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The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Heidelberg University

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HEIDELBERG UNIVERSITY, Germany, a renowned institution founded by Elector Rupert I in 1386. It was organized by Marsilius von Inghen on the model of the University of Paris, and at the Reformation, from a Catholic became a Protestant stronghold of learning. It flourished until 1622, when Tilly captured the town and the famous collection of manuscripts known as the Bibliotheca Palatina was removed to Rome. The university declined and suspended altogether in 1626. It was restored in 1652 and religious tests for professors were removed. The university again suspended in 1693, although instruction was continued at Frankfort in 1694 and at Weinheim in 1698. In 1700 instruction was resumed at Heidelberg, but the university led a precarious existence until 1802. In 1802 under the administration of the Grand Duke of Baden, a new era was inaugurated and the university rapidly became famous. It is very complete in its details, and comprises faculties of theology, law, medicine and philosophy; the famous library has over 500,000 volumes and 4,700 MSS. There are 196 professors and instructors, while the average annual attendance of students in all departments is over 2,300. Many of the most famous German scholars have been professors here — Melanchthon, Ursinus, Olevianus, Reuchlin, Œcolampadius, Spanheim, Puffendorf, Voss, Schlösser, Creuzer, Gervinus, Paulus, Kuno Fischer, Helmholtz, Bunsen, Blüntschli, etc. The quincentenary of the university was celebrated with elaborate ceremonial in 1886. Consult Buhl, H., ‘Zur Geschichte der Universität Heidelberg’ (Heidelberg 1902); Hautz, ‘Geschichte der Universität Heidelberg’ (Mannheim 1862-64); Weber, Georg, ‘Heidelberger Erinnerungen’ (Stuttgart 1886).