History and Organization of the Institute

Many of the distinctive institutions and ideals of the modern West, such as parliaments, universities, individual rights, civic virtue, the dignity of labour, due process of law, the techniques of capitalism and the concept of insurance, trace their lineage to the medieval period. The glories of medieval art – the great cathedrals, Gregorian chant, calligraphy and book illumination, the liturgy – have left a lasting imprint on the artistic traditions of our culture. The Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies is dedicated to transmitting the inheritance of the Middle Ages to new generations; to deepening our understanding of the life and ideals of Western culture in the time of its first youth.

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