Universities in the UK. Oxford… Cambridge… And number three.…
Can you name the three oldest universities in Britain? Well, the first two are clear — Oxford and Cambridge, everybody knows that. And the third? First clue: it is not located in England. Second: it was founded in 1412. And the third: it is there now receives higher education heir to the British throne Prince William, son of the late Princess Diana and Prince Charles.
However, we will not darken. We are talking about the University of St. Andrews. St. Andrews is a small old town on the East coast of Scotland. Today it is famous primarily for the University, and even Golf courses, which were played here at the beginning of the XV century and which is from here later spread throughout Britain and around the world. And to understand why the first Scottish University appeared here, and not in the so-called “Northern Athens” Edinburgh or already by the standards of the then large city of Aberdeen, it is necessary to turn to history.
The City Of St. Andrew
Its name is St.Andrew’s – the city received in honor of the Apostle Andrew. Legend has it that in the VI century, a Byzantine monk named Regulus in a dream was an angel and ordered to take away from Constantinople the remains of St. Andrew and for greater safety to take “to the edge of the earth.” Regul obeyed: he took some bones from the tomb, boarded a ship, sailed to the far North and was shipwrecked off the coast of Caledonia, that is Scotland. This area is quite consistent with the definition of “edge of the earth”, so the monk with a calm soul buried the remains and erected a chapel over them.
In 1160, a small chapel of St. Mary on the Rocks was replaced by a majestic Cathedral, where the relics were moved. At the same time the town, or rather the village, got its name. By the way, St. Andrew is considered the patron Saint not only of our country, but also of Scotland, and its national flag is “St. Andrew’s banner”, the one under which heroically drowned the proud handsome “Varangian”. But it is so, by the way, and has no relation to University.
And it has to do with the fact that thousands of pilgrims reached for the Cathedral with relics, the clergy multiplied and flourished, trade developed rapidly and the inconspicuous settlement in two counts turned into a religious and commercial center, known not only in Scotland but also throughout medieval Europe. Despite the fact that the rights of the city of St. Andrus received only in 1620. And when in Scotland there was a need to get the, local studium generale, it is quite natural that the educational institution was based where religious and secular life boiled.
In 1521, a graduate of St. Andrews, historian John major was amazed at the negligence of Scottish prelates, until the XV century did not bother to create a University in the country. Monastic schools have long existed in Scotland. Graduates who wanted to continue their education had to go either to Paris or boreales – Northern schools, i.e. Oxford and Cambridge. This continued until the Bishop of St. Andrews was appointed Henry wardlow, doctor of Canon law, who received a degree at the Sorbonne.
In the reformatory fervor of wardlow first began to restore order in the Church and the city economy. But all efforts of the enlightened Prelate was divided not so much about zlonravie, but about the ignorance of the clergy and of the world. Which prompted him to organize the first College in St. Andrews.
In the following year, 1412, wardlow turned to the Roman – or rather, Avignon Pope Benedict XIII (according to Church concepts, antipope, but it was recognized then Scotland) – for the official recognition of the St. Andrus College studium generale Request he motivated by the fact that the Scottish clergy “want to be instructed in theology, Canon and civil law, medicine and free arts” but are afraid “of dangers on land and sea, wars, captivity and obstacles in the way overseas universities”.
What started in the city when the messenger returned with the papal bull! All night fireworks were burning, bells rang, everyone celebrated as they could. The next day was marked by a Grand religious procession, which was attended by 400 priests, monks and novices of all orders and ranks. The joy was truly national…
Wardlow organized the University on the model of his alma mater – Sorbonne. The first professors appointed by the Bishop from among the educated clerics agreed to read theology, Canon law and philosophy on “public grounds”, that is, free of charge. Students were also not initially charged. A wooden structure, called Pedagogium, was adapted for the classes, and the first proper University building was the College of St. Petersburg.Salvator – was built only in 1458 by the efforts of the successor of wardlow, Bishop John Kennedy. Later added another two – the College of St. Leonard’s (1512) and St. Mary’s (1538). However, the University buildings never formed a campus, and to this day they are scattered around the city.
What did the scholar know?
According to some reports, the number of students in the early years of the University reached several thousand. But it was probably not the academic brilliance, but the fact that the school was the only one in Scotland. Wardlow was “not to fat”: his studium generale served as a center of literacy rather than a temple of science. Training was purely utilitarian, and also highly specialized: in fact, it was not so much a University as a Seminary designed to train priests. Any knowledge handed down student St Andrews from the “Trivium” and “kvadrivium”, the study of which was spent in seven years? Some information about grammar; basic mathematical skills; ideas about geography (of course, as it was imagined in the Middle ages); musical literacy, sufficient to serve the mass; Yes Ptolemaic astronomy to the extent necessary to correctly calculate the date of Easter. And of course, oratory, honed in endless scholastic debates… Only theology, law, and especially philosophy gave the student food for thought and a field of study, because neither the Humanities nor the natural Sciences were taught in St. Andrews until the 17th century.
The University accepted young men from the age of fourteen. They came, as a rule, after the monastery schools, and not all were ready for serious study. Even the General level of knowledge of Latin, which, in theory, was taught, was quite low. And when the College of the Holy.Leonard finally opened the Department of Humanities – and it was only in 1620 – it is only the Professor had first of all to teach youngsters the basics of Latin grammar. And Greek in St. Andrus began to study only in 1695. But before that, the city and the University had to go through a lot…
The European Renaissance, with its flourishing of scholarship and art, never reached the Northern, sometimes semi-wild Scotland. And customs, and the Outlook here remains quite medieval to the mid-nineteenth century, when Europe, or rather, from England, wafted by the wind of the reformation. At the head of the movement stood priest John Knox.
The famous English historian Thomas Carlyle called the Scottish Reformation “the resurrection from death to life”: “Scottish literature and thought, Scottish industry, James Watt, David Hume, Walter Scott, Robert burns: I see how Knox and the reformation act in the heart of every person and phenomenon; I understand that they would not be without the reformation”.
But the prosperity was far away. It was may 1546. A group of Protestants captured the castle of the head of the Catholic Church of Scotland, Baton in St. Andrus. The cardinal was killed and thrown out the window. The conspirators, along with John Knox, barricaded themselves in the castle and called for the help of British troops. In early 1547 Knox read his first Protestant sermon in the parish Church of St. Andrus. In July 1547 the French fleet came to the city and liberated the castle.
Events could not affect the University. Although its buildings, unlike the city’s churches, were not destroyed, the students began to scatter. In addition, many of them, imbued with the ideas of Calvinism, no longer satisfied with learning “the old-fashioned way.” As a result, in 1557, 31 students attended three colleges in St. Andrus. A year later – only three…
However, in 1560 the reformation won a complete and final victory. And the new authorities took seriously the universities, which at that time there were three in Scotland: in St. Andrews, Glasgow (1450) and Aberdeen (1494). A special Commission was set up, which, after an “audit” of educational institutions, was horrified by the antediluvian programs and methods. After that, new departments of disciplines began to appear, which have long been taught throughout the enlightened world.
St. Andrews was no exception. And, I must say, it was at the turn of the XVI-XVII centuries, he gave Scotland a number of outstanding graduates, among whom were mathematician John Napier, inventor of logarithms and the first mechanical calculator, and linguist, poet and adventurer James Crichton, whose short life could serve as a theme for the novel.
Thus, the reformation did not have a devastating impact on the University, as it did in many European countries, but, on the contrary, revived it to life. However, at that time the city lost its importance as a religious center, and in the XVII century St. Andrus had a serious rival: founded in 1582, the University of Edinburgh, immediately entered into fashion. Modernization of St Andrews was sluggish, with breaks. The number of students again began to fall catastrophically. Until the middle of the XVIII century, the “unprofitable” University existed on the verge of closure, but fortunately, it managed to be preserved, primarily by “compression”: turning three colleges into two.