Origin of the term "chair" in academia? When I was very young, I wondered why professors (heads of departments) were said to have a "chair" in such-and-such subject. I thought of the story about King Louis XIV of France who was said to have a chair in (their equivalent of) the cabinet room which doubled as a toilet. If, during a meeting with his ministers, he felt the need to... umm,... "go", he could just pop the lid of his chair and do his business right there without leaving the room. :yuck: Presumably someone would come and collect the royal "doings"? Or maybe not, since everyone knows that royal doings don't stink. So, I wondered if maybe those very important academics also needed a similar facility. More seriously though, what are the origins of the academic term "chair" ?