Faculté des lettres de Paris

The faculté des lettres de Paris was a French educational institution based at the Sorbonne. It was set up by the imperial decree regarding the University of France on 17 March 1808. It partly succeeded the arts faculty of the former University of Paris. In 1896 it was joined to four other faculties in Paris to form the new University of Paris. Following the loi Faure of 8 October 1970, it was divided into the universities Paris-I, Paris-III, Paris-IV, Paris-V and Paris-VII in 1970.

La Sorbonne, seat of the faculté des lettres de Paris
The institut de géographie within the faculté des lettres of the université de Paris


Its first statutes were put in place by the university's council on 16 February 1810. Each professor taught two 90-minute lessons each week. The university year began in December and lasted eight months. The faculty ran nine courses:

  • ancient Greek literature
  • Latin prose or 'éloquence latine'
  • Latin poetry
  • French prose or 'éloquence française'
  • French poetry
  • philosophy
  • history of philosophy
  • ancient and modern history
  • ancient and modern geography