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It was founded by a Bull which Sixtus IV issued 19 June, 1475, at the request of King Christian I. This Bull authorized the primate, the Archbishop of Lund, to establish a university in any place selected by the king; and the latter, by letters patent of 4 Oct., 1478, laid the foundation at Copenhagen. The Bishop, Dean, and Provost of Roskild and the Dean of Copenhagen were appointed conservators. The statutes, drawn up by the Archbishop of Lund and promulgated 28 Nov., 1479, followed closely those of Cologne. From Cologne also the new university received its first professors. The most distinguished among these, before the Reformation, was the Carmelite, Povel Helgesen (Paul Helia) writer of important controversial and historical works. Both he and Bishop Lage Urne, chancellor of the university, vigorously opposed the advances of Protestantism in Denmark. The university suffered severely during the religious upheaval, but was reorganized under King Christian III by the Lutheran theologian, Johann Bugenhagen (1539), called for that purpose from Wittenberg. In the conflagration of 1728 the university buildings were almost totally destroyed, but were at once restored by King Christian VI (1732). Notable among the professors during the modern period are Holberg, Oehlenschlager, Rask, Madvig, and Oersted. The university comprises at present the faculties of theology, law, medicine, philosophy, and sciences, with 97 professors and about 2000 students. The library contains 350,000 volumes and 6500 manuscripts.


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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.

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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

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