Sorbonne

Sorbonne

Overview




The Sorbonne is an edifice of the Latin Quarter
Latin Quarter
Latin Quarter is a part of the 5th arrondissement in Paris.Latin Quarter may also refer to:* Latin Quarter , a British pop/rock band* Latin Quarter , a 1945 British film*Latin Quarter, Aarhus, part of Midtbyen, Aarhus C, Denmark...

, in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, which has been the historical house of the former University of Paris
University of Paris
The University of Paris was a university located in Paris, France and one of the earliest to be established in Europe. It was founded in the mid 12th century, and officially recognized as a university probably between 1160 and 1250...

. Nowadays, it houses several higher education and research institutions such as Panthéon-Sorbonne University, Sorbonne Nouvelle University
University of Paris III: Sorbonne Nouvelle
The New Sorbonne University is a public university in Paris, France.The Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle is a founding member of the Paris Universitas, a union of 6 Parisian universities....

, Paris-Sorbonne University, Paris Descartes University, the École Nationale des Chartes
École Nationale des Chartes
The École Nationale des Chartes is a grand établissement, an elite French university-level educational institution based in Paris. It provides education and training for archivists and librarians and forms part of the University of Paris.-History:...

 and the École pratique des hautes études
École pratique des hautes études
The École pratique des hautes études is a Grand Établissement in Paris, France. It is counted among France's most prestigious research and higher education institutions....

.

The name is commonly used to refer to this historic University of Paris
University of Paris
The University of Paris was a university located in Paris, France and one of the earliest to be established in Europe. It was founded in the mid 12th century, and officially recognized as a university probably between 1160 and 1250...

 or one of its successor institutions (see below), but this is a recent usage, and "Sorbonne" has actually been used with different meanings over the centuries.
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The Sorbonne is an edifice of the Latin Quarter
Latin Quarter
Latin Quarter is a part of the 5th arrondissement in Paris.Latin Quarter may also refer to:* Latin Quarter , a British pop/rock band* Latin Quarter , a 1945 British film*Latin Quarter, Aarhus, part of Midtbyen, Aarhus C, Denmark...

, in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, which has been the historical house of the former University of Paris
University of Paris
The University of Paris was a university located in Paris, France and one of the earliest to be established in Europe. It was founded in the mid 12th century, and officially recognized as a university probably between 1160 and 1250...

. Nowadays, it houses several higher education and research institutions such as Panthéon-Sorbonne University, Sorbonne Nouvelle University
University of Paris III: Sorbonne Nouvelle
The New Sorbonne University is a public university in Paris, France.The Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle is a founding member of the Paris Universitas, a union of 6 Parisian universities....

, Paris-Sorbonne University, Paris Descartes University, the École Nationale des Chartes
École Nationale des Chartes
The École Nationale des Chartes is a grand établissement, an elite French university-level educational institution based in Paris. It provides education and training for archivists and librarians and forms part of the University of Paris.-History:...

 and the École pratique des hautes études
École pratique des hautes études
The École pratique des hautes études is a Grand Établissement in Paris, France. It is counted among France's most prestigious research and higher education institutions....

.

The name is commonly used to refer to this historic University of Paris
University of Paris
The University of Paris was a university located in Paris, France and one of the earliest to be established in Europe. It was founded in the mid 12th century, and officially recognized as a university probably between 1160 and 1250...

 or one of its successor institutions (see below), but this is a recent usage, and "Sorbonne" has actually been used with different meanings over the centuries. For information on the historic University of Paris
University of Paris
The University of Paris was a university located in Paris, France and one of the earliest to be established in Europe. It was founded in the mid 12th century, and officially recognized as a university probably between 1160 and 1250...

 and the present universities, which are its successor institutions or the Collège de Sorbonne
Collège de Sorbonne
The Collège de Sorbonne was a theological college of the University of Paris, founded in 1257 by Robert de Sorbon, after whom it is named. With the rest of the Paris colleges, it was suppressed during the French Revolution. It was restored in 1808 but finally closed in 1882. The name Sorbonne...

, please refer to the relevant articles.

The Collège de Sorbonne


The name is derived from the Collège de Sorbonne
Collège de Sorbonne
The Collège de Sorbonne was a theological college of the University of Paris, founded in 1257 by Robert de Sorbon, after whom it is named. With the rest of the Paris colleges, it was suppressed during the French Revolution. It was restored in 1808 but finally closed in 1882. The name Sorbonne...

, founded in 1257 by Robert de Sorbon
Robert de Sorbon
Robert de Sorbon was a French theologian, the chaplain of Louis IX of France, and founder of the Sorbonne college in Paris....

 as one of the first significant colleges of the medieval University of Paris
University of Paris
The University of Paris was a university located in Paris, France and one of the earliest to be established in Europe. It was founded in the mid 12th century, and officially recognized as a university probably between 1160 and 1250...

. The university as such predates the college by about a century, and minor colleges had been founded already in the late 12th century. During the 16th century, the Sorbonne became a focal point of the intellectual struggle between Catholics and Protestants. The University served as a major stronghold of Catholic conservative attitudes, and as such conducted a bitter struggle against king Francis I's policy of relative tolerance towards the French Protestants - except for a brief period in 1533 when the University was placed under Protestant control.

The Collège de Sorbonne was suppressed during the French revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

, reopened by Napoleon
Napoleon I of France
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution.As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815...

 in 1808 and finally closed in 1882. This was only one of the many colleges of the University of Paris that existed until the French revolution. Hastings Rashdall
Hastings Rashdall
Hastings Rashdall was an English philosopher who expounded a theory known as ideal utilitarianism.Son of an Anglican priest, he was educated at Harrow and received a scholarship for New College, Oxford...

, in The Universities of Europe in the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

(1895), which is still a standard reference on the topic, lists some 70 colleges of the university from the Middle Ages alone; some of these were short-lived and disappeared already before the end of the medieval period, but others were founded in the Early modern period, like the Collège des Quatre-Nations
Collège des Quatre-Nations
The Collège des Quatre-Nations , also known as the Collège Mazarin after its founder, was one of the colleges of the historic University of Paris. It was founded through a bequest by the Cardinal Mazarin...

 and Ecole supérieure Robert De Sorbon.

The Paris Faculty of Theology


With time, the college came to be the centre of theological studies and "Sorbonne" was frequently used as a synonym for the Paris Faculty of Theology despite being only one of many colleges of the university.

May, 1968


Following months of conflicts between students and authorities at the University of Paris at Nanterre, the administration shut down that university on 2 May 1968. Students at the Sorbonne University
University of Paris
The University of Paris was a university located in Paris, France and one of the earliest to be established in Europe. It was founded in the mid 12th century, and officially recognized as a university probably between 1160 and 1250...

 in Paris met on 3 May to protest against the closure and the threatened expulsion of several students at Nanterre. On Monday, 6 May, the national student union
Students' union
A students' union, student government, student senate, students' association, guild of students or government of student body is a student organization present in many colleges and universities, and has started appearing in some high schools...

, the Union Nationale des Étudiants de France
Union nationale des étudiants de france
The National Union of Students of France is the main national students' union in France....

 (UNEF) — still the largest student union in France today — and the union of university teachers called a march to protest against the police invasion of Sorbonne. More than 20,000 students, teachers and supporters marched towards the Sorbonne, still sealed off by the police, who charged, wielding their batons, as soon as the marchers approached. While the crowd dispersed, some began to create barricades out of whatever was at hand, while others threw paving stones, forcing the police to retreat for a time. The police then responded with tear gas and charged the crowd again. Hundreds more students were arrested.

Negotiations broke down, and students returned to their campuses after a false report that the government had agreed to reopen them, only to discover the police still occupying the schools.

When the Sorbonne reopened, students occupied it and declared it an autonomous "people's university". In the weeks that followed, approximately 401 popular action committees were set up in Paris and elsewhere to take up grievances against the government and French society, including the Sorbonne Occupation Committee
Occupation Committee of the Sorbonne
The Occupation Committee of the Sorbonne was a radical student group that occupied the Sorbonne during the May 1968 social unrest in France....

.

The Sorbonne today


In 1970, the University of Paris was divided into thirteen different universities. These universities still stand under the management of a common rectorate – the Rectorate of Paris - with offices in the Sorbonne. Four of these universities currently include the name "Sorbonne" in their names or are affiliated with the Sorbonne:
  • Panthéon-Sorbonne University (Paris I), which also houses the observatory of the Sorbonne and the Sorbonne Law School.
  • Sorbonne Nouvelle University
    University of Paris III: Sorbonne Nouvelle
    The New Sorbonne University is a public university in Paris, France.The Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle is a founding member of the Paris Universitas, a union of 6 Parisian universities....

     (Paris III)
  • Paris-Sorbonne University (Paris IV)
  • Paris Descartes University: Faculté des Sciences Humaines et Sociales - Sorbonne (Paris V)


These four public universities maintain facilities in the historical building of the Sorbonne. The building also houses the Rectorate of Paris, the École Nationale des Chartes
École Nationale des Chartes
The École Nationale des Chartes is a grand établissement, an elite French university-level educational institution based in Paris. It provides education and training for archivists and librarians and forms part of the University of Paris.-History:...

, the École pratique des hautes études
École pratique des hautes études
The École pratique des hautes études is a Grand Établissement in Paris, France. It is counted among France's most prestigious research and higher education institutions....

, the Cours de Civilisation Française de la Sorbonne
Cours de Civilisation Française de la Sorbonne
The Cours de Civilisation Française de la Sorbonne depends on the Société des Amis des Universités de Paris , a public utility and non-profit association of private status regulated by the French law of 1901 on associations...

 and the Library of the Sorbonne.

These should not be confused with two private institutions that bear the name of their creator: College de Sorbon (in the Ardennes) and the Ecole supérieure Robert de Sorbon which specialises in VAE degrees
VAE (Validation des Acquis de l'Experience)
The VAE or Validation des Acquis de l'Expérience is a procedure that allows any French educational institution to grant degrees partly or totally on work experience. A porfolio of the applicant's achievements and work experience is presented to a committee at the educational institution...

.

Today the word Sorbonne no longer refers to the University of Paris but to the historical building located in the Latin Quarter
Latin Quarter
Latin Quarter is a part of the 5th arrondissement in Paris.Latin Quarter may also refer to:* Latin Quarter , a British pop/rock band* Latin Quarter , a 1945 British film*Latin Quarter, Aarhus, part of Midtbyen, Aarhus C, Denmark...

, the 5th arrondissement of Paris.

External links