Jiménez de Cisneros: On the Threshold of Spain's Golden Age

By Erika Rummel | Go to book overview

Appendix 1: The Constitution of
San Ildefonso College

The conduct of college residents was regulated by a constitution, drawn up in 1510. The following chapters, translated from the edition of Ramon Gonzáles Navarro, Universidad Complutense, Constitutiones originales cisnerianas (Alcalá, 1984), 180–347, give a picture of life in the college and the regulations governing it. A concise descriptive account can be found in Antonio Alvar Ezquerra’s “Le modèle universitaire d’Alcalá de Henares dans la première moitié du XVIe siècle,” in Les origines du Collège de France (1500–1560), ed. M. Fumaroli (Paris, 1998), 209–56.

The head of the college was the rector, who was elected annually by and from among the members of the college (collegiales). He was aided in his decisions by three councillors elected in the same fashion. The college also had twelve chaplains, whose duties included the administration of the college and who remained in office four years. Apart from the thirty-three regular members of the college, there were also porcionistas, laymen who paid for their board, and cameristas, who participated in the government of the college in their special area of expertise. A dozen servants, responsible for the household tasks, also lived in the college.


Chapter 1: The Members of the College

First of all, it has been our decision that in the College which we [Cisneros] have had constructed from the foundations within the walls of our city of Alcalá de Henares, with divine aid and under the name and protection of Saint Ildefonso, there will be thirty-three prebendaries [holders of stipendiary positions] in perpetuity. One of them will be the Head and Rector of the whole College and University. Apart from the aforesaid prebendaries, there will be in the same College twelve secular priests serving as chaplains … In addition there will be in the same College twelve familiares [housekeeping

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