We can trace the birth of universities to the magnetism of single teachers, whose skill and enthusiasm for learning attracted students wherever they happened to be. After Abelard schools sprouted all around the Continent, the event that marked the flowering of the universities was the grouping of students and masters into guilds for mutual interest and protection, calling themselves a universitas, from the medieval name for any corporate group. At first lectures were given in wayside sheds at Oxford and Cambridge, in the cathedral cloisters in Paris, and in the squares in Italy. In time, teachers rented rooms and the students sat on the floor, which was usually covered with straw against the dampness. Unencumbered with athletic stadiums, libraries or other equipment, universities could pick up and move elsewhere at any time if they found themselves at odds with local citizens.
[tags]Abelard, BlogRodent, church-history, ChurchRodent, history, Universities[/tags]