Textbooks at the Academy of Bremen at the Beginning of the 17th Century: New Evidence from the Bohemian Brethren Archives in Mladá Boleslav
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Even though after 1555 there was religious freedom within the Holy Roman Empire, such liberties could not be enjoyed by the Reformed higher aristocracy in instances when they wanted to found a university. This could only be done once an ‘Emperor’s Prerogative’ was granted. The question for the Reformed higher aristocracy was how to ensure that the academic level of education in their own institutions was similar to universities. The solution was found in the creation of a system of regional academies (so called gymnasium illustre). The model for such academies is considered to be the Strasbourg Academy, which was further refined in the Herborn Academy. The Herborn Academy inspired the rise of other educational centres, one of which was the gymnasium illustre in Bremen, which was reorganized in 1610 by Matthias Martinius, the school’s most significant rector. The Bremen Academy had two parts, the pedagogeum and the gymnasium illustre. The teaching at the pedagogeum followed established teaching syllabuses, which, unfortunately, are not available to us from Rector Martinius’s period. However, there are certain references to the content of the teaching materials and textbooks used at that time, which can be found in correspondence and the accounting records of the academy’s students, the priests-to-be of the Unity of Brethren, who due to the lack of suitable educational centres in the Czech lands, studied at foreign schools. From the accounting records of Daniel Němčanský, who studied at the Bremen Academy at this time, we know of several books that were used. The listing of these books is located at the end of this work.
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