The Earliest Universities

My second child graduates from college this year. ¬†I’m sort of stunned that we’re here already ūüôā ¬†But millions of kids have gone before him, dating all the way back to 1088. “The word¬†university¬†is derived from the¬†Latin:¬†universitas magistrorum et scholarium, roughly meaning “community of teachers and scholars”. The term was coined by the Italian¬†University of Bologna, which, with a traditional founding date of 1088, is considered the first university.¬†The origin of many¬†medieval universities¬†can be traced to the Christian¬†cathedral schools¬†or¬†monastic schoolswhich appear as early as the 6th century AD and were run for hundreds of years as such before their formal establishment as university in the¬†high medieval period.” ¬†http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_oldest_universities_in_continuous_operation The next three oldest schools are the The University of Salamanca in 1134 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Salamanca), The University of Paris in 1150, and University of Oxford. The dates of all these vary depending upon Read more…

Breaking news! Richard III’s Skeleton Found in Car Park

Finally … the word is in: “A skeleton found beneath a Leicester car park has been confirmed as that of English king Richard III. Experts from the University of Leicester said DNA from the bones matched that of descendants of the monarch’s family. Lead archaeologist Richard Buckley, from the University of Leicester, told a press conference to applause: “Beyond reasonable doubt it’s Richard.” Richard, killed in battle in 1485, will be reinterred in Leicester Cathedral. Interactive: Twisted bones reveal a king Mr Buckley said the bones had been subjected to “rigorous academic study” and had been carbon dated to a period from 1455-1540. Dr Jo Appleby, an osteo-archaeologist from the university’s School of Archaeology and Ancient History, revealed the bones were of a man in his late 20s or early 30s. Richard was 32 when he died. His skeleton had Read more…

Archaeology news in the UK–exciting update!

I am always on the lookout for interesting archaeological finds or digs in the UK. ¬†I have three today: The first is the ongoing quest for the grave of Richard III:¬†http://www.northwalesweeklynews.co.uk/conwy-county-news/uk-world-news/2012/08/24/archaeologists-in-richard-iii-dig-55243-31688154/ “King Richard III, the last Plantagenet, ruled England from 1483 until he was defeated at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. It is believed his body was stripped and despoiled and brought to Leicester, where he was buried in the church of the Franciscan Friary, known as Greyfriars.” Richard III is the king defeated by Henry Tudur, the descendent of Ednyfed Fychan, the seneschel to Llywelyn the Great. Henry became Henry VII. ¬†The interesting problem in this case, and it has happened all over the UK, is that they lost the location of the original church where they think he is buried! ¬†You wonder how that could have happened Read more…

Westminster Palace

Today, Westminster Palace is the seat of the British government. “The¬†Palace of Westminster¬†is the meeting place of the¬†House of Commons¬†and the¬†House of Lords, the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Commonly known as the¬†Houses of Parliament¬†after its tenants, the Palace lies on the Middlesex bank of the¬†River Thames¬†in the¬†City of Westminster, in central London. Its name, which derives from the neighbouring¬†Westminster Abbey, may refer to either of two structures: the¬†Old Palace, a medieval building complex that was¬†destroyed by fire in 1834, and its replacement¬†New Palace¬†that stands today. For ceremonial purposes, the palace retains its original style and status as a royal residence.” ¬†http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palace_of_Westminster No floor plans of what Westminster Palace looked like in the middle ages still exist, but we do know a few things: “When William the Conqueror’s son, William Rufus, came to the throne in Read more…