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Western European writers and publicists of the second half of the 16th and early 17th centuries who opposed absolutism.

The monarchomachs denied the divine origin of royal authority, believing that sovereignty belongs to the people. The people empower the monarch on a contractual basis; accordingly, they have the right to overthrow him if he violates the conditions of the contract, thus becoming a tyrant, and even to kill him.

The monarchomachs did not constitute a unified tendency in philosophy; depending on concrete historical conditions, they reflected the interests of different social strata such as the growing bourgeoisie in England and the Netherlands or the feudal elite in France. Employing the term “the people,” the monarchomachs in fact meant the bourgeoisie or the nobility, never the popular masses. The French monarchomachs in particular sought not the elimination of the monarchy but rather its limitation by institutions representing the various social estates.

Monarchomach theories were often advanced in the course of the religious-political struggle of this period. Among those developing such ideas were the Calvinists P. Du Plessis-Mornay and F. Hotman in France, J. Althusius in Germany, and G. Buchanan in Scotland; the Catholic J. Boucher in France, one of the founders of the Holy League of 1584–94; and the Jesuits J. de Mariana and F. Suarez in Spain.


References in periodicals archive ?
Les traites' monarchomaques: Confusion des temps, resistance armee et monarchie parfaite (1560-1600)
With the publication of the Les traites monarchomaques so soon after the appearance of his edited collection Et de sa bouche sortait un glaive (2006), Paul-Alexis Mellet has established himself as the preeminent current scholar of the so-called Monarchomaque approach to armed resistance to tyranny that emerged in the late sixteenth century.
Les traites monarchomaques is divided into three main sections.
First of all, embroiled with Agamemnon for a second time in this scene over the contradiction between condoning Iphigenia's sacrifice and forbidding Polyxena's, Pyrrhus calls Agamemnon a "tyrant." Not only does "tyrant" not appear in the Senecan source which Garnier has been otherwise closely following, but the term of course comes to acquire a heavy political connotation during the wars of religion and particularly in the thought of the monarchomaques. (8) For the author of one of the most famous monarchomaque texts, Theodore de Beze, a tyrant is one who "orders something manifestly irreligious or unjust".
(8) See the article "Monarchomaques" in Jouanna 1109-1111.
La eleccion de representantes con apego al principio de la soberania popular era practicada en Europa desde la Baja Edad Media y, en Francia, monarquia de inconstante parlamentarismo, habia sido reclamada por los monarchomaques y la Fronda en el siglo XVII y por los enciclopedistas en el XVIII.
Even the king and the queen (Charles IX, Catherine of Medici, and Henry III) were not spared by the doctrine of the Monarchomaques, who threatened the authority of the king.
Et de sa bouche sortait un glaive: Les monarchomaques au XVIe Siecle.
There was, of course, no historical school of thought or movement tied to the so-called monarchomaques. The figures whose names are included under that label were wide-ranging in their intellectual backgrounds, religious and political agendas, and theoretical proposals.
Includes: Thierry Menissier, "La place des Monarchomaques dans le debat sur les relations d'obeissance au XVI siecle"; Cornel Zwierlein, "La loi de Dieu et l'obligation a la defense: de Florence a Magdeburg (1494-1550)"; Paul-Alexis Mellet, "Nouveaux espaces et autre temps: le probleme de la Saint-Barthelemy et l'horizon europeen des Monarchomaques"; Hugues Daussy, "L'insertion des Vindiciae contra tyrannos dans le combat politique aux Pays-Bas"; Robert M.
Lea Ambassadears de Mathieu de Morgues er de Jose de Pellicer y Tovar"; Hubert Carrier, "Des guerres de religion a Ia Frond e, l'hdrirage des monarchomaques dans lea Mazarinades"; and Frank Learringan, "Musset er la Renaissance."