The term Goliardia refers to a traditional university student association in Italy. Around 80 associations of this type exist in all parts of the country (2002). These associations have a structure similar to the medieval knights’ orders. However in these Academic Orders the sword was represented by the art of dialectic. The Goliardi (the members of Goliardia) refer their origin to Peter Abelard (Latin: Petrus Abaelardus or Abailard) a medieval French scholastic philosopher, theologian and preeminent logician.
Goliardic associations can be compared to the American fraternities and sororities.