University of Paris

The University of Paris (French: Université de Paris), metonymically known as the Sorbonne (French: [sɔʁbɔn]), was the leading university in Paris, France, active from 1150 to 1970, with the exception between 1793 and 1806 under the French Revolution. Emerging around 1150 as a corporation associated with the cathedral school of Notre Dame de Paris, it was considered the second-oldest university in Europe.[1]

University of Paris
French: Université de Paris
Coat of Arms
Latin: Universitas magistrorum et scholarium Parisiensis
MottoHic et ubique terrarum (Latin)
Motto in English
Here and anywhere on Earth
TypeCorporative then public university
EstablishedFounded: c. 1150
Suppressed: 1793
Faculties reestablished: 1806
University reestablished: 1896
Divided: 1970
Location,
CampusUrban

Officially chartered in 1200 by King Philip II of France and recognised in 1215 by Pope Innocent III, it was later often nicknamed after its theological College of Sorbonne, in turn founded by Robert de Sorbon and chartered by French King Saint Louis around 1257.[1]

Internationally highly reputed for its academic performance in the humanities ever since the Middle Ages – notably in theology and philosophy – it introduced several academic standards and traditions that have endured ever since and spread internationally, such as doctoral degrees and student nations. Vast numbers of popes, royalty, scientists, and intellectuals were educated at the University of Paris. A few of the colleges of the time are still visible close to the Panthéon and Jardin du Luxembourg: Collège des Bernardins (18 rue de Poissy, 5th arr.), Hôtel de Cluny (6 Place Paul Painlève, 5th arr.), Collège Sainte-Barbe (4 rue Valette, 5th arr.), Collège d'Harcourt (44 Boulevard Saint-Michel, 6th arr.), and Cordeliers (21 rue École de Médecine, 6th arr.).[2]

In 1793, during the French Revolution, the university was closed, and by Item 27 of the Revolutionary Convention, the college endowments and buildings were sold.[3] A new University of France replaced it in 1806 with four independent faculties: the Faculty of Humanities (French: Faculté des Lettres), the Faculty of Law (later including Economics), the Faculty of Science, the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Theology (closed in 1885).

In 1970, following the civil unrest of May 1968, the university was divided into 13 autonomous universities.


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