Plinius

Sunday, January 27, 2008

PL 2/08: BOBCATSSS opens

Filed under: BOBCATSSS — Tags: , , — plinius @ 8:41 pm

img_2996.jpgZadar, Split and Dubrovnik are the three main cities on the Dalmatian coast.

Welcome reception at Donat hotel. More pictures ….

I remember Dubrovnik from the ‘seventies, when I went to a summer course at the Inter-University Center, with Habermas as one of the lecturers.

Split is famous in late Roman history. Emperor Diocletian, who reorganized the Roman empire after the turbulent third century, chose Split – ancient Spalatum – as his residence after leaving power in 305. He built a vast palace, which still stands.

The Emperor retired exactly according to schedule, and became the first Roman emperor to voluntarily remove himself from office. Wikipedia.

Zadar is a new acquaintance. Zadar is a university town, with an institute of library studies.

The university choir opened the conference ith the Croatian national anthem – with a standing audience. As we sat down, they started on the venerable Gaudeamus igitur“let us therefore enjoy life when we are young”.

The academic dignitaries sitting in front rose to their feet again. And most of the audience followed. Strange, but also rather moving.

In the medieval world, the university was not a collection of faculties, but a collection of “nations”. The early universities – Bologna, Paris, Cracow – attracted students and scholars from he whole of Europe. The students were organized by origin – natio – and each university was community of “nations” – a “United Nations” in miniature.

But the universities were also interconnected. Scholars and students moved from city to city, in search of learning nd employment. They were citizens of a shared scholastic world – with Latin (of course) as their common language. So Gaudeamus igitur – their most famous song – is also a kind of national anthem.

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