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Keywords:

  • French students;
  • nationes;
  • natio Scota;
  • Padua;
  • Piemontese students;
  • Riformatori dello Studio;
  • Italian universities

The natio was the fundamental constituting element of the students' corporations in the medieval and early modern studia; it grouped students from an area whose homogeneity depended on language or habits, the issue of political nations being at the time a minor one. Therefore, the existence of a natio in a studium should indicate the presence of students from a specific geographic area. This is not the case for the jurists' natio Scota, founded in 1534 by a decree of the Venetian Collegio. Separated from the older natio Anglica, which from its origin had gathered all students coming from the British Isles, the natio Scota was in fact an empty container, whose creation was essentially intended to help solve a conflict within the universitas iuristarum. Such conflict did not concern either the English or the Scots, but the French-speaking students of the Provençal and Burgundian nationes and the Italian-speaking Piemontese students asking to join those nationes.