college, founded by Cardinal Albornoz, 1367, for Spanish students, forbade them dancing because “the devil easily tempts men to evil through this amusement,” and also forbade women to “enter the premises because a woman was the head of sin, the right hand of the devil, and the cause of the expulsion from paradise.”

A graduate of civil law was required at Bologna to have studied seven years, and of canon law six years. To become a doctor of both laws, utriusque juris, a term of ten years was prescribed. In 1292, Nicholas IV. formally granted the Bolognese doctors the right to lecture everywhere, a right they had exercised before. The promotion to the doctorate was accompanied with much pageantry an involved the candidate in large outlay for gifts and banquets.

The class rooms in canon and civil jurisprudence at Bologna became synonymous with traditional opinions. There was no encouragement of originality. With the interpretation of the text-books, which had been handed down, the work of the professor was at an end. This conservatism Dante may have had in mind when he made the complaint that in Bologna only the Decretals were studied. And Roger Bacon exclaimed that “the study of jurisprudence has for forty years destroyed the study of wisdom [that is philosophy, the sciences, and theology], yes, the church itself and all departments.” When the Renaissance came, it did not start with Bologna or any of the other Italian universities but in the courts of princes and popes and especially in the city of Florence. The universities produced no Savonarola and encouraged no religious or doctrinal reform.



An account of the brilliant celebration of the eighth centenary of Bologna, 1888, is given by Philip Schaff: The University, etc., in Lit. and Poetry, pp. 265-278. On that occasion Dr. Schaff represented the University of New York. The exercises were honored by the presence of Humbert and the queen of Italy. The ill-fated Frederick III. of Germany sent from his sick-room a letter of congratulation, as in some sense the heir of Frederick Barbarossa. The clergy were conspicuous by their absence from the celebration, although among the visitors was Father Gavazzi, the ex-Barnabite friar, who in 1848 fired the hearts of his fellow-citizens, the Bolognese, for the cause of Italian liberty and unity and afterwards became the eloquent advocate of a new evangelical movement for his native land, abroad as well as at home. A contrast was presented at the five hundredth anniversary of the University of Heidelberg, 1886, which Dr. Schaff also attended, and which was inaugurated by a solemn religious service and sermon.


92. The University of Paris

Literature: The works of Bulaeus, Denifle, Rashdall, etc., as given in §90. Vol. I. of the Chartularium gives the official documents bearing on the history of the Univ. from 1200-1286 with an Introd. by Denifle. — Crevier: Hist. de l’Univ. de Paris, 7 vols. Paris, 1761, based on Bulaeus. — P. Feret: La Faculté de Theol. de Paris et ses docteurs les plus celèbres au moyen âge, 5 vols. Paris, 1894 sqq. — A. Luchaire: L’univ. de Paris sous Phil. Auguste, Paris, 1899. — C. Gross: The Polit. Infl. of the Univ. of Paris in the M. A., in Am. Hist. Rev., 1901, pp. 440-446. — H. Felder: Gesch. der wissenschaftl. Studien im Franziskanerorden bis c. 1250, Freib., 1904. — F. X. Seppelt: D. Kampf d. Bettelorden an d. Univ. zu Paris in d. Mitte d. 13ten Jahrh., Breslau, 1905. — Rashdall: Universities, I. 270-557, and the table of Lit. there given.

The lustre of the University of Paris filled all Western Europe as early as the first years of the thirteenth century. It continued to be the chief seat of theological and general learning till the Reformation. In 1231 Gregory IX. called Paris “the parent of the sciences, another Kerieth Sepher, a city of letters, in which, as in a factory of wisdom, the precious stones and gold of wisdom are wrought and polished for the Church of Christ.” In the same strain Alexander IV., 1256, eulogized the university as “that most excellent state of letters, a famous city of the arts, a notable school of erudition, the highest factory of wisdom, — officina sapientiae — and the most efficient gymnasium of study. There, a clear spring of the sciences breaks forth at which the peoples of all nations drink.” Three hundred years later, in 1518, Luther, in his protest to Cajetan, expressed his willingness to have his case go before the University of Paris to which he referred, “as the parent of studies and from antiquity ever the most Christian University and that in which theology has been particularly cultivated.”

The old tradition, which traced the origin of the university back to Charlemagne, the pride of the French has been slow to abandon. Du Boulay devoted an entire volume to its assumed history before the year 1000. Not even was Abaelard its founder. The most that can be said is, that that brilliant teacher prepared the way for the new institution, whose beginnings belong to the period 1150-1170.

From its earliest era of development, the university received the recognition of royalty and the favor of popes who were quick to discern its future importance. In the year 1200 Philip Augustus, king of France, conferred upon it a valuable privilege, granting the students and teaching body independent rights over against the municipal government. Among its venerable documents are communications from Innocent III., his legate, Robert of Courçon, Honorius III. and Gregory IX., 1231. From that time on, the archives abound in papal letters and communications addressed to the pope by the university authorities.

In Paris, as has already been said, the masters were the controlling body. The first use of the expression “university of masters and scholars” occurs in 1221. The earliest example of statutes is found in a bull of Innocent III., written about 1209. Later, Innocent recognized the corporate rights of the body when he permitted it to have a representative at Rome and ordered an expelled master to be readmitted. The statutes of Robert of Courçon, 1215, prescribed text-books and other regulations. A university seal was used as early as 1221. Disputes between the university and the chancellor of the cathedral and other church authorities of Paris date back as far as 1213.

There has been much difference of opinion as to what was the original norm of the organization of the university. Denifle, the leading modern authority, insists against Du Boulay that it was the four faculties and not the “nations,” and he finds the faculties developed in the earliest years of the thirteenth century. Some association of masters existed as early as 1170, about which time, John of Celle, abbot of St. Albans, 1195-1214, was admitted into its membership. In 1207, Innocent III. spoke of the “body of masters,” and in 1213 he recognized the right of the masters to insist upon the conferring of the license to teach upon the candidates whom they presented. The chancellor was left no option in the matter. In the middle of the thirteenth century, his authority was still more curtailed by the withdrawal of some of the masters to the hill of St. Genevieve on the western bank of the Seine. The abbot of St. Genevieve, who began to be styled, “Chancellor of St. Genevieve” in 1255, assumed the right to confer licensures or degrees and the right was recognized by papal decree.

The four nations seem to have been developed out of the demand for discipline among the students of cognate regions and for mutual protection against the civil authorities. It is quite possible the example set in Bologna had some influence in Paris.

The bull of Gregory IX., 1231, parens scientiarum, called by Denifle the “magna charta of the university,” recognized and sealed its liberties. It was called forth by the suspension of lectures which had lasted two years. The trouble originated in a brawl in an inn, which developed into a fight between gown and town. The police of the city, with the assent of Queen Blanche, interfered, and killed several of the students. The professors ordered a “cessation” and, when they found that justice was not done, adjourned the university for six years. Some of them emigrated to England and were employed at Oxford and Cambridge. Others settled down at other schools in France. The trouble was brought to an end by Gregory IX., who ratified the right of the masters to secede, and called upon Blanche to punish the offending officials, forbade the chancellor to have any prisons, and the bishop from imposing mulcts or imprisoning students.

It is possible that the office of rector goes back as far as 1200, when an official was called “the head of the Paris scholars.” As early as 1245 the title appears distinctly and the rector is distinguished from the proctors. At a later time it was the proper custom, in communicating with the university, to address the “rector and the masters.” The question of precedence as between the rector and other high dignitaries, such as the bishop and chancellor of Paris, was one which led to much dispute and elbowing. Du Boulay, himself an ex-rector, takes pride in giving instances of the rector’s outranking archbishops, cardinals, papal nuncios, peers of France, and other lesser noteworthies at public functions.

The faculties came to be presided over by deans, the nations by proctors. In the management of the general affairs of the university, the vote was taken by faculties.

The liberties, which the university enjoyed in its earlier history, were greatly curtailed by Louis XI. and by his successors in the latter half of the fifteenth century. The university was treated to sharp rebukes for attempting to interfere with matters that did not belong to it. The right of cessation was withdrawn and the free election of the rectors denied. The police of the city were invested with larger jurisdiction, and the sovereign’s will was made a controlling element.

The fame of the University of Paris came from its schools of arts and theology. The college of the Sorbonne, originally a bursary for poor students of theology, afterwards gave its name to the theological department. It was founded by Robert of Sorbon, the chaplain of St. Louis, the king himself giving part of the site for its building. In the course of time, its halls came to be used for disputations, and the decisions of the faculty obtained a European reputation. Theological students of twenty-five years of age, who had studied six years, and passed an examination, were eligible for licensure as bachelors. For the first three years they read on the Bible and then on the Sentences of the Lombard. These readers were distinguished as Biblici and Sententiarii. The age limit for the doctorate was thirty-five.

One of the most interesting chapters in the history of the university is the struggle over the admission of the mendicant friars in the middle of the thirteenth century. The papacy secured victory for the friars. And the unwilling university was obliged to recognize them as a part of its teaching force.

The struggle broke out first at the time of the “cessation,” 1229, when, as it would seem, the Dominicans secretly favored the side of the civil magistrates against the university authorities, and poisoned the court against them. The Dominicans were established in Paris, 1217 and the Franciscans, 1220, and both orders, furnished with letters of commendation by Honorius III., were at first well received, so the masters themselves declared in a document dated 1254. But they soon began to show arrogance and to demand the right to degrees for their students without promising submission to the statutes of the university. One of the first two Dominican masters to teach at the university was the Englishman, John of Giles. After preaching on poverty in St. Jacques, John descended from the pulpit and put on the Dominican robes.

At the “cessation” of 1251 the two Dominicans and one Franciscan, who were recognized as masters by the university, refused to join with the other authorities, and, after the settlement of the difficulty, the two Dominicans were refused readmittance. A statute was passed forbidding admission to the fellowship, consortium, of the university for those who refused to take the oath to obey its rules. The friars refused to obey the statute and secured from Alexander IV. an order requiring the university to receive them, and setting aside all sentences passed against them.

The friction continued, and the seculars sought to break the influence of the Franciscans by pointing out the heresies of Joachim of Flore. The friars retorted by attacking William of St. Amour whose work, The Perils of the Last Times, was a vigorous onslaught upon mendicancy as contrary to Apostolic teaching. William’s book, which called out refutations from Thomas Aquinas and Bonaventura, was burnt, and refusing to recant, the author was suspended from teaching and banished from France. The friars were hooted on the streets and beaten. By 1257 tranquillity was restored, as we are assured by Alexander IV. Thus the papacy made repayment to the university for its readiness from of old to accept its guidance by depriving the institution of its liberties.

From the middle of the fourteenth century, the University of Paris played no mean part in the political affairs of France. More than once she spoke before the court and before the peers of the realm, and more than once was she rebuked for her unsolicited zeal. French kings themselves styled her “the daughter of the king.” She was actively zealous in the persecution of Joan of Arc.

As a factor in the religious history of Europe, the university figured most prominently during the Western schism — 1378-1418. She suggested the three ways of healing the rupture and, to accomplish this result, sent her agents through Western Europe to confer with the kings and other powers. Under the guidance of her chancellors, Gerson and D’Ailly, the discussions of the Reformatory councils of Pisa and Constance were directed, which brought the papal schism to an end. The voting by nations at Constance was her triumph.

As for disputes on distinctly doctrinal questions, the university antagonized John XXII. and his heresy, denying the beatific vision at death. In 1497 she exacted from all candidates for degrees an oath accepting the dogma of the immaculate conception. When the Protestant Reformation came, she decided against that movement and ordered the books of Luther burnt.


93. Oxford and Cambridge

Literature: Anthony Wood (1632-1695): Hist. et Antiquitates Univ. Oxoniensis, 2 vols. Oxford, 1674. A trans. from MS. by Wase and Peers, under the supervision of Dr. Fell from Wood’s English MS. Wood was dissatisfied with the translation and rewrote his work, which was published a hundred years after his death with a continuation by John Gutsch: The Hist. and Antiquities of the Colleges and Halls in the Univ. of Oxf., 2 vols. Oxford, 1786-1790. Also: The Hist. and Antiquities of Oxf., now first published in English from the original MS. in the Bodleian Library, 2 vols. Oxford, 1792-1796. By the same: Athenae Oxonienses, 2 vols. London, 1691-1692, 3d ed., by Ph. Bliss, 1813-1820, 4 vols. The last work is biographical, and gives an account of the Oxonian writers and bishops from 1500-1690.

Oxford Historical Society’s Publications, 45 vols. Contents: University Register, 1449-1463, 1505-1671, ed. by W. C. Boase, 5 vols.; Hearne’s Collectanea, 1705-1719, 6 vols.; Early History of Oxford (727-1100); Memorials of Merton College, etc. — V. A. HUBER: D. Engl. Universitäten, 2 vols. Cassel, 1839. Engl. trans. by F. W. Newman, a brother of the cardinal, 3 vols. London, 1848. — C. Jeafferson: Annals of Oxford, 2 vols. 2d ed. London, 1871. — H. C. M. Lyte: Hist. of the Univ. of Oxf. from the Earliest Times to 1530, Oxford, 1886. — H. C. Brodrick: Hist. of the Univ. of Oxf., London, 1887. — Rashdall: Universities, II. 319-542. — Jessopp: The Coming of the Friars, pp. 262-302. — Thomas Fuller: Hist. of the Univ. of Cambr. ed. by Pritchard and Wright, Cambridge, 1840. — C. H. Cooper: Annals of Cambr., 4 vols. 1842-1852; Memorials of Cambr., 3 vols. 1884. — Mullinger: Hist. of the Univ. of Cambr. from the earliest times to the accession of Charles I., 2 vols. Cambridge, 1873-1883; Hist. of the Univ. of Cambr., London, 1887, an abridgment of the preceding work. For extensive Lit., see Rashdall, II. 319 sqq., 543 sq.

Next to Paris in age and importance, as a school of philosophy and theology, is the University of Oxford, whose foundation tradition falsely traces to King Alfred. The first historical notice of Oxenford, or Oxford, occurs in 912. Three religious institutions were founded in the town, from any one of which or all of which the school may have had its inception: the priory of St. Frideswyde, Osseney abbey, and the church of the canons regular of St. George’s in the Castle. The usually accepted view connects it with the first. But it is possible the university had its real beginning in a migration from Paris in 1167. This view is based upon a statement of John of Salisbury, that France had expelled her alien scholars and an order of Henry II. forbidding clerks to go to the Continent or to return from it without a license from the justiciar. Before that time, however, there was teaching in Oxford.

The first of the teachers, Thibaut d’Estampes, Theobaldus Stampensis, moved from St. Stephen’s abbey, Caen, and taught in Oxford between 1117 and 1121. He had a school of from sixty to a hundred pupils, and called himself an Oxford master, magister oxenfordiae. He was ridiculed by a monk as a “petty clerk” tantillus clericellus, one of those “wandering chaplains, with pointed beards, curled hair, and effeminate dress, who are ashamed of the proper ecclesiastical habit and the tonsure,” and was also accused of being “occupied with secular literature.”

The University of Cambridge, which first appears clearly in 1209, did not gain a position of much rank till the fifteenth century and can show no eminent teacher before that time. The first papal recognition dates from the bull of Gregory IX., 1233, which mentions a chancellor.

During the Reformation period, Cambridge occupied a position of note and influence equal to Oxford. Fisher, bishop of Rochester, martyred by Henry VIII. and one of the freest patrons of learning, was instrumental in the foundation of two colleges, Christs, 1505, and St. John, 1511. Among its teachers were Erasmus, and later Bucer and Fagius, the Continental Reformers. Tyndale, the translator of the first printed English New Testament, and Thomas Bilney, both of them martyrs, were its scholars. So were the three martyrs, Cranmer, Latimer, and Ridley, though they were burnt at Oxford. During the Elizabethan period, the university was a stronghold of Puritanism with Cartwright and Travers occupying chairs. Cudworth and the Neo-Platonists flourished there. And in recent years its chairs have been filled by such representatives of the historical and exegetical schools as Bishop Lightfoot, Westcott, his successor at Durham, Ellicott, bishop of Gloucester and Bristol, and John Anthony Hort.

Oxford and Cambridge differ from the Continental universities in giving prominence to undergraduate studies and in the system of colleges and halls, and also in the closer vital relations they sustain to the Church.

In 1149 the Italian, Vacarius, introduced the study of civil law in Oxford, if we are to follow the doubtful testimony of Gervaise of Canterbury, though it is more probable that he delivered his lectures in the household of the archbishop of Canterbury, Theobald. He wrote, it is said, a digest of laws “sufficient for deciding all legal problems which are wont to be discussed in the schools.”

One of the very earliest notices of Oxford as a seat of study is found in a description by Giraldus Cambrensis, the Welsh traveller and historian. About the year 1185 he visited the town and read “before the faculties, doctors, and students” his work on the Topography of Ireland. The school was evidently of some importance to attract such a man. Walter Map, archdeacon of Oxford, is called by Giraldus “an Oxford master.” The first degree known to have been conferred was given to Edmund Rich, afterwards archbishop of Canterbury. From Geraldus it is evident that the masters were grouped in faculties. As early as 1209 and in consequence of the hanging of three students by the mayor, there was a migration of masters and students, said to have been three thousand in number, from which the University of Cambridge had its beginning.

The University of Oxford was less bound by ecclesiastical authority than Paris. An unsuccessful attempt was made by the bishop of Lincoln, in whose diocese it was located, to assert supervisory authority. The bull of Innocent IV., issued 1254, was the nearest approach to a papal charter and confirmed the university in its “immunities and ancient customs.” In 1201 a chancellor is mentioned for the first time. From the beginning this official seems to have been elected by the university. He originally held his office for a term of two years. At the present time the chancellor is an honorary dignitary who does not pretend to reside in Oxford.

In 1395, the university was exempted by papal bull from all control of bishops or legati nati. This decree was revoked in 1411 in consequence of the disturbances with Wyclif and his followers, but, in 1490, Sixtus IV. again renewed the exemption from ecclesiastical authority.

The university was constantly having conflicts with the town and its authorities. The most notable one occurred in 1354. As usual, it originated in a tavern brawl, the keeper of the place being supported not only by his fellow-townsmen but by thousands from the neighboring country. The chancellor fled. The friars brought out the host and placed it between the combatants, but it was crushed to the earth and a scholar put to death while he was clinging to the friar who held it. Much blood was shed. The townsmen, bent upon paying off old scores, broke into twenty college inns and halls and pillaged them. Even the sanctity of the churches was not respected, and the scholars were hunted down who sought shelter in them. The students left the city. The chancellor appealed the case to the king, and through his authority and the spiritual authority of the bishop the town corporation was forced to make reparation. The place was put under interdict for a year. Officials were punished and restitution of goods to the students was made. The interdict was withdrawn only on condition that the mayor, bailiffs, and sixty burghers should appear in St. Mary’s church on the anniversary of the breaking out of the riot, St. Scholastica’s day, and do penance for the slaughtered students, each burgher laying down a penny on the high altar, the sum to be divided equally between poor students and the curate. It was not till 1825, that the university agreed to forego the spectacle of this annual penance which had been kept up for nearly five centuries. Not for several years did the university assume its former aspect. Among the students themselves peace did not always reign. The Irish contingent was banished, 1413, by act of parliament for turbulence.

The arrival of the Dominicans and Franciscans, as has been said in other places, was an event of very great interest at Oxford, but they never attained to the independent power they reached in Paris. They were followed by the Carmelites, the Augustinians, and other orders.

The next important event was the controversy over Wyclif and the doctrines and persons of the Lollards, which filled the years of the last quarter of the fourteenth century and beyond.

At the English universities the college system received a permanent development. Endowments, established by the liberality of bishops, kings, and other personalities, furnished the nucleus for corporations and halls consisting of masters and students, each with a more or less distinct life of it sown. These college bodies and their buildings continue to impart to Oxford and Cambridge a medieval aspect and to recall on every hand the venerable memories of past centuries. Twenty-one of these colleges and five halls remain in Oxford. The oldest are University College founded by a bequest of William of Durham at his death, 1249; Merton, 1264; Balliol founded by the father of the Scotch king, 1266; Exeter, 1314; Oriel, 1324; Queen’s College, 1340; the famous New College, 1379, founded by William of Wykenham, bishop of Winchester; All Souls, 1438; Magdalen, 1448, where Wolsey was fellow. Among the illustrious men who taught at Oxford, in the earlier periods, were Edmund Rich, Roger Bacon, Grosseteste, Adam Marsh, Duns Scotus, Ockam, Bradwardine, Richard of Armagh, Wyclif.

As a centre of theological training, Oxford has been closely identified with some of the most important movements in the religious history of England. There Wyclif preached his doctrine and practical reforms. There the Humanists, Grocyn, Colet, and Linacre taught. The school was an important religious centre in the time of the Reformation, in the Commonwealth period, and the period of the Restoration. Within its precincts the Wesleys and Whitefield studied and the Methodist movement had its birth, and there, in the first half of the last century, Pusey, Keble, and Newman exerted the spell of their influence, and the Tractarian movement was started and fostered. Since the year 1854 Oxford and Cambridge have been open to Dissenters. All religious tests were abolished 187l. In 1885 the spiritual descendants of the Puritans, the Independents, established Mansfield College, in Oxford, for the training of ministers.


Notes. — List of Medieval Universities

Before 1100, Salerno.

1100-1200. — Bologna, 1150?; Paris, 1160?; Oxford, 1170?; Reggio and Modena.

1200-1300. — Vicenza, 1204; Cambridge, 1209; Palencia, Spain, 1212, by Alfonzo VIII. of Castile, abandoned; Arezzo, 1215; Padua, 1222; Naples, 1224; Vercelli, 1228; Toulouse, 1229, by Gregory IX.; Salamanca, 1230, by Ferdinand III. of Castile and confirmed by Alexander IV., 1254; Curia Romana, 1244, by Pope Innocent IV.; Piacenza, Italy, 1248; Seville, 1254, by Alfonso X. of Castile; Montpellier, 1289, by Nicolas IV.; Alcala, 1293, by Sancho of Aragon, transferred 1837 to Madrid; Pamiers, France, 1295, by Boniface VIII.

1300-1400. — Lerida, 1300, by James II. of Aragon and Sicily; Rome, 1303, by Boniface VIII.; Angers, 1305; Orleans, 1306, by Philip the Fair and Clement V.; Perugia, 1308, by Clement V.; Lisbon, 1309, by King Diniz, transferred to Coimbra; Dublin, 1312, chartered by Clement V. but not organized; Treviso, 1318; Cahors, 1332, by John XXII.; Grenoble, 1339, by Benedict XII.; Verona, 1339, by Benedict XII.; Pisa, 1343, by Clement VI.; Valladolid, 1346, by Clement VI.; Prague, 1347, by Clement VI. and Charles IV.; Perpignan, 1349, by Peter IV. of Aragon, confirmed by Clement VII., 1379; Florence, 1349, by Charles IV.; Siena, 1357, by Charles IV.; Huesca, 1359; Pavia, 1361, by Charles IV. and by Boniface VIII., 1389; Vienna, 1365, by Rudolf IV. and Urban V.; Orange, 1365; Cracow, 1364, by Casimir III. of Poland and Urban V.; Fünfkirchen, Hungary, 1365, by Urban V.; Orvieto, 1377; Erfurt, 1379, by Clement VII.; Cologne, 1385, Urban VI.; Heidelberg, 1386, by the Elector Ruprecht of the Palatinate and Urban VI.; Lucca, 1387; Ferrara, 1391; Fermo, 1398.

1400-1500. — Würzburg, 1402; Turin, 1405; Aix, in Provence, 1409; Leipzig, 1409; St. Andrews, 1411; Rostock, 1419; Dôle, 1423; Louvain, Belgium, 1425; Poictiers, 1431; Caen, 1437; Catana, Sicily, 1444; Barcelona, 1450; Valence, France, 1452; Glasgow, 1453; Greifswald, 1455; Freiburg im Breisgau, 1455; Basel, 1459; Nantes, 1460; Pressburg, 1465; Ingolstadt, 1472; Saragossa, 1474; Copenhagen, 1475; Mainz, 1476; Upsala, 1477; Tübingen, 1477; Parma, 1482; Besançon, 1485; Aberdeen, 1494; Wittenberg, 1502, by Frederick the Wise, Elector of Saxony.


94. The Cathedrals

Literature: J. Fergusson: Hist. of Architecture in All Countries, 2 vols. 1865-1867, and since. — Sir G. G. Scott: The Rise and Devel. of Med. Arch., London, 1879. — Viollet-Le Duc: Lectures on Arch., Engl. trans., 2 vols. London, 1877. — T. R. Smith: Arch. Gothic and Renaissance, N. Y., 1880. — B. Ferree: Christ. Thought in Arch., in Papers of Am. Soc. of Ch. Hist., 1892, pp. 113-140. — F. X. Kraus: Gesch. der christl. Kunst, 2 vols. Freib., 1896-1900. — F. Bond: Engl. cathedrals, London, 1899. — R. STURGIS: Dict. of Arch. and Building, 3 vols. N. Y., 1901 sq. — Art. Kirchenbau by Hauck, in Herzog, X. 774-793. P. Lacroix: The Arts of the Middle Ages, Engl. trans., London. — Ruskin: Stones of Venice, Seven Lamps of Arch., and other writings. This enthusiastic admirer of architecture, especially the Gothic, judged art from the higher standpoint of morality and religion.

The cathedrals of the Middle Ages were the expression of religious praise and devotion and entirely the product of the Church. No other element entered into their construction. They were hymns in stone, and next to the universities are the most imposing and beneficent contribution the medieval period made to later generations. The soldiery of the Crusades failed in its attempt at conquest. The builders at home wrought out structures which have fed the piety and excited the admiration of all ages since. They were not due to the papacy but to the devotion of cities, nobles, and people.

It was a marked progress from the triclinia, or rooms in private houses, and crypts, in which the early Christians worshipped, to the cathedral of St. Sophia, at the completion of which Justinian is said to have exclaimed, “O Solomon, I have excelled thee.” And what a change it was from the huts and rude temples of worship of Central and Northern Europe to the splendid structures dedicated to Christian worship, — the worship which Augustine of Canterbury, and Boniface, and St. Ansgar had introduced among the barbarous Northern tribes!

It is also characteristic that the great medieval structures were not palaces or buildings devoted to commerce, although the Gothic palace of the doges, in Venice, and the town halls of Brussels, Louvaine, and other cities of Belgium and Holland are extensive and imposing. They were buildings devoted to religion, whether cathedral or conventual structures. They were often, as in France, placed on an elevation or in the centre of the city, and around them the dwellings clustered as if for protection.

The great cathedrals became a daily sermon, bearing testimony to the presence of God and the resurrection of Christ. They served the people as a Bible whose essential teachings they beheld with the eye. Through the spectacle of their walls and soaring spires, their thoughts were uplifted to spiritual things. Their ample spaces, filled or dimly lit with the sunlight piercing through stained-glass windows, reminded them of the glory of the life beyond, which makes itself known through varied revelations to the lonely and mysterious existence of the earth. The strong foundations and massive columns and buttresses typified the stability of God’s throne, and that He hath made all things through the word of His power.

Their construction occupied years and, in cases, centuries were necessary to complete them. Who can estimate the prayers and pious devotion which the laying of the first stones called forth, and which continued to be poured out till the last layer of stones was laid on the towers or fitted into the finial? Their sculpture and stained-glass windows, frescoes, and paintings presented scenes from Scripture and the history of the Church. There, kings and queens, warriors, and the men whom the age pronounced godly were laid away in sepulture, a custom continued after the modern period had begun, as in the case of Luther and Melanchthon, whose ashes rest in the Castle Church of Wittenberg. In spite of frequent fires consuming parts of the great churches or the entire buildings, they were restored or reconstructed, often several times, as in the case of the cathedrals of Chartres, Canterbury, and Norwich. Central towers collapsed, as in the case of Winchester, Peterborough, Lincoln, and other English cathedrals, but they were rebuilt. In the erection of these churches princes and people joined, and to further this object they gave their contributions of material and labor. The women of Ulm gave up all their ornaments to advance the work upon the cathedral of that city, and to the construction of the cathedral in Cologne Germans in all lands contributed.

The eleventh century is the beginning of one of the most notable periods of architecture in the world’s history, lasting for nearly three centuries. It has a distinct character of its own and in its service high talent was consecrated. The monks may be said to have led the way by their zeal to erect strong, ample, and beautiful cloistral establishments. These called forth in France the ambition of the bishops to surpass them. Two styles of architecture are usually distinguished in this period, the Romanesque, called in England also the Norman, and the Gothic. Writers on architecture make a number of subdivisions and some have included all the architecture of the twelfth to the fifteenth centuries under the title Gothic, or Christian Pointed. During these centuries Europe, from the South to far Northern Scotland and Sweden, was dotted with imposing structures which on the one hand vied with St. Sophia of Constantinople, and on the other have been imitated but not equalled since.

In Rome as late as the thirteenth century, when Honorius III. began the construction of San Lorenzo, the old basilica style continued to rule. The Romanesque style started from Northern Italy and, in the beginning of the eleventh century, crossed the Alps, where it had its most glorious triumphs. In Italy, the cathedral of Pisa represents the blending of the old and the new, the cruciform shape and the dome. In Germany, the cathedrals of Spires, Worms, and Mainz belong to this period, and in England its earlier cathedrals, or portions of them, like Winchester, begun about 1070, Worcester about 1084, Peterborough about 1120, Norwich about 1096, Ely about 1083, Durham about 1099.

For the fundamental ground plan of the basilica was substituted the form of the cross. The size of the choir was increased and the choir was elevated. It was the age of the priesthood, and sacerdotalism was represented in the enlargement of the altar, in increased and rich stalls for the clergy, and spaces at the rear of the altar. These features also belong to the preceding period, but now receive greater emphasis. The large end of the cross, or nave, especially in the English cathedrals, was greatly extended so that the altar and its furniture were seen from afar, for the chief doors were in that end, which faced the west. In England, the transepts, or arms of the cross, became long and spacious. The tower became a prominent feature, and buttresses were added to the walls. In Italy, the tower took the shape of a campanile, which was built in addition to the dome, and was sometimes a separate building and never an essential part of it. The vaulted and groined roof took the place of the flat roof.

The Gothic style, so called in Italy from its reputed barbaric features, found altogether its highest development in the North, and started in Northern France. It is the grandest style of church architecture ever wrought out. It was shown in the height of the church walls and in spires struggling to reach to the very throne of God itself. The vault of the cathedral of Amiens is 147 feet above the floor, of Beauvais 157 feet, of Cologne 155 feet. This style developed the pointed arch, perpendicular lines, the lancet window. It had some of the features of the Lombardy poplars, soaring, stern, solemn. In its strong, ramparted buttresses, its towers, and its massive columns, it represented the hardihood and strength of the northern forest. Its pointed roofs were adapted to receive the storms of snow common to the North. Its flying buttresses and elaborate carvings within, and its splendid entrances, especially in the French cathedrals, typified the richness of Christian promise and hope.

The Gothic style started in France in the thirteenth century. Notable examples are found in Rheims, begun 1211, Amiens, Laon, and in Notre Dame, Paris, begun in 1163. The arches are less pointed than in England and the portals are on a much grander scale and more highly ornamented. At Notre Dame we have one of the finest specimens of flying buttresses. In its case and most cases of French Gothic there are towers. The cathedrals of Paris, Amiens, and Rheims have unfinished towers. The Sainte Chapelle in Paris is a splendid piece of pure Gothic.

In Germany, fine examples of Gothic are found in the church at Marburg dedicated to St. Elizabeth, in Nürnberg, Bamberg, Freiburg, Strassburg, and other cities. The cathedral of Cologne is said to be the most perfect specimen of Gothic in existence. Its choir was begun in 1248, Konrad of Hochsteden laying the corner-stone in the presence of the newly elected emperor, William of Holland, and many princes. The choir was dedicated in 1322. By 1437 one of the towers was finished up to one-third of its present height. At the time of the Reformation the roof was covered with boards. In the nineteenth century the original plans were discovered and the completion of the edifice, including the two spires, was made a national undertaking. The work was finished in 1880.

England is rich in memorials of medieval architecture which began with the arrival of the Normans. The nation’s life is interwoven with them, and Westminster Abbey is perhaps the most august place of sepulture in the world. In addition to the cathedrals already mentioned, Lincoln, Canterbury, York, Salisbury, and other great churches were begun in this period. Addition after addition was made till the noble churches of England got their final shape. The tower is one of the prominent features of the English cathedral, Lichfield being probably the most important with spires. The finest outside impression is made by Salisbury and Lincoln minsters. Many of these cathedrals were built by Benedictine monks, such as Canterbury, Durham, Ely, and Norwich, and by the canons regular of St. Augustine, as Carlisle and Bristol. Lincoln, Chichester, Salisbury, York, St. David’s, and others were served by secular priests.

The architects of Scotland seem to have come from England and to have built after English models. The noblest of her medieval churches are Glasgow, St. Andrews, Dumblane, and Elgin, and among her convents, Kelso, Dryburgh, Holyrood, and Melrose.

In Spain, great minsters at Toledo, Burgos, and other cities were built in Gothic style in the thirteenth century, and Seville, which offers the largest floor surface of all the Christian churches, and is also of the same type, was begun in 1401 and completed 1520.

In Italy, Gothic was never fully at home. The cathedrals of Milan, Florence, and Siena are regarded as its finer specimens. Siena was begun in 1243. The minster of Milan was not begun till 1385. It is the largest Christian church after Seville and St. Peter’s. Its west façade is out of accord with the rest of the structure, which is pure Gothic. It is built of white marble and soars up to the clouds in hundreds of spires. Within full sight of the Milan cathedral are the Alps, crowned with snow and elevated far above the din of human traffic and voices; and in comparison with those mightier cathedrals of God, the creations of man seem small even as man himself seems small in comparison with his Maker.