University of Constantinople

Like most early Universities, it had been an academic institution for many years before it was recognised as a University. The original institution was founded in the 5th century by the emperor Theodosius II.

The University included the Schools of Medicine, Philosophy and Law.

At the time various economic schools, colleges, polytechnics, libraries and fine arts academies were also open in the city, making Constantinople the spiritual centre of the medieval world.


Byzantine society was educated by the standards of its time with high levels of literacy comparative to the rest of the world. Significantly it possessed a secular education system that was a continuation of the academies of classical antiquity. Primary education was widely available, even at village level and uniquely in that society for both sexes. It was in this context that the secular University of Constantinople can be understood. Further it was not unique in the empire as for many centuries, before the Muslim conquest, similar institutions operated in such major provincial as Antioch and Alexandria. [Europe: A Cultural History, by Peter Rietbergen 1998, p.101 ]

The original school was founded in 425 by Emperor Theodosius II with 31 chairs for Law, Philosophy, Medicine, Arithmetic, Geometry, Astronomy, Music, Rhetoric and other subjects, 15 to Latin and 16 to Greek. The university existed until the 15th century. [ [ Myriobiblos] ]

The main content of higher education for most students was rhetoric, philosophy and law with the aim of producing competent, and learned personnel to staff the bureaucratic postings of state and church. In this sense the University was the secular equivalent of the Theological Schools. The university maintained an active philosophical tradition of Platonism and Aristotelism, with the former being the longest unbroken Platonic school, running for close to two millennia until the 15th century [ Encyclopedia Britannica, Higher Education in the Byzantine Empire, and Platonism ]

The School of Magnaura was founded in the 9th century and in the 11th new schools of philosophy and law were established at the Capitol School. The period of decline begun with the Latin conquest of 1204 although the University survived as a non-secular institution under Church management until the Fall of Constantinople.

Notable Faculty at the University of Constantinople

* Patriarch Photius I of Constantinople taught Greek Philosophy.
* Saint Constantine-Cyril

Notable Alumni of the University of Constantinople

* Tsar Simeon I of Bulgaria [ [] ]


ee also

* Byzantine university

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Constantinople — This article is about the city before the Fall of Constantinople (1453). For a more detailed approach after 1453, see History of Istanbul. For other uses, see Constantinople (disambiguation). Map of Byzantine Constantinople …   Wikipedia

  • Constantinople — • Capital, formerly of the Byzantine, now of the Ottoman, Empire (As of 1908, when the article was written.) Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Constantinople     Constantinople …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Constantinople Conference — The Conference delegates The 1876–1877 Constantinople Conference (Turkish: Tersane Konferansı from the conference venue Tersane Sarayı or Shipyard Palace ) of the Great Powers (Britain, Russia, France, Germany, Austria Hungary …   Wikipedia

  • Constantinople, University of —    See Education; Theodosios II …   Historical dictionary of Byzantium

  • Fourth Council of Constantinople (Eastern Orthodox) — For the 8th Catholic Ecumenical Council, see Fourth Council of Constantinople (Catholic). Fourth Council of Constantinople (879 880) Date 879 880 Accepted by Eastern Orthodoxy Previous council Second Council of Nicaea Next council …   Wikipedia

  • Fall of Constantinople — This article is about the 1453 siege. For earlier attacks on the city, see List of sieges of Constantinople. Conquest of Constantinople Part of the Byzantine–Ottoman Wars and Ottoman wars in Europe …   Wikipedia

  • Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople — His All Holiness  Bartholomew I Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Church Church of Constantinople …   Wikipedia

  • Walls of Constantinople — Istanbul, Turkey Map showing Constantinople and its walls du …   Wikipedia

  • Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople — Infobox Patriarch of Constantinople honorific prefix = name = Bartholomew I honorific suffix = caption = ordination = consecration = enthroned = November 2, 1991 ended = Incumbent province = diocese = see church = predecessor = Demetrios I… …   Wikipedia

  • First Council of Constantinople — For the church council of Constantinople in 359, see First Council of Constantinople (360). 9th century Byzantine manuscript illumination of I Constantinople Homilies of Gregory Nazianzus, 879 882 …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.