No institution called a "university" existed in Western education before the late twelfth century. What then were the forces that encouraged the foundation of the earliest universities and their organization into a system of education more or less related to that found in the universities of our own time? Professor Jaeger's lecture will demonstrate the role played by the extraordinary intellectual energy that characterized the twelfth-century cathedral schools. Then, focusing on the University of Paris, he will explore the conflicts and personalities that brought forth a new institution offering a wide variety of disciplines within a single organizational framework. Did the first university arise as a result of the force of ideals or because of social ills caused by the growth of the student population in Paris? Did the new university represent a broadening or a narrowing of the field of studies? The lecture will highlight the influence of Peter Abelard, his conflicts with the old humanistic schools, and the new student culture (represented and satirized in the songs of the Carmina Burana) that typified the Western world\'s first university.
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