Research in freedom


‘What was the life of a 13th century European University student like? What were his characteristics, his aspirations, what difficulties would he come across every day? The answers to some of these questions can be found by visiting this exhibition, whose aim is to describe the environment and the ideals which led to the birth of the so called ‘Studia’, between the 12th and the 13th centuries, with particular reference to the Italian city of Bologna. The Studium in its origins was not like a University as we know it today, a well defined institution; rather it was a network of agreements (‘Societas’), between students, eager to learn and deepen their knowledge, and ‘new’ teachers who would lead them through the learning process. Young men from all over Europe would go to the Law teachers from Bologna to learn the Corpus of the Laws of Justinian, which had been updated by Imerio and would become the pillar of modern Jurisprudence. Paris became the meeting point of clergy from the whole Christian world, who would gather around the masters of Notre-Dame to study the fundamentals of Scholastic Philosophy. These young people, real pilgrims of knowledge, would face risky journeys and stays in foreign cities in order to meet in the so called ‘Nationes’, which were mutual aid societies among students of the same nationalities. Teachers and students in the early centuries of the ‘Studia’ were bound in familiarity. Lessons were divided into two moments, quaestio and disputatio, and were real challenges to the mind for a correct use of reason. These aspects of daily life illustrate the active and joyful climate of freedom which permeated the life of the Universities, the place of those who, in the certainty of being able to face every novelty, laid the foundations of western civilisation.’


24 Agosto 1997 - 30 Agosto 1997


Exhibitions Meeting Exhibitions