BBC Radio 4
First Broadcast March 2011
In the 11th and 12th centuries a new type of institution started to appear in the major cities of Europe. The first universities were those of Bologna and Paris; within a hundred years similar educational organisations were springing up all over the continent. The first universities based their studies on the liberal arts curriculum, a mix of seven separate disciplines derived from the educational theories of Ancient Greece. The universities provided training for those intending to embark on careers in the Church, the law and education. They provided a new focus for intellectual life in Europe, and exerted a significant influence on society around them. And the university model proved so robust that many of these institutions and their medieval innovations still exist today. Guests: Miri Rubin, Professor of Medieval and Early Modern History at Queen Mary, University of London Ian Wei, Senior Lecturer in Medieval European History at the University of Bristol Peter Denley, Reader in History at Queen Mary, University of London.