chapter  9
20 Pages

When Did Cambridge Become a Studium generale?

ByPatrick Zutshi

The University of Cambridge almost certainly owes its origin to a migration of scholars from Oxford in 1208-1210.2 It is the virtually unanimous opinion of modern writers that prior to that event Cambridge possessed no schools of more than local significance. Roger of Wendover in the Flores Historiarum briefly describes how a disturbance at Oxford, which he dates to 1209, led to the hanging of three students by the town authorities and the members of the university dispersing to Cambridge and Reading.3 Historians of Cambridge might wish for a more reliable witness than Roger of Wendover to such a crucial episode in the university’s history.4 Yet there is some evidence attesting to academic activity

1 I am very grateful to Professor Christopher Brooke for his comments on a draft of this chapter.