Statuta Collegii Sapientiae

Statuta Collegii Sapientiae – J. Thorbecke – 8140 (A0105) – Universitätsarchiv Freiburg (Freiburg, Germany)

Freiburg im Breisgau (Germany) — 1497

Rules for student cohabitation written between 1496 and 1501: the founding of one of the oldest student dormitories in Germany to provide for destitute students in Freiburg

  1. Johannes Kerer (ca. 1430–1506) sought to provide room and board for twelve poor students

  2. Kerer created the charitable dormitory after benefiting from a similar scholarship in Heidelberg

  3. Interesting vignettes and amusing marginalia illuminate nearly every page of the 1497 version

Statuta Collegii Sapientiae

8140 (A0105) Universitätsarchiv Freiburg (Freiburg, Germany)
  1. Description
  2. Facsimile Editions (1)
Statuta Collegii Sapientiae

Founded by Johannes Kerer in 1495, the Collegium Sapientiae is the oldest dormitory in Freiburg im Breigau and one of the oldest in Germany. It was originally established to provide room and board for twelve destitute students because Kerer had benefitted from a similar scholarship in Heidelberg during his studies. After the original building was destroyed in World War II, a new dormitory was built in 1968, which incorporated a few surviving elements of the Gothic structure and houses one hundred students today. Kerer personally wrote the Statuta Collegii Sapientiae or Statutes of the Collegium Sapientiae in Freiburg University between 1496 and 1501. The 1497 version is preserved in this manuscript, nearly every page of which is beautifully illuminated with interesting vignettes and amusing marginalia.

Statuta Collegii Sapientiae

Today, 51 different endowments support the studies of students and scholars at the University of Freiburg. The oldest, established only decades after the university itself, is the Collegium Sapientiae or “College of Wisdom”, which provides housing and a stipend for poor students at the university and was established by the son of a poor weaver, Johannes Kerer. The Gothic structure that housed the original twelve recipients of the scholarship still stands in the Herrenstraße and is marked by a plaque. Today, the modern dormitory in the Lorettostraße houses hundreds of students including many international students. The rules governing their life, which consists of 88 articles illustrated by masterfully designed and lovingly colored miniatures that gives us a glimpse into the life of a student in the late-15th century, are preserved in this manuscript from 1497.

The Life of Johannes Kerer

Johannes Kerer was born in Wartheim, Franconia and was able to attend the University of Heidelberg after receiving a scholarship, earning an advanced degree. He enjoyed a successful career in academia and died a relative wealthy man capable of supporting students who came from similar circumstances. Kerer came to Freiburg in 1457, the year the university was established, and taught theology while also serving as the city pastor at the cathedral. He later became the auxiliary bishop of Augsburg, where he died in 1507, but his gravestone was eventually transferred back to Freiburg where he was revered for his charity.


Alternative Titles
Statutes of the Collegium Sapientiae in Freiburg University
Statuten des Collegiums Sapientiae der Universität Freiburg
Regulations for the students at the Collegium Sapientiae of the University of Freiburg im Breisgau
Artist / School

Available facsimile editions:
Facsimile Editions

#1 The Statutes of the Collegium Sapientiae in Freiburg University

J. Thorbecke – Constance, 1957

Publisher: J. Thorbecke – Constance, 1957
Commentary: 1 volume by Josef H. Beckmann
Language: German
1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size) Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
Facsimile Copy Available!
Price Category: €
(under 1,000€)
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