« ForrigeFortsæt »
to license masters and to
and their retainers alike were relieved from all taxation and from military service. Likewise, universities were taxation and granted the right to license masters to lecture anywhere vice, and right without further examination (jus ubique docendi), and the privilege of 'striking' (cessatio), when university rights were infringed. If no redress were given in the latter case, the suspension of lectures was followed by emigration of the university to another town. This could easily be done, since none of the medieval universities had buildings of their own, and there was no need of expensive libraries, laboratories, and other equipment.
sity' a corporation.
Through such special rights the universities obtained great power and became very independent. Soon the liberty allowed to students degenerated into recklessness and license, and they became dissipated and quarrelsome. This is especially seen in the life of the so-called 'wandering students,' who migrated from university to university, begging their way, and were shiftless, rollicking, and vicious. The one compensating feature of such degeneracy was their production of jovial Latin and German songs to voice their appreciation of forbidden pleasures and their protest against restraint.
Organization of the Universities.-The term universitas, or 'university,' did not imply originally, as often claimed since, an institution where 'everything' is taught, The 'univer- but it was used of any legal corporation, and only in the course of time was it limited to an organization of masters and students. The phrase studium generale was also often used of a university, to indicate a school where the students from all parts of civilization were received, and to contrast it with a studium particulare, which was confined to pupils of a limited neighborhood. The formation
of a university had been preceded by the organization of The nations, 'nations,' or bodies of students grouped according to the part of Europe from which they came, but these nations soon began to combine for the sake of obtaining greater privileges and power. Every year each nation chose a 'councilor,' who was to represent it and guard its inter- councilors, ests. On the side of the masters, the university became organized into 'faculties,' of which there might be at least four,-arts, law, medicine, and theology; and each faculty came to elect a 'dean' as its representative. The faculties, deans and the councilors jointly elected the 'rector,' or rector. head of the university.
Course in the Four Faculties.-The course of study to be offered by each faculty was largely fixed by papal decree or university legislation during the thirteenth century. The course in arts, which occupied six years, in- Arts. cluded the texts on the liberal arts mentioned for the monastic schools (see pp. 56 f.) and several of the treatises of Aristotle, as rapidly as they were recovered. In the law course, Corpus Juris Civilis was the authorized text for civil law, and the Decree of Gratian for canon law. Law. The faculty of medicine utilized the Greek treatises by Medicine. Hippocrates (c. 460-375 B. C.) and Galen (c. 130-200 A. D.), the Canon of Avicenna (see p. 66), and the works of certain Jewish and Salernitan physicians. The students of theology put most of their time upon the Theology. four books of Peter the Lombard's Sententiæ (Fig. 9), although the Bible was studied incidentally.
The Methods of Instruction.-The training of a mediæval student consisted not only in acquiring the subjects mentioned, but in learning to debate upon them. The acquisition of the subject-matter was accomplished
Master or doctor.
through lectures, which consisted in reading and explaining the text-book under consideration (Fig. 10). Beside the text itself, the teacher would read all the explanatory notes, summaries, cross-references, and objections to the author's statements, which often quite overshadowed the original, and might even add a commentary of his own. The passage was read slowly and repeated whenever necessary. The whole exercise was carried on in Latin, which had to be learned by the student before coming to the university. The training in debate was furnished by means of formal disputations, in which one student, or group of students, was pitted against another (Fig. 11). In these contests, which also were conducted in Latin, not only were authorities cited, but the debaters might add arguments of their own. Thus, compared with the memorizing of lectures, debating afforded some acuteness and vigor of intellect, but by the close of the fifteenth century it had become no longer reputable. The aim came to be to win and to secure applause without regard to truth or consistency.
Examinations and Degrees.-At the close of the course, the student was examined in his ability to define and dispute; and if he passed, he was admitted to the grade of master, doctor, or professor. These degrees seem originally to have been about on a par with each other, and signified that the candidate was now ready to Baccalaureate. practice the craft of teaching. The baccalaureate was at first not a real degree, but simply permission to become a candidate for the license to teach. During the thirteenth century, however, it came to be sought as an honor by many not intending to teach, and eventually became a separate degree.