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Title: The Collegium Melitense and the Universitas Studiorum to 1798
Other Titles: Yesterday's schools : readings in Maltese educational history
Authors: Fiorini, Stanley
Keywords: Education -- Malta -- History
Comparative education
Malta -- History -- Knights of Malta, 1530-1798
Jesuit universities and colleges -- Malta -- History
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Xirocco Publishing
Citation: Fiorini, S. (2017). The Collegium Melitense and the Universitas Studiorum to 1798. In R. G. Sultana (Eds.), Yesterday's schools : readings in Maltese educational history (pp. 31-58). Malta: Xirocco Publishing.
Abstract: The abysmal situation of education in Malta during the Middle Ages, discussed in an earlier chapter, should not concern us here except as a point of departure, a reference point and background against which the strides achieved during the late 16th century can be gauged. The breakthrough that came towards the end of the century with the establishment of the Jesuits’ Collegium was the result of several converging forces. One of the Jesuit Order’s tasks assumed soon after its conception was to act as the Church’s bulwark against the powerful challenges of the Reformation. Lutheranism had gained a firm foot-hold among Maltese intelligentsia, so that as early as 1553 Bishop Cubelles, who was also invested with inquisitorial powers was, naturally, led to seek the assistance of the purposely-founded order. His wishes could not be acceded to on the grounds that not enough men could be mustered to erect a college in Malta, preference having been apparently accorded to Syracuse, where a college was established in 1555. But not many years were to pass before the Jesuits’ attention to Malta was to be drawn again for a totally different reason. The sheikh of Tagiora in Barbary requested Jesuit missionaries to preach Christianity there in Arabic. Ignatius’ eyes turned immediately to Malta assessing it as an invaluable potential catchment area whence Arabic-speaking solid Christians could be recruited for missionary activity among infidel Moslems in North Africa. In spite of early evidence of recruitment from Malta, Ignatius’ and Cubelles’ dream had to wait for another half a century before it could be realized. Protracted multi-partite negotiations involving the Bishop, the Inquisitor, the General of the Jesuits and others, on the possibility of opening a college in Malta had been going on at least since 1578, but only in 1593, after the plague of the preceding year had abated, could a pioneering group of twelve Jesuits from the neighbouring Sicilian province start classes in Malta. Much of the delay, this time, was due not so much to manpower shortages as to financial problems. Ignatius of Loyola had always insisted that no college or university run by Jesuits could be established before it had the necessary sound financial backing to maintain it. The solution came from an unlikely source.
ISBN: 9789995711788
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - InsMS
Yesterday's schools : readings in Maltese educational history

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