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Adolphus von Dalberg

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Prince-Abbot of Fulda and founder of the university in the same city, born 29 May, 1678; died 3 November, 1737, at Hammelburg on the river Saale in Lower Franconia. After holding the office of provost at Zelle in Hanover for some years he was elected Prince-Abbot of the Benedictine monastery of Fulda in 1724. Though he was not a bishop, Dalberg had quasi-episcopal jurisdiction over the territory belonging to the abbey and held a diocesan synod in 1729. This privilege of quasi-episcopal jurisdiction was granted to the abbots of Fulda by Pope Zachary in 1751. Dalberg spared no pains to improve the Catholic educational facilities of Fulda. Its once famous school, which had suffered severely during the religious upheaval of the sixteenth century, had regained some of its ancient prestige by the united efforts of the Jesuits and Benedictines. Dalberg hoped to restore in all its spendour the ancient seat of learning which had made Fulda world-renowned during the Middle Ages. With this end in view he founded a university at Fulda which came to be known after his own name as the Alma Adolphina. The faculties of philosophy and theology he formed by united the two existing schools of the Jesuits and the Benedictines ; for the new faculties of jurisprudence and medicine he engaged other professors. Pope Clement XII granted the charter of foundation on 1 July, 1732, and Emperor Charles VI, the charter of confirmation on 12 March, 1733. The solemn inauguration of the university took place on 19 September, 1733. The Adolphina was, however, not destined to be of long duration. After the suppression of the Jesuit Order by Pope Clement XIV in 1773 the university came entirely into the hands of the Benedictines, who were finally obliged to discontinue it in 1805, in consequence of the secularization of the Benedictine monastery in 1802.

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