Mattone, Antonio Vincenzo Peppino (2002) La Città di Sassari e la sua università, un rapporto speculare. Annali di storia delle università italiane, Vol. 6 , p. 21-50. ISSN 1127-8250. Article.
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The essay describes the symbiotic relationship between the city of Sassari and its university over a considerable period of time stretching from the foundation of the Jesuit College (1562) to the end of the XIXth century. Sassari and Cagliari competed keenly with one another over who should be allowed to set up a university; the upshot was that, despite its sparse population, the Kingdom of Sardinia found itself with two universities, one in Cagliari (1626), supported by public funding, and one in Sassari (1617-1632) which, while the beneficiary of private donations, could also count on local authority financing. The type of courses on offer left a good deal to be desired, being designed mainly to train lawyers, bureaucrats, doctors and church leaders. The 1765 University reform, orchestrated by the minister Bogino, took Sassari University from under the control of the local authorities and the Society of Jesus. The reform had an important effect on the cultural and everyday life of the city because of the spread of ideas and scientific studies, as can be seen from the works of Cetti and Gemelli. Between the end of the XVIIIth and the beginning of the XIXth centuries the long tide of reform introduced by Bogino began to ebb and Sassari University started its slow ineluctable decline. The Casati Law of 1859 abolished the University of Sassari: but thanks to the efforts of the lawyer Pasquale Stanislao Mancini, a member of parliament for Sassari, the measure was suspended. Conditions however remained tough because most of the running costs fell on the City and Provincial authorities. The problem was only solved in 1902 with the law on the so-called “pareggiamento” of the university, which allowed it to reverse its slow cultural slide. The last part of the book deals with the role of the university in training the city’s ruling classes.
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