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BRESSANI


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BRESSANI


Protestant prejudice against the Jesuits, and the town council of Breslau prevented the imperial con- firmation of the plan for eight years. However, Leopold I signed at Vienna, 21 October, 1702, the charter raising the school to the rank of a univei^ sity and obtained the papal confirmation for the decree.

The new university, called after the emperor, Leo- poldina, was opened 15 November, 1702, but the change in status did not alter the internal organiza- tion. The buildings of the old citadel had long been too cramped for the needs of the institution, and it was resolved to erect a large new edifice, the corner- stone of which was laid 6 April, 1728. On account of the war with Frederick the Great of Prussia, and his conquest of Silesia, the plans for the new structure could not be carried out in their entirety. Although efforts were made to open departments of law and medicine, nothing more was attained than unofficial lectures by instructors in these branches. The number of scholars during the first decade of the life of the university continually increased. In 1740, 1,300 students attended the university and gym- nasium; the number declined during the first Silesian war then rose again, until the Seven Years War once more reduced the attendance at lectures. During this latter conflict the building was used as a hospital and prison, and professors and students were obliged to go elsewhere. Only after the Peace of 1763 was the building restored to its original use The attendance increased rapidly during the next ten years, but fell off greatly after the suppression of the Society of Jesus. In 1803, when the Leopol- dina was made a secular institution, the number of students was about 500.

After the suppression of the Jesuits the king es- tablished a Catholic-Schools Institute which ■ in- cluded the Jesuits li%'ing in Silesia, and in which the candidates for the secular priesthood were to receive their training. The former independence disappeared and the institute and university were made dependent on the Silesian minister. The new institution maintained with difficulty what was already in existence; it was ruled by a spirit of narrow conservatism, and made no attempt to develop its courses or to enter new fields. Besides this, the teaching force was not well kept up even in the usual branches of learning. During the last decade of its existence the Leopoldina was carried on under the royal ordinance issued 26 July, 1800, in regard to the University of Breslau and the gymnasia connected with it. The Catholic school system, especially the gymnasia, underwent a reform at this epoch which led "to the separation of the gjTn- nasium from the university and the reorganization of the philosophical faculty. These two clianges were carried out in 1811.

The founding of the University of Berlin in 1810 made uncertain the future existence of the Protestant university at Frankfort on the Oder, not far from Berlin. There was also a strong desire in Silesia for a university embracing all faculties, and King Frederick William III gave his consent, 3 August, 1811, to a "plan for uniting the University of Frank- fort with the University of Breslau". The two universities wore to be made one institution in regard to constitution, teaching staff, endowments, property, and income; the philosophical faculties were to form one body. "To satisfy the wishes of Catholic sul> jeets" two professors of philosophy proper were appointed, one Protestant and one Catholic. The promise of the erection of a Catholic professorship of historj' was not carried out until 1855, in the reign of PVederick William IV. Outside of these positions religious belief was not to be taken into consideration in appointments to the faculties of philosophy, law, and medicine. Instruction from both Catholic and


Protestant professors of theology in the same uni- versity was until then unheard of. The plan of union ordained by the king decreed "that the theo- logical department of the combined university should be divided into two faculties, a Protestant theological faculty and a Catholic theological one. These two faculties, of equal rank in other respects, were to alternate in precedence from year to year in tlie matter of lecture-announcements, on academic occasions, and in affixing signatures. The public opening of the new university took place 19 October, 1811, the lectures began 21 October. In the second year of the new school patriotism led the great majority of the students to take part in the war against Napoleon called "the War of Liberation", and many of them died for their country. After peace was concluded the usual life of the university was resumed. In August, 1861, the semi-centennial of the university was celebrated with much pomp. The schools of learning shared in the great develop- ment of Germany after the wars of 1866 and 1870, 1871, and the University of Breslau received, through the increase of prosperity, many improvements in equipment. The departments of medicine and natural science deserve special mention.

The increase in the number of students has kept pace with the increase in the number of instructors. When the university was opened, in 1811, there were 35 regular professors, 4 assistant professors, 4 doccnts, and 8 lecturers and technical teachers; in 1861, at the time of the semi-centennial celebration, there were 41 regular professors, 11 assistant profes- sors, 33 docents, and 12 lecturers and technical teachers; in 1906 there were 73 regular professors, 31 assistant professors, 66 docents, and 15 lecturers and technical teachers. In the first year of the institution there were 298 students; in the fiftieth, 775; and in 1906 the number reached 1,961. Of this last number, 241 attended the lectures of the Catholic theological faculty; 61 the lectures of the Protestant theological faculty; 565 attended the law course; 271, the medical course; 807, the philcsophical course. The German students numbered 1 ,884; foreign students, 77. Besides matriculated students, permission to attend the lectures was granted to 285 other persons of whom 179 were women.

NcRXBERGER, Ztim zwclJtundertjdhrigen Bestehen der katholi- schen Theologetl-Fakultdt an der Universitat Breslau (Breslau, 1903): RoPELL, Die Geschichte der Stiftung der kimiglichen Universitat Breslau (Breslau. 1861); Rei.nkens, Die Universi- tat zu Breslau vor der Y ereinigung der Frajikfurter V'iadrina mil der Leopoldina (Breslau, 1861).

Joseph Jungnitz.

Bressani, Fr.\ncesco Giuseppe, an Indian mis- sionarj', b. in Rome, 6 May, 1612; d. at Florence. 9 September, 1672. He entered the no\'itiate of the Society of Jesus, 15 August, 1626 and studied at Rome and Clermont, teaching before his ordination at Sezza, Tivoli, and Paris. On his arrival in America he was assigned to the spiritual care of the French at Quebec, but in the following year was sent to the Algonquins at Three Rivers. In April, 1644, on the way to the Huron Mission he was captured by the Iroquois and cruelly tortured by them, at intervals, for over two months. He was at length ransomed by the Dutch at Fort Orange, and sent to France, where he arrived in November, 1644. In the follow- ing year he was again in Canada and laboured zealously on the Huron Mission until its destruction by the Iroquois four years later. He continued, however, to minister to the scattered and fugitive Hurons. He was also stationed for a time at Quebec, where he occasionally officiated at the church. In November, 1650, Bressani's failing health and the meagre resources of the mission obliged him to return to Italy, where he spent many years as a preachei and missionary, dying at Florence. Bressani WTote the " Breve Relatione d'alcune Mission! . . . nellaNuova