Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Studio E Scuola in Arezzo Durante Il Medioevo E Il Rinascimento: I Documenti D'archivio Fino Al 1530

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Studio E Scuola in Arezzo Durante Il Medioevo E Il Rinascimento: I Documenti D'archivio Fino Al 1530

Article excerpt

Studio e scuola in Arezzo durante il Medioevo e il Rinascimento. I documenti d'archivio fino al 1530. A cura di Robert Black. (Arezzo: Accademia Petrarca di lettere arti e scienze. 1996. Pp. 873. Lire 150.000 paperback.)

This is a collection of 1,284 documents and parts of documents dealing with education in Arezzo,1241 through 1530. Some 1,123 documents focus on preuniversity education; the rest detail Arezzo's failures to restore its university, which flourished in the early thirteenth century, then died. As Black informs the readers, he has not uncovered anything new of significance before 1384, but has found an abundance of new materials after that date. The documents come from three Aretine archives and the Archivio di Stato in Florence. Black summarizes the key points of the material in an historical survey of seventy-nine pages.

Numerous documents deal with the two teachers paid by the communal goverment, the Latin or grammar master, who sometimes had an assistant, and the ab&aco master,who taught commercial mathematics in the vernacular. Limited publicly-funded education was common in small Italian centers; Black has found little evidence of private teachers in Arezzo. Student fees supplemented the teachers' salaries. A document of 1486 states that the Latin teacher had 120 students, which Black estimates to have been 25% of the masculine school-age population. Unfortunately, he offers no population figures to support the estimate. The abbaco teacher taught forty boys in 1471 and twenty-five in 1506, which was between So/o and 10% of the masculine school-age population, according to Black's estimate. Again supporting evidence is lacking.

On the whole, the communal Latin and abbaco schools were successful and continuous. …

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