The foundation of the great schools which were named Universities was everywhere throughout Europe a special mark of the new impulse that Christendom had got from the Crusades. A new desire for study sprang up in the West from its contact with the more cultured East. Oxford and Cambridge are the oldest universities in England. Both of these universities are very beautiful. They have some of the finest architecture in Britain. Some of their colleges, chapels and libraries arc three, four and even five hundred years old, and are full of valuable books and precious paintings. Of the early history of Cambridge little is known, but enough remains to enable us to trace the early steps by which Oxford gained its intellectual glory. The history of Cambridge is believed to begin in 1209 when several hundred students and scholars arrived at the little town of Cambridge after having walked 60 miles from Oxford According to the custom they joined themselves into
"Universitas" or a society of people with common employment. Only later they came to be associated with scholarship.
Cambridge won independence from the Town rule in 1500. Students were of different ages and came from everywhere. Gradually the idea of the College developed and in 1284 Peter-house, the oldest College in Cambridge was established. In 1440 King Henry VI founded King's College, and other colleges followed. The first college of Oxford University was founded in 1249. At that time with the revival of classic studies many teachers became enemies of parliament, and the Church. The lectures of Vicarious on the Civil Law at Oxford were prohibited by the English king. Now the university of Oxford has thirty-five colleges and about thirteen thousand students. There were no women students at Oxford until 1878, when the first women's college, Lady Margaret Hall, was up. Now, most colleges are open to men and women. Oxford is famous for its first-class education as well as its beautiful buildings. Many students want to study there. It is not easy to get a place at Oxford University to study for a degree. But outside the university there are many smaller private colleges which offer less difficult courses and where it is easy to enroll.
architecture - архитектура
valuable - ценный
Christendom - Христианский мир
Crusade - крестовый поход
spring up - возникать
revival of classic studies - возрождение классических наук
prohibit - запрещать
degree - ученая степень
enroll - зачислять
1. When were the first universities set up in Europe?
2. When did the history of Cambridge begin?
3. When did Cambridge win independence from the Town rule?
4. When were Cambridge Colleges founded?
5. When was the first college of Oxford University established?
6. Did medieval kings and Parliaments welcome the foundation of universities?
7. Where and when was the first women's college founded?
8. What is Oxford university famous for?