“1222. Messer Giovanni Rusca da Como podestà de Padoa. In questo tempo fu transferito il Studio di Bologna in Padoa”. (Annali di Padova)
This is the year when the University of Padova was founded. Already years before this, the city had been home to church schools forming part of the bishop’s headquarters and monasteries, in addition to private secular schools. However, it was not until 1222 that a proper and solid university organisation was publicly recognised.
Padua’s university was not created ‘ex privilegio’, i.e. following a special decision by the emperor or pope, but, rather, it was founded thanks to a series of favourable events and circumstances.
A group of students and professors from all over Italy and Europe had left the University of Bologna as it no longer guaranteed ‘educational freedom’ nor the privileges due to professors and their descendants. These students and professors chose to come to Padua, a hospitable city famous for its culture.
Here, they created a free association of scholars (Universtas scholarium) which was self-governed with its own laws and charters – the Studium Patavinum was born.