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Originally appearing in Volume V25, Page 431 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SORBONNE, the name given originally to the college founded by Robert de Sorbon in Paris; hence applied afterwards popularly to the theological faculty, and so to the institution which is now the seat of the Academie of that city (see UNIVERSITIES). The Sorbonne owes its origin and its name to Robert of Sorbon, near Reims (1201-1274), who went to Paris about the beginning of the reign of St Louis in order to qualify for the priesthood, attained high repute by his sanctity and eloquence, and was appointed by the king to be his confessor. Assisted by royal liberality, he built a modest establishment in which were accommodated seven priests charged with the duty of teaching theology gratuitously; to this he added a college of preparatory studies, all under the direction of a provisor, under whom was an annual prior who had the actual management. The new institution was authorized in 1252 by a deed signed by Queen Blanche, on behalf of Louis IX. (who was in Palestine); and in 1257 a site was given by the king in the heart of the Latin quarter. It was declared " useful to religion " by Pope Alexander IV. in 1259, and papal bulls authorizing and confirming the college were granted in 1263 and 1268. Destined originally for poor students (and called domus magistrorum pauperrima, " most poor house of masters "), the Sorbonne soon became a meeting-place for all the students of the university of Paris, who resorted thither to hear the lectures of the most learned theologians of the period—Guillaume de Saint Amour, Eudes de Douai, Laurent 1'Anglais, Pierre d'Ailly. At the close of the century it was organized into a full faculty of theology, and under this definite form it conferred bachelors', licentiates' and doctors' degrees, and the severity of its examinations gave an exceptional value to its diplomas. The so-called " these sorbonique," instituted towards the beginning of the 14th century, became the type of its order by the length and difficulty of its tests. Ultimately the professors of the Sorbonne came to be resorted to not only for lectures and examinations, but also for dogmatic decisions and judgments in canon law; the clergy of France and of the whole Catholic world had recourse to them in difficult cases, and the Curia Romana itself more than once laid its doubts before them, giving them the title of " Concilium in Gallia subsistens." To the Sorbonne belongs the glory of having introduced printing into France in 1469: within its precincts it assigned quarters for Ulric Gering and two companions in which to set up their presses. The Sorbonne took a leading part in the religious discussions which agitated France during the 16th and 18th centuries, and its influence thus inevitably extended to political questions. During the insanity of Charles VI. it helped to bring about the absolution of Jean Sans-Peur for the assassination of the duke of Orleans Shortly afterwards it demanded and supported the condemnation I BIBLIOGRAPHY.—G. Kral, Grammatik der wendischen Sprache of Joan of Arc; during the Reformation it was the animating in der Oberlausitz (Bautzen, 1895) ; K. E. Macke, Historische and spirit of all the persecutions directed against Protestants and (Javergleichblono~,~sendeLi Preisschrift, u.sschrift, Formen-Lehre xviii.) .) (Leipzig, d. niedersorbischen Sprache 1891); Pfuhl, Lausitzisch- unbelievers: without having advised the massacre of St Wendisch Werterbuch (High Sorb) (Bautzen, 1866) ; J. G. Zwahr, Bartholomew, it did not hesitate to justify it, and it inflamed Niederlausitz-wendisch-deutsehes HandwOrterbuch (Spremberg, 1847); the League by its vigorous anathemas against Henry III. and M. H6rnik, Citanka (Ch estomathy of High Sorb) (Bautzen, 1863 ; L. Haupt and J. S. Smoler, Volkslieder der Wenden in der Ober-the king of Navarre, .hesitating to recognize the latter even and Niederlausitz (Grimma, 1842-1843). (E. H. M.) after his abjuration. From this point dates the beginning of SORBY, HENRY CLIFTON (1826-1908), English micro-its decadence, and when Richelieu in 1626 ordered the recon- scopist and geologist, was born at Woodbourne near Sheffield struction of its church and buildings the following prophetic on the loth of May 1826. He early developed an interest in couplet was circulated— natural science, and one of his first papers related to the excava- "Instaurata ruet jamjam Sorbona. Caduca tion of valleys in Yorkshire. He subsequently dealt with the Dum fait, inconcussa stetit; renovata peribit." physical geography of former geological periods, with the wave-The declaration of the clergy in 1682, which it subscribed, structure in certain stratified rocks, and the origin of slaty proved fatal to its authority with the Curia Romana; it revived cleavage. He took up the study of rocks and minerals under for a short time under Louis XV. during the struggle against the microscope, and published an important memoir On the Jansenism, but this was its last exploit; it was suppressed like Microscopical Structure of Crystals in 1858 (Quart. Journ. Geol. the old universities in 1992. Soc.). In England he was one of the pioneers in petrography; When tha university' of France was organized in 18o8 the he was awarded the Wollaston medal by the Geological Sorbonne became the seat of the academic of Paris; and between Society of London in 1869, and when president of the society he 1816 and 1821 the faculties of theology (since disappeared), published in his addresses the results of original researches on science and literature were installed there. The university the structure and origin of limestones, and of the non-calcareous library was transferred to the Sorbonne in 1823. In 1868 was stratified rocks (1879-188o). He had previously been president organized the Ecole des Hautes Etudes, and in 1897 the Ecole of the Royal Microscopical Society. He wrote on the construcdes Chartes also found its home at the Sorbonne. tion and use of the micro-spectroscope in the study of animal In 1852 the Sorbonne was made the property of the city of and vegetable colouring matter, and in later essays he dealt Paris; a reconstruction of the buildings, projected by Napoleon with such varied subjects as the microscopical structure of iron III., was begun in 1884, under the architectural direction of and steel, and the temperature of the water in estuaries. He Nenot, and completed in 1889. The old church containing the also applied his skill in making preparations of invertebrate tomb of Richelieu was retained on account of its artistic merit. animals for lantern-slides. In 1882 he was elected president This new Sorbonne is one of the finest university edifices in the of Firth College, Sheffield. He died on the 9th of March world, and has developed into the chief French centre of learning. 1908. See A. Franklin, La Sorbonne (1875) ; Denifle, Documents relatifs SORCERY, magic, enchantment, witchcraft; the use of a la fondation de l'universite de Paris (x883); J. A. Randolph, supposed supernatural powers by the agency of evil spirits History of the Sorbonne. called forth by spells, incantations, &c., on the part of the
End of Article: SORBONNE

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