The University in Medieval Life, 1179–1499

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About the Book

The university is indigenous to Western Europe and is probably the greatest and most enduring achievement of the Middle Ages. Much more than stodgy institutions of learning, medieval universities were exciting arenas of people and ideas. They contributed greatly to the economic vitality of their host cities and served as birthplaces for some of the era’s most effective minds, laws and discoveries.
This survey traces the growth of the largest medieval universities of Bologna, Paris, and Oxford, along with the universities of Cambridge, Padua, Naples, Montpellier, Toulouse, Orléans, Angers, Prague, Vienna and Glasgow. Covering the years 1179–1499, this work discusses common traits of medieval universities, their major figures, and their roles in medieval life.

About the Author(s)

Hunt Janin is an American writer living in southwestern France. He has written numerous nonfiction and scholarly books on a range of subjects, including medieval history and cross-cultural studies.

Bibliographic Details

Hunt Janin
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 230
Bibliographic Info: appendices, chronology, glossary, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2008
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3462-6
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5201-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii

Preface      1

Setting the Stage: Medieval Life      7

I. MEDIEVAL UNIVERSITIES: AN OVERVIEW      25

II. THE UNIVERSITY OF BOLOGNA      55

III. LEGAL SCHOLARS AT BOLOGNA      63

IV. THE UNIVERSITY OF PARIS      71

V. THREE SCHOLARS AND A HERETIC (OR A SAINT)      97

VI. THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD      107

VII. LUMINARIES AT OXFORD      115

VIII. TEN OTHER UNIVERSITIES      127

IX. MEDIEVAL UNIVERSITIES AND HUMANISM      140

X. THE IMPACTS OF THE UNIVERSITIES ON MEDIEVAL LIFE      165

Appendix 1. A University Student’s Possessions      177

Appendix 2. Three Excerpts from Peter Abelard’s Historia Calamitatum (The Story of My Misfortunes)      179

Appendix 3. John of Garland on “How Students Should Behave”      182

Appendix 4. The Pecia System      183

Appendix 5. Two Letters of 21 November 1430 from the University of Paris      185

Appendix 6. Medieval Requirements for Becoming a Physician      187

Chronology      189

Glossary      197

Chapter Notes      199

Bibliography      209

Index      217

Book Reviews & Awards

“useful…recommended”—Choice; “offers a refreshingly clear look at what it must have been like to be a student or teacher in the great medieval universities”—C&RL News.