Dolet, Étienne(ātyĕn` dôlā`), 1509–46, French scholar, painter, and printer of Lyons. He wrote treatises on French grammar, poems, a short history of Francis I, and works in Latin about Cicero. In 1538 he issued from his own press the important Commentarii linguae Latinae, which was of great influence on the French Renaissance. The fame and prosperity of his presses and his translation of the Bible and of the Axiochus into French brought him trouble with the authorities. He was arrested, convicted of heresy, and executed. His L'Enfer d' Étienne Dolet is a poem about his life in prison.
Born 1509, in Orleans; died Aug. 3, 1546, in Paris. French humanist.
Dolet studied at the University of Padua and then in the law faculty of the University of Toulouse. While a student at the latter university, he criticized, publicly and in epigrams that circulated from hand to hand, the city authorities and castigated them for their religious fanaticism. Banned from Toulouse, Dolet moved to Lyon, which was the center of French free thought in the 16th century, and founded a printing press there in 1538. Dolet published the authors of antiquity, his own philological and philosophical writings, and works by other humanists, including the two volumes of Rabelais, Gargantua and Pantagruel, leaving out the author’s corrections that softened the accusatory tone of the volumes. In Commentaries on the Latin Language, Dolet expressed doubt in the truth of religious dogma. In 1539 he supported a strike of the workers of the printing presses in Lyon and accepted the demands of his own apprentices. Dolet was arrested in 1544 and sent to Paris to be tried by the parliament; he was accused of publishing outlawed books and of atheism and was sentenced to death. A monument to Dolet was erected in 1889 at Place Maubert in Paris, where he was executed.
WORKSCommentarorium linguae latinae, vols. 1-2. Lyon, 1536-38.
REFERENCELivshits, R. V. “E. Dole.” In Tr. Leningradskogo gos. bibliotechnogo in-ta im. N. K. Krupskoi, vol. 2. Leningrad, 1957.
F. A. KOGAN-BERNSHTEIN