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Francois Hotman: A Revolutionary's Ordeal

Francois Hotman: A Revolutionary's Ordeal

Copyright Date: 1973
Pages: 389
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    Francois Hotman: A Revolutionary's Ordeal
    Book Description:

    The lifetime of Francois Hotman (1524-1590) was one of the most tumultuous periods in European history. Donald R. Kelley shows how this protégé of Calvin and agent of many of the great Protestant princes became involved in ecclesiastical politics, Huguenot diplomacy, and conspiracy.

    One of the first modern revolutionaries, Hotman rebelled not only against his family and its faith, but against the laws and eventually the government of his country. As an embittered exile lie produced a voluminous body of propaganda aimed at recovering a lost political and religious innocence on which to found a new community. At the same time he was one of the greatest and most versatile scholars of his age, achieving distinction as a jurist, teacher, classical scholar, dialectician, theologian, and historian. HisFranco-GialliaandAnti-Tribonianhave fascinated generations of political theorists, and his letters, reports, and anonymous works are of inestimable value to historians.

    Originally published in 1973.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-6972-5
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Preface
    (pp. vii-xiv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. xv-2)
  4. I. Introduction: An Age of Revival Europe, 1525
    (pp. 3-10)

    The great news of the year was the defeat of the French by the imperial army at Pavia. The epic struggle of the Hapsburg and Valois giants had ended on an unheroic note, and with Francis I languishing in a Spanish prison, only his “life and honor” intact, observers hardly knew what to expect. Charles V was not only without peer, he was without rival. There were ominous signs, it is true, in Germany, where the more resentful princes were in the process of forming an alliance to protect their hard-won liberties. But Charles’ Spanish kingdoms were peaceful, he was...

  5. II. The Making of a Protestant Paris, 1524-1548
    (pp. 11-41)

    It had been a hot, troubled, plague-threatened summer. The war with the Emperor was not going at all well. The shock of the Constable Bourbon’s treason was still fresh. Just two weeks earlier, his chancellor had been taken to the Bastille, and at this very moment the Constable himself was leading an attack against the walls of Marseille. In the city there had been an alarming increase in brigandage, owing to bands of hoodlums roving the streets.¹ Warnings went out to tavern keepers and to police sergeants, who were forbidden to drink with these bad boys, thesemauvais garçons. Some...

  6. III. In the Shadow of Calvin Geneva-Lausanne, 1548-1555
    (pp. 42-70)

    At the seance of the special court of the Parlement popularly called the Chambre Ardente, the “burning chamber,” a certain Pierre Bricquet of Moulins, charged with “blasphemies and Lutheran errors,” was brought from the prison of the Palais to hear his sentence. He was condemned to make “honorable amends” by attending High Mass in his church, bareheaded and barefoot, holding a lighted candle weighing a pound. Then he was to listen to a harangue against “heresy and the Lutheran sect” and to watch his books being burnt. Finally, he was to be whipped through the streets of Moulins for three...

  7. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  8. IV. A Confusion of Tongues Strasbourg, 1555-1558
    (pp. 71-98)

    Hotman arrived by boat at this multi-lingual, multi-confessional Protestant haven. Armed with a letter from Calvin, he was welcomed by Sturm, Sleidan, Peter Martyr, and other academic persons, and he set about the business of settling down with his family.¹ Unless he could recover his patrimony, he told his Swiss friends, he planned to stay here, and in fact Strasbourg remained his chief place of residence for eight years. Here he began to move out of Calvin’s shadow to some extent, though he was never able to escape from the penumbral influence entirely.

    Hotman’s move had been planned with some...

  9. V. The Time of the Tiger Strasbourg, 1558-1561
    (pp. 99-129)

    Reflecting upon the growing “tyranny” in Europe and the disunity among “those of the religion,” Hotman could not help feeling that the outlook was bleak.¹ As the war between France and England drew to a close and as hopes for reconciliation between Calvinists and Lutherans faded, official persecution was increasing at an alarming rate. In all of this, Hotman confided to Bullinger, he could plainly see the malign influence of the Cardinal of Lorraine. A few months younger than Hotman himself, this “tiger of France,” as Hotman would dub him two years later, was the most powerful ecclesiastical prince in...

  10. VI. The Time of the Whore Strasbourg, 1561-1563
    (pp. 130-167)

    Hotman’s devotion to his Cause had made him a dangerous man. “The Duke of Guise,” he told Philip of Hesse, not without a little pride, “has written to all princes in correspondence with the King of Navarre that I am a revolutionary [seditiosus et tumultuarius] and that my trips to Germany are intended only to discredit him and his brother.”¹ Unfortunately, that same devotion had put him slightly out of touch with political reality. Filled with resentment, unhappy memories, unreal hopes, and half-baked diplomatic designs, he did not seem to realize that in many ways he and his patron Antoine...

  11. VII. Interlude: An Age of Revolution Europe, 1564
    (pp. 168-178)

    So the whirlwind, long expected, had finally arrived, though Calvin, who died in May, was spared most of it; his successor Beza, who had said “Goodbye France” for the last time, was the one who had to ride it out. The world that now presented itself to his eyes was fearfully unfamiliar. The wars of France with the Hapsburgs had passed, and so had those with England, which had given up its last claims to Calais in the Treaty of Troyes signed on 13 April. Meanwhile a much worse conflict had descended upon Western Christendom, a conflict that was not...

  12. VIII. Toga and Sword Valence-Bourges, 1563-1571
    (pp. 179-204)

    Now In his fortieth year, François Hotman had returned to the safety, so he hoped, of the academy. Before settling into his new position at the University of Valence, he had passed through Lyon with the brother of his good friend Henri de Mesmes and had stopped there to visit other old friends. Already he had plunged into his scholarly work and just the day before had signed the dedication, addressed to the Chancellor de l’Hôpital, of his book on the Twelve Tables.¹ And once again he returned to the classroom.

    The university was just recovering from a disastrous period....

  13. IX. Machiavelli’s Holiday Geneva, 1572
    (pp. 205-226)

    Once again Hotman was paying a visit to Admiral Coligny.¹ Along with him came two of his students, Albert von Stettin and Hermann von Haas. Coligny welcomed them and showed them the gardens on his estate. It would be fascinating to know what confidences passed between him and Hotman on this, their last meeting, but all we have are a few recollections of the Admiral’s private life as Hotman set them down some months later. His days, and even his meals, were filled with prayers, sermons, and psalm-singing. At Châtillon he had established a school to indoctrinate children in the...

  14. X. Kulturkampf Geneva, 1573-1576
    (pp. 227-263)

    Hotman was now a confessed, though not quite a declared, revolutionary, and there is little doubt that St. Bartholomew pushed him over the line which he had long tried to avoid crossing. He revealed his feelings to his old friend Rudolph Gualter in this way: “We have recently learned that the French ambassador [Pomponne de Bellièvre] has been sent among your neighbors. He has complained to Bullinger that we have insulted the royal majesty. But how can there be any majesty in such a monster, and how can one accept one as a king a man who has spilled the...

  15. XI. De Profundis Geneva-Basel, 1576-1584
    (pp. 264-291)

    On this grim anniversary Hotman sat down to write a note to Louis, another of the Landgraves of Hesse. “When I see the condition of my fatherland,” he reflected, “it makes me think that I will be spending my old age in exile. But because it is God’s will that I should be honored with this burden in His name, I bear my cross not only with patience but even with joy.”¹ Instead of returning to France, where the fifth civil war was threatening to break out, Hotman continued to teach in Geneva and to cultivate his German acquaintances. In...

  16. XII. A Brutish Thunderbolt Geneva-Basel, 1584-1590
    (pp. 292-326)

    Another St. Bartholomew’s Day, at least as Protestants reckoned. Hotman had just passed his sixtieth birthday and now was busy making preparations for his return to Geneva. On this particular day, from his headquarters in Montauban, King Henry of Navarre sat down to write a letter urging him to rejoin the battle. “Monsieur Hotman,” he began, “our age is so perverse and licentious that we can see nothing but the most flagrant intrigues and plots. It is time to find a remedy for this. Your books have been so warmly received throughout Christendom, their reputation is so high, and your...

  17. XIII. Conclusion: An Age of Resolution Europe, 1594
    (pp. 327-334)

    The day of triumph for Politiques, of some satisfaction for Huguenots, of great joy for most Frenchmen not committed to parties. King Henry IV entered the city through the same gates by which his predecessor had left six years before. There was a brief encounter with some recalcitrant Swiss, who refused to join in the cries of “Vive le roi!” and who were, a few of them, killed and thrown into the Seine. But aside from this incident he was welcomed warmly and took over his capital, as he was proud to note, without the death of a single citizen....

  18. Appendices
    (pp. 335-346)
  19. Sources
    (pp. 347-360)
  20. Index
    (pp. 361-370)