The University of Avignon (1303-1792), developed from the already existing schools of the city, was formally constituted in 1303, by a Bull of Boniface VIII. With Boniface, King Charles II of Naples should be considered as one of its first great protectors and benefactors. The faculty of law, both civil and ecclesiastical, existed for some time almost exclusively, and always remained the most important department of the university. Pope John XXIII erected (1413) a faculty of theology, the students of which were for a long time only few in number. The faculty of arts never acquired great importance; that of medicine developed especially only in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The Bishop, since 1475 Archbishop, of Avignon was chancellor of the university. The vice-legate, generally a bishop, represented the civil power (in this case the pope ) and was chiefly a judicial officer, ranking higher than the Primicerius (Rector). The latter was elected by the Doctors of Law, to whom, in 1503, were added four theologians and, in 1784, two Doctors of Medicine. The pope, spiritual head and, after 1348, temporal ruler of Avignon, exercised in this double capacity great influence over the affairs of the university. John XXIII granted it (1413) extensive privileges, such as special university jurisdiction and exemption from taxes. Political, geographical, and educational circumstances forced the university, during the latter period of its existence, to look to Paris rather than to Rome for favour and protection. It disappeared gradually during the French Revolution , and ceased to exist in 1792.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online