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  • Students and Teachers at the University of Paris: The Generation of 1500. A Critical Edition of Bibliothèque de l'Université de Paris (Sorbonne), Archives, Registres 89 and 90
  • Olivier Pédeflous
Students and Teachers at the University of Paris: The Generation of 1500. A Critical Edition of Bibliothèque de l'Université de Paris (Sorbonne), Archives, Registres 89 and 90. Edited by James K. Farge, [Education and Society in the Middle Ages and Renaissance,Vol. 25] (Leiden, Boston: Brill. 2006. Pp. xxxiv, 617. $ 204.00)

This book constitutes a new stage in the documentation and reassessment of the history of the University of Paris that James Farge has continued to produce with passion and skill for more than thirty years. Lots of scholars interested in Late Medieval and Early Modern Paris are very indebted to him for his valuable publications on the subject. In this latest work Father Farge provides us with very rich material about the history of the University of Paris ca. 1500. And, although the two Sorbonne registers 89 and 90 were already known and used by himself in his previous publications, he gives now a complete transcription of these paleographically challenging documents. A clear introduction gives an authoritative study of these registers, explaining both the main characters of the data and their general interest, thanks to a convincing balance between description and commentary. There is no doubt that the work will remain a classic in Early Modern historiography and the University of Paris studies.

To be precise, the two archival manuscripts, conserved in the Rare Books of the Sorbonne Library, contain the credentials established for the certificates of study granted in 1512–15 to students in the Faculty of Arts in order to apply for privileges and benefices reserved to university graduates. The documents contain not only personal data about the students but also the names and often signatures of teachers who certify their studies. By a patient collation of these two registers with other archival records of the University, such as the Rotuli nominandorum, the author was able to identify their dioceses of origin and the colleges they attended. Obviously, this study is directly helpful for prosopographers who want to evaluate the part of each college within the University. This edition will throw light upon social connections and affiliations between students and teachers. The traditional picture of college enrolment is very likely to change because of these new data. It seems clear that some of the smaller colleges such as Cambrai, the Lombards or La Marche, sometimes over-represented in the liminal material of the editions on the grounds of Girolamo Aleandro's presence in those colleges, are hardly insignificant or even missing. As for scholars working on Cultural History, they shall also turn the book to their advantage: these documents also provide information about the university activity of famous personalities in the humanistic circle of Lefèvre d'Etaples and of the leading French, Scottish, and Spanish Nominalists who studied and taught in Paris. The book furnishes a precious starting material to relate the career of some of the 998 students who supplicate here to personalities known previously from the notarial minutes published by Ernest Coyecque,1 the archives of the Parlement de [End Page 373] Paris,2 and the Registre des insinuations du Châtelet.3 Students and teachers appearing here are also found in liminal texts opening contemporaneous editions. All these documents should be exploited in the ambitious project of a comprehensive database of Paris graduates between 1500 and 1530 planned by James Farge (p. xxiv). The reader will find eight very useful indices registering names of the students and teachers, of the different colleges, of the dioceses whom students belong to. Consulting systematically the liminal material of the contemporaneous editions should help to identify some students and teachers, hidden behind the Latin names. I would add some details about the identification of these names: Robert Cesar is Robert de Keysere, François and Jacques de Bosco are the brothers Dubois. As for Vaudequin Thivet, the exlibris that we could read in a copy of Pindar (Bibliothèque Municipale de Rouen, J O 199)4 and in Ravisius Textor...


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