Università degli Studi di Perugia

The Statute of 1306

If one were to choose a symbolic date to mark the beginning of the University's story, one would probably need to go back in time to 1306, the year in which the Statute was created. In that year, in fact, in Perugia, preparations were in full swing for a diplomatic mission to be sent to Clement V in order to obtain the title of Studium Generale. To ensure a positive outcome for this delicate mission, it was necessary, among other things, to introduce into the statute a chapter regulating all the aspects of university life, or rather, the procedure to follow regarding the hiring of professors, the privileges guaranteed to students, appointment of institutional figures to administrative posts, as in other university cities such as Bologna.n short, for the first time a shape was given to higher education in Perugia, something which the City of Perugia had been trying to promote since the middle of the 13th Century. This happened two years prior to 1308, the year in which the Perugian delegation finally succeeded in obtaining Papal privilege.This privilege is generally considered to be the University's founding document. Given this, when should the University of Perugia's 700 years of life be commemorated: in 2006 or in 2008? The question, from the point of view of historical interpretation is not completely futile. The most established historical-legal point of view is that which adopts the year 1308 as the birth year of the University; recognition by a universal authority (papal or imperial) was indispensable for the institutional validity of a school or university during the medieval ages. If one were to decide on 1306 as the year of origin, then one would be insisting upon the historical importance the City of Perugia's initiative in the birth of the institution. Prior to 1306 city officials in Perugia were aware of the need to provide higher education and they were able to prepare a legal framework in order to achieve this objective through the statute, the typical instrument of its legislative autonomy.