university of salamanca
state institution of higher learning at Salamanca, Spain. It was founded in 1218 under Alfonso IX, but its real beginnings date from 1254, when, under Alfonso X, grandson of the founder, three chairs in canon law and one each in grammar, arts, and physics were established. From that time until the end of the 16th century, Salamanca was one of the leading centres of learning in Europe, ranking with Paris, Bologna, and Oxford. Francisco de Vitoria, in his lectures there (1526-46), set forth some of the fundamental principles of international law, and the scholar and poet Luis de Leon lectured in the university from 1561 until his death in 1591, except for the years 1572-76, when he was a prisoner of the Inquisition on a charge of unorthodoxy; a room in the university is still known as his aula (lecture hall).
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