Teaching Mathematics and Astronomy in France: The Collège Royal (1550–1650)
For a long time, the medieval university maintained relative consistency throughout Europe in teaching topics and methods. But between 1550 and 1650 this came to an end. The evolution concerned the content of the courses and, to a lesser extent, the way the field was taught. The impact of these changes varied greatly from place to place, and new knowledge was not processed and accepted in a consistent way. Differences became more striking and different places tended to develop in different directions. This is the rationale for my proposal to study the Collège Royal, a pivotal institution of the French educational system, which was founded by François 1er in 1530. I propose, at first, a brief survey of a century of mathematics at the Collège, to determine the place of astronomy in the teaching, and, secondly, I examine how the Collège Royalwas influenced by the main transformations of the discipline. My conclusion is that although the Collègemay at first appear to be a rather conservative institution, upon closer examination this view need to be partly revised.