Hotman, François

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Hotman, François

(fräNswä` ôtmäN), 1524–90, French jurist. Converted (1547) to Protestantism and implicated (1560) in the conspiracy of Amboise (see Amboise, conspiracy ofAmboise, conspiracy of,
1560, plot of the Huguenots (French Protestants) and the house of Bourbon to usurp the power of the Guise family, which virtually ruled France during the reign of the young Francis II.
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), he spent large parts of his life in Switzerland. In his most influential work, Franco-Gallia (1573), he was among the first to point out the Germanic origin of the early Frankish institutions, and on that basis he advocated an elective monarchy for France.


See studies by B. Reynolds (1931, repr. 1968) and D. R. Kelley (1973).

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.