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The cathedral school of Trondheim, founded in 1152, is the oldest school in Norway. Today, the Katedralskole serves as secondary school.

Cathedral schools began in the Early Middle Ages as centers of advanced education, some of them ultimately evolving into medieval universities. Throughout the Middle Ages and beyond, they were complemented by the monastic schools. Some of these early cathedral schools, and more recent foundations, continued into modern times.

Early schools[edit]

Philosopher on one of the archivolts over the right door of the west portal at Chartres Cathedral.

In the later Roman Empire, as Roman municipal education declined, bishops began to establish schools associated with their cathedrals to provide the church with an educated clergy. The earliest evidence of a school established in this manner is in Visigothic Spain at the Second Council of Toledo in 527.[1] These early schools, with a focus on an apprenticeship in religious learning under a scholarly bishop, have been identified in other parts of Spain and in about twenty towns in Gaul (France) during the sixth and seventh centuries.[2]

During and after the mission of St Augustine to the Southern British, Cathedral schools were established as the new dioceses were themselves created (Canterbury 597, Rochester 604, York 627 for example). This group of schools forms the oldest schools continuously operating. A significant function of Cathedral schools was to provide boy trebles for the choirs, evolving into choir schools, some of which still function as such.

Charlemagne, king of the Franks and later Emperor, recognizing the importance of education to the clergy and, to a lesser extent, to the nobility, set out to restore this declining tradition by issuing several decrees requiring that education be provided at monasteries and cathedrals. In 789, Charlemagne's Admonitio Generalis required that schools be established in every monastery and bishopric, in which "children can learn to read; that psalms, notation, chant, computation, and grammar be taught."[3] Subsequent documents, such as the letter De litteris colendis, required that bishops select as teachers men who had "the will and the ability to learn and a desire to instruct others"[4] and a decree of the Council of Frankfurt (794) recommended that bishops undertake the instruction of their clergy.[5]

Subsequently, cathedral schools arose in major cities such as Chartres, Orleans, Paris, Laon, Reims or Rouen in France and Utrecht, Liege, Cologne, Metz, Speyer, Würzburg, Bamberg, Magdeburg, Hildesheim or Freising in Germany. Following in the earlier tradition, these cathedral schools primarily taught future clergy and provided literate administrators for the increasingly elaborate courts of the Renaissance of the 12th century. Speyer was renown for supplying the Holy Roman Empire with diplomats.[6] The court of Henry I of England, himself an early example of a literate king, was closely tied to the cathedral school of Laon.[7]

Characteristics and development[edit]

Cathedral schools were mostly oriented around the academic welfare of the nobility's children. Because it was intended to train them for careers in the church, girls were excluded from the schools. Later on, many lay students who were not necessarily interested in seeking a career in the church wanted to enroll. Demand arose for schools to teach government, state, and other Church affairs. The schools, (some notable ones dating back to the eighth and ninth centuries) accepted fewer than 100 students. Pupils had to demonstrate substantial intelligence and be able to handle a demanding academic course load. Considering that books were also expensive, students were in the practice of memorizing their teachers' lectures. Cathedral schools at this time were primarily run by a group of ministers and divided into two parts: Schola minor which was intended for younger students would later become elementary schools. Then there was the schola major, which taught older students. These would later become secondary schools.

The subjects taught at Cathedral schools ranged from literature to mathematics. These topics were called the seven liberal arts: grammar, astronomy, rhetoric (or speech), logic, arithmetic, geometry and music. In grammar classes, students were trained to read, write and speak Latin which was the universal language in Europe at the time. Astronomy was necessary for calculating dates and times. Rhetoric was a major component of a vocal education. Logic consisted of discovering the art of solving mathematical problems, and arithmetic served as the basis for quantitative reasoning. Students read stories and poems in Latin by authors such as Cicero and Virgil. Much as in the present day, cathedral schools were split into elementary and higher schools with different curricula. The elementary school curriculum was composed of reading, writing and psalmody, while the high school curriculum was trivium (grammar, rhetoric and dialect), the rest of the liberal arts, as well as scripture study and pastoral theology.

Cathedral Schools Today[edit]

While cathedral schools are no longer a significant site of higher education, many Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran cathedrals operate as primary or secondary schools. Most of those listed below are modern foundations, but a few trace their history to medieval schools.

Australia[edit]

Denmark[edit]

Finland[edit]

France[edit]

India[edit]

The Netherlands[edit]

Pakistan[edit]

South Africa[edit]

Sweden[edit]

United Kingdom[edit]

England[edit]

Wales[edit]

Norway[edit]

  • Bergen katedralskole
  • Hamar katedralskole
  • Kristiansand katedralskole
  • Oslo katedralskole
  • Stavanger katedralskole
  • Trondheim katedralskole

United States[edit]

Among others:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Riché 1978, pp. 126f.
  2. ^ Riché 1978, pp. 282–90
  3. ^ Pierre Riché, Daily Life in the World of Charlemagne, Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, 1988, p. 191. ISBN 0-8122-1096-4
  4. ^ Charlemagne: "De Litteris Colendis"
  5. ^ Pierre Riché, Daily Life in the World of Charlemagne, Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, 1988, pp. 192. ISBN 0-8122-1096-4
  6. ^ Geschichte der Stadt Speyer. Vol 1, Kohlhammer Verlag, Stuttgart 1982, ISBN 3-17-007522-5
  7. ^ C. Warren Hollister, Henry I (Yale English Monarchs), 2001 p. 25.

Sources[edit]

  • NN (1999), "Domschulen", Lexikon des Mittelalters 3, Stuttgart: J.B. Metzler, p. columns 1226–1229 
  • Kottje, R. (1999), "Klosterschulen", Lexikon des Mittelalters 5, Stuttgart: J.B. Metzler, p. columns 1226–1228 
  • Riché, Pierre (1978), Education and Culture in the Barbarian West: From the Sixth through the Eighth Century, Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, ISBN 0-87249-376-8 

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathedral_school — Please support Wikipedia.
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Mlive Kalamazoo
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 05:56:15 -0700

Pre-school teacher Elizabeth Wurtz, far left, chats with Matthew Christian, 4, while waiting to get the group portrait taken on the first day of school at St. Augustine Cathedral School, Wednesday, August 20, 2014, in Kalamazoo, Mich. Share this photo.

Lichfield Mercury

Lichfield Mercury
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 08:45:00 -0700

​GCSEs 2014: Lichfield Cathedral School 'thrilled' with excellent results. By Lichfield Mercury | Posted: August 21, 2014. By Alex Keller. From left: LCS students Charlotte Carver, Daniel Costello and Alice Windsor celebrate their outstanding GCSE results.
 
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Sat, 16 Aug 2014 14:56:15 -0700

District officials also said that plans are to create a special place within the new school to recognize the history of the building, including its founding as Cathedral School. • Saturday is the day for the next Free Community Breakfast from 8 to 10 a ...

Bristol Post

Bristol Post
Thu, 14 Aug 2014 03:09:10 -0700

THE full details of controversial plans to convert the basement of Bristol Central Library into a primary school have been publicly unveiled for the first time. The Cathedral Primary School, the prime movers behind the scheme, held a public exhibition ...
 
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Wed, 30 Jul 2014 03:35:36 -0700

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Thu, 21 Aug 2014 07:03:45 -0700

Wells Cathedral School has achieved an impressive set of GCSE results, with 97 per cent achieving five or more A*-C grades. Almost a third of pupils who sat the exams achieved eight or more A* and A grades, and 20 per cent achieved six or more A* grades.

Lichfield Mercury

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Thu, 14 Aug 2014 05:48:25 -0700

Lichfield Cathedral School students Sam Dickinson (top left), Dan Bradshaw (top middle), Daniel Payne (top right), Ashton Bryan (lower left), Rosie Stevens (lower middle) and Edward Simpson (lower right) were delighted with their A-level results ...
 
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Wed, 20 Aug 2014 02:53:49 -0700

KALAMAZOO, MI -- Students in the Catholic Schools of Greater Kalamazoo are starting classes today, the first major school system in Kalamazoo County to start the 2014-15 school year. The CSGK includes St. Augustine Cathedral School in downtown ...
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