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ON MAY 12, 1364, King Casimir the Great founded Cracow University ("Studium Generale Cracoviense"). Already a score of great universities in Western Europe had been founded, chief among these were Paris (1110), Bologna (1158), Oxford (1167), Montpelier (1181), Cambridge (1209), Padua (1222), Naples (1224), and Valencia ( 1345-50 ). The first universities to appear east of France were Prague ( 1348) and Cracow (1364). Austrian, German, and Scandinavian universities were to come later.
During the reign of Casimir III, the last of the Piast Dynasty, Poland had emerged as a world power surrounded by a disintegrating Holy Roman Empire, a strong Bohemia and Hungary, an embattled Muscovy, and a friendly Lithuania. In the West, France and England were in the throes of their Hundred Years War (1338-1453); Flanders and Netherlands were flourishing while Italy divided into City States was the center of world culture with Dante and Petrarch heralding the forthcoming Renaissance. The
Tochowicz L, Nowak SJG. History of Cracow School of Medicine. JAMA. 1964;188(7):662-667. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03060330042011