Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne


The name is derived from the Collège de Sorbonne, founded in 1257 by Robert de Sorbon as one of the first significant colleges of the medieval University of Paris.[1][2] The university as such predates the college by about a century, and minor colleges had been founded already in the late 12th century. The Collège de Sorbonne was suppressed during the French revolution, reopened by Napoleon 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, in The Universities of Europe in the Middle Ages (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 and Ecole supérieure Robert De Sorbon.

After the ideological, cultural and social fever which took hold of France in May and June 1968, a new university scene emerged; the law of November 12, 1968 instituted autonomous, pluridisciplinary universities. The University Paris 1 was founded on the basis of a profound wish for change to produce an original academic project bringing together the humanities, law and economics. Instead of having separate faculties of laws, economics or humanities, the university was divided into much more specialised UFRs. For instance the UFR of international law has the same relationship with the UFR of geology as with the UFR or commercial law. This was a revolutionary change, as those subjects had previously been taught in highly distinct and hierarchal faculties. To the traditional degree courses in France in history, geography, philosophy, art history, archaeology, economics, law and political science, new disciplines were gradually added, including the visual arts, mathematics applied to social sciences, business management, tourism, culture and communications.

The name of the university embodies this triple tradition : the Sorbonne is the traditional seat of the Humanities studies in Paris (hence it is also used by Paris III and Paris IV, other Humanities university) and the Place du Panthéon Building is the seat of the Law studies (hence it is also used by Paris II). Economics Studies had no traditional seat, as they were taught by law faculties.