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University of Copenhagen



It was founded by a Bull which Sixtus IV issued 19 June, 1475, at the request of King Christian I. This Bull authorized the primate, the Archbishop of Lund, to establish a university in any place selected by the king; and the latter, by letters patent of 4 Oct., 1478, laid the foundation at Copenhagen. The Bishop, Dean, and Provost of Roskild and the Dean of Copenhagen were appointed conservators. The statutes, drawn up by the Archbishop of Lund and promulgated 28 Nov., 1479, followed closely those of Cologne. From Cologne also the new university received its first professors. The most distinguished among these, before the Reformation, was the Carmelite, Povel Helgesen (Paul Helia, q. v.) writer of important controversial and historical works. Both he and Bishop Lage Urne, chancellor of the university, vigorously opposed the advances of Protestantism in Denmark. The university suffered severely during the religious upheaval, but was reorganized under King Christian III by the Lutheran theologian, Johann Bugenhagen (1539), called for that purpose from Wittenberg. In the conflagration of 1728 the university buildings were almost totally destroyed, but were at once restored by King Christian VI (1732). Notable among the professors during the modern period are Holberg, Oehlenschlager, Rask, Madvig, and Oersted. The university comprises at present the faculties of theology, law, medicine, philosophy, and sciences, with 97 professors and about 2000 students. The library contains 350,000 volumes and 6500 manuscripts.

RASHDALL, The Universities of Europe in the Middle Ages (Oxford, 1895), II, 291; MATZEN, Kiobenhavns Universitets, Retshistorie (Copenhagen, 1879); RORDAM, Kiobenhavns Universitets historie fra 1537 til 1621 (Copenhagen, 1868-74).

E. A. PACE.








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