Thursday, June 20, 2013

June 20 - University of Oxford

The University of Oxford, located northwest of London on the River Thames, was granted its official charter on June 20, 1214. Teaching existed at Oxford since 1096. Most wealthy Englishmen seeking higher education had previously gone to the University of Paris (now the Sorbonne), but in 1167 King Henry II banned English students from attending. They settled at Oxford instead, which expanded greatly thereafter. In 1209, violent disputes between students and Oxford townspeople led academics to flee en masse to the northeast, establishing what became the University of Cambridge. To reverse Oxford’s loss of prestige and income, a papal emissary formalized the scholars’ situation via a charter. Students returned and colleges were formed, though town-and-gown tensions remained for centuries. Oxford is the English-speaking world’s oldest university and the world’s second-oldest surviving university. Pictured: the iconic Radcliffe Camera (1749), part of Oxford’s Bodleian Library (“the Bod”), and All Souls College.

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1 comment:

  1. Of course there are dozens of grotesque things to be said about Oxford (the university) but, as you put it, as an English-speaker it would be vain of me to deny, despite all, that Oxford asserts the aspiration for understanding by invoking the entire spectrum of the intellectual and aesthetic disciplines in support of it. It is this unlimited scope of commitment (on its face, at least) which inspired my great university, your great university, and every land grant and community college subscribing to "the liberal education" to give shelter, strengthening, and every available support to the young to bring us further. This idea is sort of nice, and even if it isn't, I am incurably in its debt.

    I can't sign this from my blog, the compliment is to you.