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Schola Latina - infiintarea primei scoli in care s-a predat matematica

Material preluat si prelucrat din Cronica Cotnarilor
Prof.Doina Ciubotariu
Prof.Dana Chiorescu
Tehnoredactare computerizata Stoica Ancuta-Geanina





      Parcurgand cronicile tarilor romane, dam la un moment dat de o figura care poate sa ne intereseze pentru invatamantul matematicii. Este vorba de domnitorul Moldovei Despot Voda (a domnit de la 1561- 1563). Acesta a infiintat in septembrie 1562, sau cel tarziu in martie 1563 (cand a sosit Sommer la Cotnari), o scoala de latina Schola Latina, si nu o academie, cum s-a crezut mult timp.
      Aceasta Schola Latina de la Cotnari a fost pusa sub conducerea celor ce se preocupau de invatamani.
      Ioan Sommer(1542-1574), autorul de mai tarziu al biografiei lui Despot ne povesteste ca Despot( Iacob Eraclid) in peregrinarle sale a locuit in 1533 in casa celebrului profesor si umanist german Philipp Melanchton (1497-1560), pe numele adevarat Schwarzerd, din Wittenberg (supranumit ulterior preceptor Germaniei). Desi nu a fost matematician a contribuit totusi mult la propasirea acestei stiinte, iar Despot si l-a facut prieten. Cand Despot a infiintat Schoala Latina, a creat o biblioteca de curte, gandindu-se si la infiintarea unei academii,idee care pana la urma insa a ramas numai in stare de proiect. El i-a cerut totodata lui Melanchton sa-i trimita oameni invatati. L-a cerut in primul rand pe George Ioachim Rhaeticus (1514-1576), profesor de matematici la Wittenberg si Cracovia, aderent al ideilor lui Copernic si cel care a tiparit opera marelui astronom. Despot i-a mai cerut lui Melanchton sa i-l trimita si pe propriul sau ginere Caspar Peucer(1526-1602), care a fost profesor de matematica la Wittenberg intre anii 1554 si 1559. Nici unu, nici altul insa nu au venit in tara.
      Schola Latina de la Cotnari a lui Despot a avut gradul de colegiu(gimnaziu) si nu de academie, sinonim cu universitate. Iohannes sommerus in cartea sa Vita Iocobi Despote Moldavorum, dupa ce expune viata lui Despot, incheie cu 15 elegii intitulate De clade Moldavica, adica Prapadul din Moldova.
      Elegia a zecea este subintitulata Ad princepem Despot, de bibliotheca et schola instituta, ceea ce se inseamna: Lui Despot Voda despre biblioteca si scoala ce el a intemeiat. Numai ultimele 8 versuri din elegia a zecea trateaza despre scoala de latina; toate celelalte versuri se refera la biblioteca de curte a lui Despot(nicidecum nu e vorba de o biblioteca a scolii de latina). In ultimile 8 versuri, Sommer spune:
      "Interea puerisa operam didelem,
       peryue humiles una me decet ire vias;
       dum latiae tandem iaciant fundamina linguae,
      ausoniyue sciant certius ore loyui.
      Concipe spes animo dagnas; non fellet Apollo
      Perfidus impensae numera tanta tuae.
      Sed tibi, yuam nutris non magnis suptibus, olim
      Eximium nomen docta inventa feret"

      Adica in traducere:
      "Intre timp se cuvine ca eu sa ma ocup de cresterea copiilor
      si tot odata sa merg pe cai umile,
      pana cand ei vor pune temeliile limbei latine,
      si vor sti sa se exprime cat mai corect in limba latina.
      Faureste sperante demne de sufletul tau.Necredinciosul Apollo nu ma trece cu vederea
      darurile atat de mici ale cheltuielilor tale.
      Iar tineretul instruit pe care tu il intretii cu oarecare cheltuieli,
      Iti va face numele stralucit"(adica numele lui Despot).
      Elegia a zecea arata ca biblioteca personala de curte a lui Despot a fost intemeiata(instituita), dar neterminata. Despot a voit sa-l imite pe Mathias Corvin sau pe imparatul Maximilian, care aveau biblioteci faimoase la Buda sau Viena.
      Prin urmare, Despot a infiintat o scoala da latina la Cotnari, o biblioteca de curte la Suceava si s-a gandit sa adune in jurul sau un cerc de umanisti (Peucer,Rhaeticus,Lestarh Hermodor), care insa n-au venit in Moldova. Acestea ar fi putut constitui, eventual, o academie. Ultimul gand ramas nerealizat.
      In Schola Latina, scoala cu destinatie limitata pentru invatarea limbei latine, nu s-au predat ca materii de studiu de catre Sommer(si eventual un ajutor), decat cel mult partea I din invatamantul latinei:tabula (un abecedar cu litere si silabe si mici texte incepatoare latine). Chiar daca scoala latina a fost pe 5 ani de studiu, ca in Apus(deci scoala elementara si gimnaziu),invatamantul in ea a fost impartit in 3 ani de gramatica:2 ani de retorica si dialectica. In cadrul lectiilor de lecturi de texte in latina se predau si notiuni stiintifice, deci si ceva cunostinte din domeniul aritmeticii. Dar daca Sommer sau un ajutor al sau, a predat notiuni de aritmetica in latina, la fel cum se proceda in Apus in acel timp, n-a putut sa predea decat cifre romane,numararea,adunarea si scaderea. In Apus inmultirea si impartirea nu s-au predat in mod curent in scoli decat incepand cu secolul alXVII-lea . Despot isi alesese ca loc pentru Schoala Latina Cotnarii, fiindca pe vremea aceea in orasul Cotnari locuiau multi protestanti, prin intermediul carora ar fi dorit sa raspandeasca protestantismul in Moldova. La scoala veneau copii de mici boieri de tara,razesi si mazili.Despot spera sa le schimbe acestora credinta ortodoxa. La aceasta Schoala Latina s-au predat insa in mod sigur din cunostinte care pana azi ne raman o parte necunoscute.
      Schoala Latina a lui Despot se pare ca a continuat in Cotnari pana tarziu (chiar peste un secol),caci ulterior Petru Schiopul ia o scoala de la protestanti si o preda izuitilor.In 1599 episcopul Qirini, vizitand Cotnarii, spune ca exista o scoala de gramatica cu un profesor laic Petru Elmondin Transilvania ( deci o scoala de curs inferior cu 2-3 clase).
      In orice caz putem considera ca in acest prim inceput de organizare umanista a invatamantului la noi in Moldova, s-au predat adunarea si scadera din aritmetica. Acest inceput mentionat si de cronica lui Miron Costin a putut sa deschida ochii moldovenilor pentru invatatura de carte.





Schola Latina - The Foundation of the first School in which matematics was taught in Roumania

Translation made by
Prof. Anca Baranai and prof. Raluca Vargolici


      While reading the Romanian chronicles we encounter a historical figure that might be interest in the respect. We are referring to Prince Despot (1561-1563). Somewhere between September 1562 and March 1563 (when Sommmer arrived in Cotnari) he founded a Latin School named Schola Latina and not an Academy, as it was long believed. This school was established under the jurisdiction of the educational system.
     Ioan Sommer (1542-1574) who later wrote a biography of Despot, tells us about the latter (Jacob Eraclid): during his voyages he lived in the house of the famous professor and arts specialist Philipp Melanchton (1497-1560) by his real name Schwarzerd of Wittenberg (later acknowledged as Germany's tutor). Even thought he was not a mathematician he still contributed to spreading this science and Despot made him his friend. When Despot founded the school he also founded a court library and thought of founding an Academy but this remained in the form of project. He asked Melanchton to send him learned men. First of all he asked for George Joachim Rhaeticus (1514-1576) a professor of Mathematics in Wittenberg and Crakow, advocating and publisher of Copernicus' ideas, the great astronomer. Despot also send for Melanchton's own son-in-law, Caspar Peucer (1526-1602), a professor at Wittenberg between 1554 and 1559.Neither of them came to our country.
     Schola Latina from Cotnari was a college (gymnasium) and not an Academy or University-Johannes Sommerus concludes his work 'Vita Jacobi Despote Moldavorum' with 15 elegies entitled 'De clade Moldavica' (Destruction in Moldavia). The tenth has the subtitle Ad princepem Despot (To Prince Despot of the library and school he founded). Except the first eight lines, the rest is concerned with the court library, not with any kind of school library. Here are the last eight lines:
     "Interea puerisa operam didelem,
     peryue humiles una me decet ire vias;
     dum latiae tandem iaciant fundamina linguae,
     ausoniyue sciant certius ore loyui.
     Concipe spes animo dagnas; non fellet Apollo
     Perfidus impensae numera tanta tuae.
     Sed tibi, yuam nutris non magnis suptibus, olim
     Eximium nomen docta inventa feret"
     In translation:
     Meanwhile I have to raise my children
     And also walk on humble ways
     Until they learn the basis of Latin
     And are able to express themselves correctly.
     One should build hopes worthy of one 's soul.
     Unfaithful Apollo will no longer oversee such small gifts of your expenses
     And the learned young people, whom you helped with a little money,
     Will make your name well known.
     (Despot's name)
     The tenth elegy shows that Despot's personal library was founded but not finished. Despot wanted to imitate Mathias Corvin or the Emperor Maximilian that had the famous libraries at Buda or Vienna.
     Consequently, Despot founded a Latin school to Cotnari a court library in Suceava and thought to gather around him a number of humanists -Peucer, Rhaeticus, Lestarh, Hermodor-that, however didn't come to Moldavia. Eventually this could have been an Academy. His last thought remained unfulfilled.
     The Schola Latina, a school with limited destination of learning latin, Sommer (and possible help) taught only the first part from Teaching Latin: tabula (and ABC book of letters and syllabus and short Latin texts for beginners). Although this Schola Latina had five years study as in the Western countries (so elementary and gymnasium) the studying period was divided in 3 years of grammar and 2 years of rhetoric and dialectics.
     During these lessons of reading Latin texts, there were also taught scientific concepts, therefore, a few arithmetic notions too. But Sommer or a possible help, taught arithmetic notions in Latin, just as in the West at that time they could have taught only Roman figures, counting, addition and subtraction. In the West, multiplication and division started to be currently taught in schools only beginning with the 17th century.
     Despot had chosen to set up the Schola Latina in Cotnari because at that time the village was inhabited by many Protestants through whom he wanted to spread Protestantarism in Moldavia. The school was attended By children of small country boyards, yeomen and mazils. Despot hoped to make them give up the orthodox.
     At this Schola Latina have surely been taught some others subjects of which we have no written evidence so far. Despot's Schola Latina has functioned for over a century, since subsequently Petru Schiopu takes a school of Protestants and offers to the Jesuits. Visiting Cotnari in 1599 bishop Quirini said that there existed a grammar school (consequently a primary school with 2 or 3 classes) having as teacher named Petru Elmondin Transilvania.
     Anyway we can consider that addition and subtraction from arithmatics have been taught in Moldavia at this early stage of humanist organisation of our educational system.
     This early start mentioned also by Miron Costin's Chronicle opened the Moldavians' eyes for learning.

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