François Hotman

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Hotman, François


(Franciscus Hotomanus). Born Aug. 23, 1524, in Paris; died Feb. 12, 1590, in Basel. French jurist and writer on political subjects; a monarchomach.

Hotman taught Roman law in Paris, Lyon, Geneva, Lausanne, Strasbourg, Valence, and Bourges. He converted from Catholicism to Calvinism in 1547 and took an active part in disseminating the teachings of J. Calvin. In 1572, after the Massacre of St. Bartholomew, he left France and lived first in Geneva and then in Basel.

Hotman is the author of a number of juridical treatises and political pamphlets, the most significant of which is Franco-Gallia (1573). Directed against royal absolutism, this work defends limited monarchy, the political privileges of the feudal aristocracy, and the right to depose a “tyrant” who violates these privileges.


Opera, vols. 1–3. Lyon, 1599–1600.
References in periodicals archive ?
10 Donald Kelley, Francois Hotman: A Revolutionary's Ordeal (Princeton, 1973), 296, 298-9; Church, Constitutional Thought in Sixteenth-Century France, 158; De Lamar Jensen, Diplomacy and Dogmatism (Cambridge, Mass., 1964), 48; Beatrice Reynolds, Proponents of Limited Monarchy in Sixteenth-Century France Francis Hotman and Jean Bodin (New York, 1931), 78; Paul Lawrence Rose, "Bodin and the Bourbon Succession to the French Throne, 1583-1594," Sixteenth Century Journal 9 (1978): 77.