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Catholic Dictionary




Educational institutions since the eighth century, open to lay persons in general as well as those interested in becoming priests. They were managed by a headmaster and were similar to the episcopal schools of a few centuries before, where the bishops were the sole teachers. Chrodegang, Bishop of Metz int he mid-eighth century, is said to have been the founder of this type of school, a system later followed by the public schools of Western Europe until the eighteenth century. The cathedral schools flourished in France, Germany, and England. The curriculum of the lower schools was usually reading, writing, psalmody, and Christian doctrine; curriculum of the higher schools was grammar, dialectics, rhetoric, geometry, arithmetic, astronomy, and music, with Scripture and theology as possible additional units. They were the forerunners of the medieval universities.