Free «Medieval Universities» Essay Sample


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Medieval universities developed in the Middle Ages with the main objective being edification of individuals in readiness for a career, which mainly concerned the church. These universities offered education specifically to the clergies and certain members within the ruling class. The universities concentrated with the translation, arranging, copying and codifying different sacred texts and other materials that existed from the classical epoch (Janin 7). Medieval universities were located in or near cathedrals and monasteries although some were developed on properties belonging to the wealthy or upper class (Mondschein). Therefore, medieval universities served the church and to some extent the upper class associates.

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Instructors in these universities were clerics and offered curricula that incorporated doctrinal themes and standpoints. However, the curriculum carried various studies that were categorized into grammar, logic together with rhetoric (Mondschein). The other categories of studies were geometry, music, arithmetic and astronomy. The universities awarded baccalaureate as the first degree. Grammar, logic and rhetoric concerned reading and writing of the international language during the Middle Ages, which was Latin (Mondschein). Arithmetic concentrated on remunerations in terms of revenue and taxes while music and astronomy concentrated on church services and eclipses respectively.

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These universities emerged after the issuing of papal decree that necessitated the creation of cathedral schools to edify clergies, after which these schools developed into medieval universities (Cobban 3). The medieval universities were different from the modern universities since the major objective of modern universities is to provide students with social mobility. Medieval universities emphasized on the dressing mode and mannerisms of the scholars, which is divergent from those of modern universities.

Medieval universities offered baccalaureate that served as the first degree contrary to the modern universities that offer bachelor’s degree. The medieval universities nurtured students towards religious piety unlike the modern universities, which nurture students to obtain financial stability (Mondschein). The life at the medieval universities necessitated students to wear predetermined attires, presented numerous hardships with regard to the studies and the nature of the learning materials. Life in these universities demonstrated devotion and obligations towards the founders and associated benefactors (Rait 3). 

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