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coeducational, autonomous state institution of higher learning in Rome. Founded in 1303 by Pope Boniface VIII, the university, known as the studium urbis ("place of study of the city"), operated for a time alongside the studium curiae ("place of study of the [Papal] court"), founded 1244-45. Under Pope Leo X (1513-21), the two institutions were fused into one University of Rome, housed in a building called Sapienza ("wisdom"), which for centuries gave its name to the university.