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Warriors of the CloistersThe Central Asian Origins of Science in the Medieval World$
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Christopher I. Beckwith

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691155319

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691155319.001.0001

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From College and Universitas to University

From College and Universitas to University

(p.37) Chapter Three From College and Universitas to University
Warriors of the Cloisters

Christopher I. Beckwith

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the evolution of the college and universitas to university. The madrasa, the medieval Islamic college, appeared in Central Asia at least two centuries before the first college founded in Western Europe. The madrasa is an Islamicized form of the earlier Central Asian Buddhist college, the vihāra. The earliest three “universities”—the universitas guilds of Bologna, Paris, and Oxford—appear at approximately the same time in history, the late twelfth or early thirteenth century. The term “university” replaced studium generale by the end of the Middle Ages, marking the merger of the universitas, the studium generale, and the college into the early modern college-university. The chapter shows that the subsequently founded universities of Europe mostly followed the early Parisian model at first, with a universitas guild of masters plus a number of colleges.

Keywords:   universitas, madrasa, Islamic college, Central Asia, Western Europe, vihāra, universities, studium generale, colleges

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