Wednesday, September 01, 2004

I'm on holiday in Bologna, first stop in a week long tour of northern Italian renaissance city states. Ferrara, Parma, Florence and Ravenna to go (it is a bit of a whistle stop tour). Oddities of formating should be put down to the computer in the hotel lobby.

The most interesting thing about Bologna is that the world's first university began here to study law in about 1150. The university is still going strong and it looks like term has started as the university quarter is flocking with keen young things. The old centre for the university was extensively bombed in the Second World War (by us or them, I do not know) but the anatomy theatre has been lovingly reconstructed and is quite a site. The professors throne is flanked by two naked flayed figures and the whole room is full of the busts of great physicians - even stuck to the ceiling.

Jack Perry has just started a new blog here: . He is a Catholic from America and his writings look well worth a look not least because he appears to be very well read.

1 comment:

jack perry said...

Thanks for the mention :-)

Your post brings up a question I've had for some time, but that was never urgent enough to follow up on. Is Bologna really the world's first university? I have read that the Muslim world already had "similar institutions" before Bologna's. Looking at Wikipedia I see that Buddhists also had something like the universities early on. What distinguishes Bologna's "modern university" from theirs?