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Collège des Dix-Huit (College of the Eighteen) is the earliest college of the University of Paris in France.
The college was founded in 1180 AD by an Englishman by the name of Josse to endow 18 scholars near to Notre Dame de Paris. It was based just south of the Rue des Poirées.
In Warriors of the Cloisters. The Central Origins of Science in the Medieval World (2012) Christopher Beckwith argued that this earliest European college was modeled on the Central Asian madrasa:
"By the period of Jocius's visit to the Near East, madrasas were very common there. Like the madrasa, the college is an all-inclusive academic institution with a permanent endowment recognized by the government. The endowment, in both the Islamic and Western European traditions, covered the expenses of the physical property and living support for the scholars—the students and their teacher or teachers—all of whom lived together in the same structure. Based on the brief description in the founding charter and what is known about other early colleges from the following decades, including the Sorbonne, the college founded by Jocius is identical in all particulars to the typical madrasa then widespread in Syria and its vicinity. They were endowed institutions, generally quite small, which housed a small number of students, typically less than two dozen; exactly like the Collège des Dix-huit and most of the other early colleges. Because Jerusalem is located inland, Jocius had necessarily spent time in the Islamic Near East—undoubtedly in Syria, which was one of the main destinations of merchants and pilgrims alike. There he must have encountered the local small type of madrasa on which he modeled the identical institution he founded in Paris, Europe's first college. The Near Eastern origin of the Western European college could hardly be clearer"
"We, Barbedor, dean of the church in Paris and the whole chapter of the same church, want it to be known to all, both present and future, that when Sir Josse of London returned from Jerusalem, having considered with the most careful devotion the assistance which is given to the poor and the sick in the hospital of Notre Dame (Blessed Mary) of Paris, he saw there a room in which, according to old custom, the poor clerics were lodged and, on our advice and that from Master Hilduin, Chancellor of Paris, then attorney of the same place, he acquired it in perpetuity for the price of 52 livres from the attorneys of the same house for the use of the said clerics, under the condition that the attorneys of that - these would provide 18 school children with suitable beds on a perpetual basis and each month twelve denarii taken from the alms which are collected in the safe. In return, said clerics should take turns carrying the cross and holy water in front of the corps of the deceased in the same house and celebrate each night seven psalms of penance and the prayers due and instituted formerly. In order for these provisions to remain firm and stable, said Josse has obtained that this charter of our institution be made by said clerics and requested that it be confirmed by the printing at the bottom of our seal. Made publicly in Paris, in our chapter, in the year of the Incarnation of the Lord 1180. "
It was finished during the reconstruction of the University.
- Beckwith, CI (2012). Warriors of the Cloisters: The Central Asian Origins of Science in the Medieval World. Princeton University Press. doi:10.23943/princeton/9780691155319.001.0001. ISBN 9780691155319.
- La fondation du collège des Dix-Huit (1180) / Classes BnF