Episode 95: Old School and New School

The 12th and 13th Centuries saw the rise of new institutions of higher learning called “universities.” In this episode, we look at the changing educational system in Western Europe and the rise of Oxford and Cambridge.  We also explore the etymology of words associated with Medieval education and universities.

4 thoughts on “Episode 95: Old School and New School

  1. Your discussion of heart=symbol of love reminded me of a series of prints published by the Jesuits, namely: ‘Christ cleansing the Christian Heart’ Wierix, 1585 (there are other earlier examples, I just can’t find them in my notes) which is a combination of text and image. This type of imagery became a common trope on Catholic broadsheets.
    This makes me wonder if/ how this connection was made in other vulgar languages. The Jesuits began in what is now Spain, so did the heart=love idea spring up from this heart=Christian soul concept? It’s church guys who were reading the Greek, so maybe originating at these early universities?
    Long time listener, I love the way you can see cultures link together through language. Great podcast.

    • Hi Margaret. Thanks for the comments. I don’t really know the answer to your question. I only know that the first known depiction of a man giving his heart to his lover occurred around the current point in the story. That discussion fit in well with the overall discussion about the phrase “learn by heart.” I haven’t researched the overall history of the heart/love connection, but it is an intriguing concept, and I thought it was worth mentioning in the podcast. Maybe someone else can give you a better answer.

  2. So this means that dictator and teacher are essentially the same word? They are the same word that has been transformed for the same purpose just in a different way and have just been assigned a different meaning (although similar).

    • Yes, “dictator” and “teacher” are indeed cognate. (I had a few teachers that could be fairly described with either term.) Both words share a common Indo-European root (*deik). “Teacher” is a Germanic word and “dictator” is a Latin word, so the connection is remote but it does apparently exist.

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