In medieval universities were frequent initiation ceremonies for the introduction of freshmen in the consortium studentium. The recurrent terms purgatio, depositio, potatio, expupillatio, all recalling the idea of purification from a state of imperfection. The case described here is drawn from a didactic work, written in the form of a dialogue, in Heidelberg at the end of the XV century. This is a depositio cornuum of a young Tuscan beanus. The new student to access the studium must accept to suffer from two major colleagues the elimination of all those bumps that non decent hominem scholasticum: horns, long teeth, messy hair. These body extremities symbolically mark the difference between the condition of illitteratus – similar to that of an animal – and that of litteratus – rational and therefore deeply human – and represent the savagery of the young man who has not yet been part of the university consortium, the place where is possible to become litteratus. The ceremony of depositio, therefore, is a moment of transition, able to give back to the young student his true nature, necessary to access the studium.

The depositio of beanus. Horns, teeth and others bulges in an initiation ceremony in German area (XV century)

Silanos Pietro Maria
2012

Abstract

In medieval universities were frequent initiation ceremonies for the introduction of freshmen in the consortium studentium. The recurrent terms purgatio, depositio, potatio, expupillatio, all recalling the idea of purification from a state of imperfection. The case described here is drawn from a didactic work, written in the form of a dialogue, in Heidelberg at the end of the XV century. This is a depositio cornuum of a young Tuscan beanus. The new student to access the studium must accept to suffer from two major colleagues the elimination of all those bumps that non decent hominem scholasticum: horns, long teeth, messy hair. These body extremities symbolically mark the difference between the condition of illitteratus – similar to that of an animal – and that of litteratus – rational and therefore deeply human – and represent the savagery of the young man who has not yet been part of the university consortium, the place where is possible to become litteratus. The ceremony of depositio, therefore, is a moment of transition, able to give back to the young student his true nature, necessary to access the studium.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11586/343957
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