The Nature of Universities during Luther's Time
Founding years of selected German universities:
Enrollment at selected German universities:
What did Luther Study?Before one was allowed to move on to specialized fields of study, such as medicine, law or theology, students had to master the seven liberal arts (artes liberales). This ensured basic knowledge which qualified one for scholarly work.
The Seven Liberal ArtsThe division of the seven liberal arts goes back to Hrabanus Maurus (like Melanchthon, also called 'Teacher of Germany' (Praeceptor Germaniae) 784 - 856), an author from the 8th century. Education within these subjects was indispensible for students in the Middle Ages up to the Modern Ages to get used to university life.
Within the university system, the first academic level one could achieve, was the Baccalaureate. When the university education was finished, one received the title "Magister artium" (Master of Arts). At this point, one could choose a specialized field of study.
Luther did this as well; he began studying law in 1505, but left school to enter the monastery in Erfurt to become a monk. In 1507 he resumed his studies at the University of Erfurt, but this time he studied Theology.