Educational tourism of the middle ages

Educational tourism of the middle ages


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. A small room with a low vaulted ceiling. Rare rays of sunlight streak through the narrow windows. Boys of different ages are sitting at a long table. The reference clothes give out the children of wealthy parents - there are clearly no poor people here. At the head of the table is a priest. In front of him is a large handwritten book, nearby lies a bunch of rods. The priest mumbles prayers in Latin. Children mechanically repeat incomprehensible words after him. There is a class in a medieval church school.

The early Middle Ages are sometimes referred to as the "Dark Ages." The transition from antiquity to the Middle Ages was accompanied by a deep cultural decline in Western Europe.

Not only the barbaric invasions, which finished off the Western Roman Empire, led to the destruction of the cultural values ​​of antiquity. No less destructive than the attacks of the Visigoths, Vandals and Lombards, the hostile attitude of the church became for the ancient cultural heritage. Pope Gregory I (see the papacy) waged an open war against ancient culture. He banned the reading of books by ancient authors and the study of mathematics, accusing the latter of links with magic. The most important area of ​​culture, education was going through especially hard times. Gregory I once proclaimed: "Ignorance is the mother of true piety." Truly ignorance reigned in Western Europe in the 5th-10th centuries. It was almost impossible to find literate people not only among the peasants, but also among the nobility. Many knights put a cross instead of a signature. Until the end of his life, the famous Charlemagne, the founder of the Frankish state, could not learn to write (see the book "Charlemagne the Great"). But the emperor was clearly not indifferent to knowledge. Already in adulthood, he resorted to the services of teachers. Having begun to study the art of writing shortly before his death, Karl carefully kept waxed boards and sheets of parchment under his pillow, and in his free time he learned to write letters. In addition, the sovereign patronized scientists. His court in Aachen became the center of education. In a specially created school, the famous scientist and writer, a native of Britain, Alcuin taught the basics of science to the sons of Charles himself and the children of his entourage. Aachen was visited by a few educated people from all over illiterate Europe. Following the example of antiquity, the society of scientists gathered at the court of Charlemagne was called the Academy. In the last years of his life, Alcuin became the abbot of the richest monastery of St. Martin in the city of Tours, where he also founded a school, whose students later became famous teachers of monastic and church schools in France.

The cultural upsurge that took place during the reign of Charlemagne and his successors (Ka-Rolling) was called the "Carolingian Renaissance". But it was short-lived. Soon cultural life again concentrated in the monasteries.

Monastic and church schools were the very first educational institutions of the Middle Ages. And although the Christian church retained only selective, necessary remnants of ancient education (primarily Latin), it was in them that the cultural tradition that connected different eras continued.

The lower church schools trained mainly parish priests. Paid education was conducted in Latin. The school was attended by children of feudal lords, rich townspeople, wealthy peasants. The study began with cramming prayers and psalms (religious chants). Then the students were introduced to the Latin alphabet and taught to read the same prayers from the book. Often this book was the only one in school (handwritten books were very expensive, and it was still a long way before the invention of printing). When reading, boys (girls were not taken to school) learned the most common words and expressions without delving into their meaning. It is not surprising that not everyone who learned to read Latin texts, far from colloquial speech, could understand what they read. But all this wisdom was hammered into the consciousness of the disciples with the help of a rod.

It took about three years to study writing. The students practiced first on a waxed board and then learned to write with a quill pen on parchment (specially treated leather). In addition to reading and writing, they learned to represent numbers with their fingers, memorized the multiplication table, trained in church singing and, of course, got acquainted with the basics of the Catholic doctrine. Despite this, many pupils of the school were forever imbued with aversion to cramming, to Latin, alien to them, and left the school half-literate, able to somehow read the texts of liturgical books.

The era of the Middle Ages is long over, but university life seems to have remained there.

European higher education is a product of medieval culture. It was then that the basic principles and traditions of universities were laid, which are inherited from era to era. Many of them continue to be relevant today. It is all the more interesting to trace where and why they originated and how they are manifested in modern times.

University Hierarchy

More on this topic:

The heyday of the first universities in the 12th century coincided with the active development of workshop production. Medieval universities were created similarly to craft workshops: pupils gathered around the famous scientist, who at the same time helped him to manage the household, studied under his guidance and participated in research.

Moving from one stage to another was easily impossible: those who wished were offered a special task. And if for artisans such a task was to create a "masterpiece" - the best sample of a product, then for members of the scientific guild it was a demonstration of knowledge.

After a student comprehended the "seven liberal arts" and passed the exam, he could apply for a bachelor's degree, and after defending a thesis - a master of arts. The master could already continue his studies at one of the higher faculties, after which he received a doctorate. Continuous education could last 20 years, which, taking into account the medieval life expectancy, took a good half of it.

University organization

European universities at that time, as now, consisted of many substructures. The division into faculties appeared with the creation of the first universities. The most in demand in the Middle Ages were lawyers - due to the development of the practice of written legislation - and theologians - due to the expansion of the influence of Christianity. Medicine by this time had become more effective than pagan healing practices.

So any medieval university had four faculties: theological, legal, medical and artistic (the faculty of "liberal arts") - preparatory. At the Faculty of Arts, students learned the trivium (grammar, logic and rhetoric), and then the quadrium (arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and harmonics), after which they entered one of the three senior faculties.

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