Cathedral schools began in the Early Middle Ages as centers of advanced education, some of them ultimately evolving into medieval universities. Throughout the Middle Ages and beyond, they were complemented by the monastic schools. Some of these early cathedral schools, and more recent foundations, continued into modern times.
In the later Roman Empire, as Roman municipal education declined, bishops began to establish schools associated with their cathedrals to provide the church with an educated clergy. The earliest evidence of a school established in this manner is in Visigothic Spain at the Second Council of Toledo in 527.These early schools, with a focus on an apprenticeship in religious learning under a scholarly bishop, have been identified in other parts of Spain and in about twenty towns in Gaul (France) during the sixth and seventh centuries.
During and after the mission of St Augustine to England, cathedral schools were established as the new dioceses were themselves created (Canterbury 597, Rochester 604, York 627 for example). This group of schools forms the oldest schools continuously operating. A significant function of cathedral schools was to provide boy trebles for the choirs, evolving into choir schools, some of which still function as such.[ citation needed ]
Charlemagne, king of the Franks and later Emperor, recognizing the importance of education to the clergy and, to a lesser extent, to the nobility, set out to restore this declining tradition by issuing several decrees requiring that education be provided at monasteries and cathedrals. In 789, Charlemagne's Admonitio Generalis required that schools be established in every monastery and bishopric, in which "children can learn to read; that psalms, notation, chant, computation, and grammar be taught."Subsequent documents, such as the letter De litteris colendis , required that bishops select as teachers men who had "the will and the ability to learn and a desire to instruct others" and a decree of the Council of Frankfurt (794) recommended that bishops undertake the instruction of their clergy.
Subsequently, cathedral schools arose in major cities such as Chartres, Orleans, Paris, Laon, Reims or Rouen in France and Utrecht, Liege, Cologne, Metz, Speyer, Würzburg, Bamberg, Magdeburg, Hildesheim or Freising in Germany. Following in the earlier tradition, these cathedral schools primarily taught future clergy and provided literate administrators for the increasingly elaborate courts of the Renaissance of the 12th century. Speyer was renowned for supplying the Holy Roman Empire with diplomats.The court of Henry I of England, himself an early example of a literate king, was closely tied to the cathedral school of Laon.
Cathedral schools were mostly oriented around the academic welfare of the nobility's children. Because it was intended to train them for careers in the church, girls were excluded from the schools. Later on, many lay students who were not necessarily interested in seeking a career in the church wanted to enroll. Demand arose for schools to teach government, state, and other Church affairs. The schools, (some notable ones dating back to the eighth and ninth centuries) accepted fewer than 100 students. Pupils had to demonstrate substantial intelligence and be able to handle a demanding academic course load. Considering that books were also expensive, students were in the practice of memorizing their teachers' lectures. Cathedral schools at this time were primarily run by a group of ministers and divided into two parts: Schola minor which was intended for younger students would later become elementary schools. Then there was the schola major, which taught older students. These would later become secondary schools.
The subjects taught at cathedral schools ranged from literature to mathematics. These topics were called the seven liberal arts: grammar, astronomy, rhetoric (or speech), logic, arithmetic, geometry and music. In grammar classes, students were trained to read, write and speak Latin which was the universal language in Europe at the time. Astronomy was necessary for calculating dates and times. Rhetoric was a major component of a vocal education. Logic consisted of the criteria for sound or fallacious arguments, particularly in a theological context, and arithmetic served as the basis for quantitative reasoning. Students read stories and poems in Latin by authors such as Cicero and Virgil. Much as in the present day, cathedral schools were split into elementary and higher schools with different curricula. The elementary school curriculum was composed of reading, writing and psalmody, while the high school curriculum was trivium (grammar, rhetoric and dialect), the rest of the liberal arts, as well as scripture study and pastoral theology.
While cathedral schools are no longer a significant site of higher education, many Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran cathedrals operate as primary or secondary schools. Most of those listed below are modern foundations, but a few trace their history to medieval schools.
A primary school, junior school, elementary school or grade school is a school for primary education of children who are four to eleven years of age. It typically comes after preschool and before secondary school.
A cathedral is a church that contains the cathedra of a bishop, thus serving as the central church of a diocese, conference, or episcopate. Churches with the function of "cathedral" are usually specific to those Christian denominations with an episcopal hierarchy, such as the Catholic, Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, and some Lutheran churches. Church buildings embodying the functions of a cathedral first appeared in Italy, Gaul, Spain, and North Africa in the 4th century, but cathedrals did not become universal within the Western Catholic Church until the 12th century, by which time they had developed architectural forms, institutional structures, and legal identities distinct from parish churches, monastic churches, and episcopal residences.
The Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of Saint Peter in York, commonly known as York Minster, is the cathedral of York, England, and is one of the largest of its kind in Northern Europe. The minster is the seat of the Archbishop of York, the third-highest office of the Church of England, and is the mother church for the Diocese of York and the Province of York. It is run by a dean and chapter, under the Dean of York. The title "minster" is attributed to churches established in the Anglo-Saxon period as missionary teaching churches, and serves now as an honorific title. Services in the minster are sometimes regarded as on the High Church or Anglo-Catholic end of the Anglican continuum.
The Carolingian Renaissance was the first of three medieval renaissances, a period of cultural activity in the Carolingian Empire. It occurred from the late 8th century to the 9th century, taking inspiration from the Christian Roman Empire of the fourth century. During this period, there was an increase of literature, writing, the arts, architecture, jurisprudence, liturgical reforms, and scriptural studies.
Ribe is a Danish town in south-west Jutland, with a population of 8,287 (2021). It is the seat of the Diocese of Ribe covering southwestern Jutland.
Southwark Cathedral or The Cathedral and Collegiate Church of St Saviour and St Mary Overie, Southwark, London, lies on the south bank of the River Thames close to London Bridge. It is the mother church of the Anglican Diocese of Southwark. It has been a place of Christian worship for more than 1,000 years, but a cathedral only since the creation of the diocese of Southwark in 1905.
The Cathedral Church of Saint Martin, Leicester, commonly known as Leicester Cathedral, is a Church of England cathedral in Leicester, England and the seat of the Bishop of Leicester. The church was elevated to a collegiate church in 1922 and made a cathedral in 1927 following the establishment of a new Diocese of Leicester in 1926.
In Christianity, a collegiate church is a church where the daily office of worship is maintained by a college of canons: a non-monastic or "secular" community of clergy, organised as a self-governing corporate body, which may be presided over by a dean or provost. In its governance and religious observance a collegiate church is similar to a cathedral, although a collegiate church is not the seat of a bishop and has no diocesan responsibilities. Collegiate churches were often supported by extensive lands held by the church, or by tithe income from appropriated benefices. They commonly provide distinct spaces for congregational worship and for the choir offices of their clerical community.
A canon is a member of certain bodies subject to an ecclesiastical rule.
Katedralskolan i Åbo is the Swedish-language upper secondary school of Turku, located at the Old Great Square.
Schola Osloensis, known in Norwegian as Oslo Katedralskole and more commonly as "Katta", is a selective upper secondary school located in Oslo, Norway. The school offers the college preparatory Studiespesialisering of the Norwegian school system. Oslo Cathedral School is one of four schools in Norway that can trace its origins directly to the Middle Ages. It is generally regarded as one of Norway's most prestigious schools, which celebrated its 850th anniversary in 2003.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Camden is a Roman Catholic diocese of the Latin Church in New Jersey, United States, consisting of 62 parishes and about 475,000 Catholics in the southern New Jersey counties of Atlantic, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, and Salem.
Carolingian schools comprised a small number of educational institutions which had a major share in the Carolingian renaissance, specifically cathedral schools and monastic schools.
Katedralskolan is a school in Uppsala, Sweden. The school was established in 1246. It is the oldest educational institution in Uppsala, and one of the oldest in Sweden.
Lowther Hall Anglican Grammar School, most often referred to simply as Lowther Hall, is an independent comprehensive single-sex primary and secondary day school for girls, located in Essendon, an inner suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Viborg Cathedral, Our Lady Cathedral is the site of one of Denmark's most important historic churches located in the town of Viborg in northern Jutland. The modern building is a 19th-century construction based on Lund Cathedral in southern Sweden which bears no resemblance to the medieval cathedral that stood on the site since 1130.
Martin Clive Warner is an Anglican bishop in England. He is currently the Bishop of Chichester.
The Epistola de litteris colendis is a well-known letter addressed by Emperor Charlemagne to Abbot Baugulf of Fulda, probably written sometimes in late 780s to 800s (decade), although the exact date is still debatable. The letter is a very important witness to the Carolingian educational reforms during the Carolingian Renaissance from late 8th century to 9th century. The letter shows Emperor Charlemagne's interest in promoting learning and education within his empire.
The medieval renaissances were periods characterised by significant cultural renewal across medieval Western Europe. These are effectively seen as occurring in three phases - the Carolingian Renaissance, Ottonian Renaissance and the Renaissance of the 12th century.