This article, from The Textbook Letter for January-February 1997,
accompanied a review of West Publishing Company's high-school
book United States History: In the Course of Human Events.

The Hidden Truth

William J. Bennetta

When they pretend to tell about Africa and Europe in the time directly preceding Columbus's discovery of the New World, the writers of In the Course of Human Events try some Afrocentric trickery. They tell students that Timbuktu had a university, but they conceal the fact that, by 1492, there were universities in at least 60 cities of Europe. Here is a list that shows the 60 cities and tells when their universities were established. In some cases, a university was founded, then was disbanded, and then was restarted. For each such case, I show the date of the restarting.

I have extracted this information from "Patterns," by Jacques Verger, in volume 1 of A History of the University in Europe, issued in 1992 by the Cambridge University Press.

Bologna: circa 1200
Paris: circa 1200
Oxford: circa 1200
Montpellier: circa 1200
Cambridge: 1209-1225
Salamanca: before 1218
Padua: 1222
Naples: 1224
Toulouse: 1229
Orléans: circa 1235
Angers: circa 1250
Lisbon: 1290
Valladolid: circa 1300
Lérida: 1300
Avignon: 1303
Perugia: 1308
Cahors: 1332
Prague: 1347
Perpignan: 1350
Cracow: 1364
Orange: 1365
Vienna: 1365
Lucca: 1369
Erfurt: 1379
Heidelberg: 1385
Cologne: 1388
Pisa: circa 1400
Turin: 1404
Leipzig: 1409
Aix-en-Provence: 1409
St. Andrews: 1411
Pavia: 1412
Rostock: 1419
Dole: 1422
Louvain: 1425
Ferrara: 1430
Poitiers: 1431
Rome: 1431
Caen: 1432
Bordeaux: 1441
Catania: 1444
Barcelona: 1450
Glasgow: 1451
Valence: 1452
Trier: 1454
Greifswald: 1456
Freiburg im Breisgau: 1457
Basle: 1459
Ingolstadt: 1459
Nantes: 1460
Bourges: 1464
Huesca: 1464
Venice: 1470
Saragossa: 1474
Copenhagen: 1475
Mainz: 1476
Tübingen: 1476
Uppsala: 1477
Palma (on Majorca): 1483
Sigüenza: 1489

William J. Bennetta is a professional editor, a fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, the president of The Textbook League, and the editor of The Textbook Letter. He writes frequently about the propagation of quackery, false "science" and false "history" in schoolbooks.


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