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A History of Spain by Charles E. Chapman

And other influences on Castilian thought and science


University and other education.]

The universities increased in number and influence to the point of being a vital factor in the intellectual life of the period. In the _Partidas_, Alfonso X distinguished between the "general studies" founded by the pope, emperor, or king, and the "particular studies," the creation of an individual or town. The former combined secondary and higher education, for the old _trivium_ and _quadrivium_ were retained, with the addition of the Roman and canon law.[48] Gradually the higher studies began to predominate, and associated themselves with the term "university." The "particular studies" were usually conducted by a single master with a few students, and were confined to some one or two branches of learning. Some of these subjects, when they differed from the fundamental courses of the "general studies," tended to be adopted by the latter. Thus theology was added to the university curriculum in the fifteenth century. Other subjects were also studied in the universities, even though not common to all, such as medicine and surgery at Salamanca. Primary education was neglected, although the church schools still continued and some towns or individuals founded such schools. The universities received considerable government aid, but were autonomous, and depended in part on other sources of income, such as their own fees and the gifts by individuals or corporations other than the state. The students and teachers together

formed a _cofrad?a_, or fraternity, which elected its own rector, or president. A bishop, dean, or abbot was usually constituted a kind of guardian by royal mandate. This official was gradually replaced by the "schoolmaster of the cathedral," who came to be judge in cases affecting university students, and even arrogated to himself the right to confer degrees, rivalling the president of the university in authority. All members of the university were granted special legal privileges (approximately those of the clergy) with respect to their persons and goods. The method of teaching employed was the reading of a text by the teacher, who commented upon and explained it. Examinations were held for the granting of the bachelor's and doctor's degrees. Not only did each university possess a library, but there were also many other public and private libraries, and the trade of the copyist and the manufacture of books were markedly more prominent than before. In the universities texts were loaned (not sold) to students to enable them to correct their notes,--which shows that books were still comparatively scarce. Some time before 1475, at an uncertain date, the art of printing was introduced into Castile,--with effects which belong to the following eras.

[Sidenote: Moslem, Jewish, and other influences on Castilian thought and science.]

The oriental influence on Castilian thought and science, or rather the classical influences transmitted

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