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The Sorbonne is a university building in the Latin Quarter of Paris.

History

The Sorbonne is a very famous institution, and its founder, Robert de Sorbon, has thus often been overlooked. Sorbonne was the chaplain of King Louis IX who had struggled to become a doctor of theology, and sought to aid the education of underprivileged children like he himself had been. King Louis offered him a house on the rue Conpegeule as well as some of his own outbuildings, where Sorbon would build his school.[1]

After three centuries, the Sorbonne had fallen into decay, which came to the attention of King Louis XIII's chief minister and headmaster of the school, Cardinal Richelieu. In 1629, he set about rebuilding the whole establishment and building a tomb for himself there. The renovations were successful: the tomb by François Girardon, considered a masterpiece, was carefully protected during the French Revolution.[1] During this time, the Assassin known as Le Téméraire was wrongly arrested for stealing from the chapel, the real thieves hiding among the scholars and the gendarmes believing that justice had been done. However, a team of Assassins disposed of the thieves and returned the stolen goods.[2]

In 1816, at the return of Louis XVIII and the onset of the Bourbon Restoration, the tomb was reestablished in the chapel of the Sorbonne. Near the end of the 19th century, the old Sorbonne of the Cardinal was rebuilt and expanded. The school has often been derided thanks to the Renaissance scholar François Rabelais referring to bugs called "sorbonagres" that would devour the intelligence of thinkers.[1]

References

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