In the early medieval period, most new universities were founded from pre-existing schools, usually when these schools were deemed to have become primarily sites of higher education.
Many historians state that universities and cathedral schools were a continuation of the interest in learning promoted by monasteries.
Lay students arrived in the city from many lands entering into a contract to gain this knowledge, organising themselves into 'Nationes', divided between that of the Cismontanes and that of the Ultramontanes. All over Europe rulers and city governments began to create universities to satisfy a European thirst for knowledge, and the belief that society would benefit from the scholarly expertise generated from these institutions.
Princes and leaders of city governments perceived the potential benefits of having a scholarly expertise develop with the ability to address difficult problems and achieve desired ends.
Professors lectured on the books of Aristotle for logic, natural philosophy, and metaphysics; while Hippocrates, Galen, and Avicenna were used for medicine.