I managed to find an old computer running the outdated Microsoft Windows 2000 Professionnal operating system. This computer had the old Beta Minecraft Launcher, which only went up to Minecraft 1.5.2. I retrieved the latest version of the Legacy Minecraft Launcher from this bug report, and it works fine.
However, Microsoft Windows 2000 only supports Java up to its version 6, that is to say Java 6 Update 45, which is an outdated and unsupported version of the Java Virtual Machine.
From the release 1.12 onwards, starting with snapshot 17w13a, Minecraft requires Java 8, which is only supported on Microsoft Windows XP (partially since Java 8 Update 51 or 60) and later. This means the computer can run Minecraft up to the release 1.11.2, and up to the snapshot 17w06a.
However, I am aware that Minecraft: Java Edition, being built on Java, can theoretically be recompiled with Java 6 targeting, thus producing Java 6-compatible JARs. However, Minecraft uses a large amount of various Java libraries which might or might not be compatible with Java 6.
Consequently, I wanted to know if there existed projects that allowed one to build the complete environment for Minecraft (Minecraft itself as well as its libraries) in order to target older or newer versions of the Java Virtual Machine.
Note: I can see the option of GNU/Linux coming, except the driver for the graphics card in the computer is no longer maintained and thus is not useable on modern kernels (NVIDIA GeForce Driver 340.108 I think).