Università degli Studi di Perugia

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The University between the "Signorie" and "Principati" periods: between the 15th and 18th Centuries

ven in Perugia, the Holy See and the Holy Roman Empire, the two universal authorities, ceased to be the principal reference points for the University.
The Popes, whenever taking initiative regarding the development and the direction of the University of Perugia (an activity to which they dedicated a good deal of time to during the 15th Century), did so as "Papal Sovereigns".One of the most significant "Signorili" experiences (the Signori were powerful men who took power in various cities, but they were not recognised by the Emperor or the Holy See) for the Studium was that of Gian Galeazzo Visconti, which lasted for three years.On the 19th of January, 1400, upon approving the pacts of commitment between the Priori and the ambassador of Milan, the General Council, welcomed the clause stipulating that "se degga mantenere lo Studium alla città de Perosia ("Perugia must have a University").n 1403, when Perugia returned under Papal rule, the City and Pope Boniface IX came to an agreement which established quod Studium manuteneri debeat in civitate Perusii cum salaris et expensis consuetis, secundum formam statutorum civitatis. This was almost the same formula used by Braccio da Montone, who exercised a "signorile" type of control over the City with strong collaboration from the Pope in order to guarantee the preservation of the University. The definitive transformation of the University took place in 1467 when Pope Paul II ordered his governors to intervene in the management of the institution, the recruitment of professors and the appointment of chairmanships. The effects of this new situation on the University were profound and, deprived of its autonomy, the University precipitated in crisis. The crisis, which continued throughout the 16th Century, did not affect teaching at the University, but was limited primarily to its organisation and, by consequence, also to its healthy operation. A radical reform, Pro directione et gubernio Studii Perusii, was finally introduced by Popo Urban VIII and it remained the fundamental law of the University of Perugia for two centuries.New significant evolutions and changes came along during the course of the 18th Century, when radical changes in principals and methods of study, in both the exact and moral sciences, began to manifest themselves along with an irrepressible ambition on the part of the scholars for more freedom of thought and speech.


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