- Collège Royal
- The present-day Collège de France has long regarded itself as the descendant of the pre-revolutionary Collège Royal and traces its foundation back to a group of lecturers appointed by King Francis I in 1530 to promote humanistic studies in France. In reality, however, the king merely appointed four leading scholars to teach publicly in Paris on the humanistic subjects to which each was assigned. These lectureships had an ill-defined and often troubled relationship with the well-established and predominantly anti-humanist University of Paris, which tried to establish its own super-visory power, guaranteed by its 13th-century charter, over all higher-level teaching in Paris. Two of the initial lecturers taught Greek and two taught Hebrew, the biblical languages. Additional appointments in the next few years added lectures in mathematics and in classical (that is, Ciceronian) Latin. The so-called Collège had no corporate structure, no degree-granting function, and until the early 17th century not even a building of its own: the lectures were held in various buildings of the university.The king's act in initiating this series of lectureships was partly the result of agitation by French humanists, especially Guillaume Budé, who were inspired by the founding of trilingual (Latin-Greek-Hebrew) colleges at Alcalá in Spain and Louvain in the Netherlands. Francis, who fancied himself a great patron of arts and letters, announced a plan to create a similar French institution as early as 1517, but his political and territorial ambitions, which involved him in costly wars, delayed the first steps toward fulfillment of the plan until 1530.
Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. Charles G. Nauert. 2004.