"A magnificent achievement. Paul Grendler has written a stunningly comprehensive, detailed, and insightful history of the Italian universities from their origins to the eighteenth century. It will unquestionably become the standard work on the subject and remain so for a very long time. More than an institutional history, it is also a history of Italian culture over a span of five hundred years. Law, medicine, humanism, mathematics, philosophy, theology, and science all receive lucid and informative treatment."