The schools and studies of the Dominicans in the Prussian contrata to the beginning of the sixteenth century

Rafał Kubicki


The purpose of the school system organized by the Dominicans in the thirteenth century was to provide their congregation with a supply of preachers to further the mission expressed in the popular motto of the order: contemplari et contemplata aliis tradere. In the period when the first friaries were being organized, human resources for the order were the numerous friars recruited from university circles. This manner of acquiring educated friars would not, however, be a permanent solution especially in peripheral regions where there were not yet any universities. Hence, the order had to take upon itself the task of creating new personnel. This was the situation mostly in Northern and Central Europe, as well as in the Teutonic Order’s Baltic jurisdiction in Prussia, where Dominican friaries operated that belonged to the Polish province of the order. This paper presents the system of Dominican schools functioning mainly in the fifteenth and the early sixteenth century within the Prussian contrata, a lower auxiliary unit in the order’s administration, encompassing the Teutonic Prussia regions. In addition to the running of schools, the foreign studies of Dominican friars from this region will also be discussed.

Słowa kluczowe: Dominican Order, Prussia, education, Polish Provence