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Fun fact

5. Oxford University Is Older Than the Aztecs. As Colin Schultz wrote for Smithsonian, the Aztecs seem like ancient history. “Archaeologists dig up Aztec ruins, museums put on Aztec exhibits.” The central Mexican civilization flourished between the 14th and 16th centuries. But Oxford University is older. Teaching started as early as 1096. It’s 1,000-year anniversary later this century is sure to be a an epic celebration.

19 thoughts on “Fun fact”

  1. If only Oxford U had gone the same way as the the Aztecs, eh? Wouldn’t the UK be a better place?

  2. Aztec universities would be something to see.

    ‘We need a safe space and demand you use our desired pronouns!’

    *Chancellor reaches for his obsidian knife…*

  3. Ah!! So that’s why they no longer cut out the hearts at Oxford. It’s no longer fashionable.

  4. I always think it’s funny when people compare the pyramids in Ancient Egypt to those in Central America – as if they’re contemporaries…

  5. “Teaching started as early as 1096.”

    “As early as” = we may be slightly exaggerating.. in fact, we’re lying outright. sorry, notsorry.

    And even if you do count all the various sequential incarnations of “an institute of learning” ( by which reckoning Oxford is still an upstart missing about half a millennium or so to be taken seriously..), they are very quiet about the fact that for most of that time they were actually Cowpat Central for the locals.
    And a way to possibly get admittance to the real universities of the time.. Peeps moved from Oxford, instead of pleading to be let in…

    But hey… Myffology…

  6. From your link, right at the top in full view…

    The history of Univ is a fascinating one. University College owes its origins to William of Durham, who died in 1249; however a legend grew up in the 1380s that we were actually founded even earlier, by King Alfred in 872, and, understandably enough, this became widely accepted as the truth. Nowadays, however, William of Durham is accepted as Univ’s true founder, but that still gives us a claim to be the oldest college in Oxford or Cambridge.

    They’re not even hiding the fact that they’re lying being creative about their origin…

  7. There was a complex civilization in central Mexico long before Oxford, though it is true that the Aztecs had been in power only a century or so before Cortez arrived. The same can be said of the Inca and Peru.

  8. Aren’t they smudging over what a university was in C13th? Oxford was basically a theological school with a bit of RR&R added on. It was Paris where more complete education started. Why Roger Bacon went to Paris.

  9. Oxford derived from Paris but Bologna is generally accepted as the oldest European university, obviously heavily weighted to theology etc. Possibly the teaching “establishments” of Plato and Aristotle might count. And wasn’t there somewhere in the Islamic world that predated Bologna. Still struggling to work out what Grikath thinks the oldest might be as it predates the Islamic but massively postdates the Lyceum

  10. Diog: how about the library at Alexandria? Once you let any old teaching or research institution be called a university you can backdate them on and on and on. I’d settle for Bologna.

    “however a legend grew up in the 1380s that we were actually founded even earlier, by King Alfred in 872”. Cambridge responded with a claim of having been founded by King Arthur.

    Now then: which university has a claim to having been the oldest under the Stars and Stripes?

  11. Gotcha!

    The oldest was, for many decades, the oldest university in Manila which was, according to taste, the University of Santo Tomas or the University of San Carlos.

    The argument against the latter is that it was closed for a spell when the Jesuits were expelled.

  12. True. The Philippines were occupied for a number of years, but if that’s going to be the criterion I suppose some universities in Germany or Japan could also be considered. But still, a neat little gotcha.

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