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The term Goliardia refers to a traditional university student association in Italy, comparable to the fraternities and sororities of the United States. As of 2002, there are roughly 80 Goliardic associations, spread across all parts of Italy. Members of a Goliardia are called Goliardi.
These associations have a structure similar to the knights' orders of the Middle Ages, though in these academic orders, the sword was represented by the art of dialectic. The Goliardi trace their origin to Peter Abelard (in Latin: Petrus Abaelardus or Abailard), a medieval French scholastic philosopher, theologian, and logician.
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