HOTMAN, Francois

(1524-1590)
Francois Hotman was a French legal scholar and historian who strengthened the case for resistance to kings by writing about the elective nature of the early Frankish monarchy. A native Parisian who received his doctorate in law at Orleans, Hotman converted to Protestantism in 1547 and pursued a career teach­ing law. With the outbreak of the French Wars of Religion in 1562, Hotman took up his pen to criticize members of the powerful Guise family, the principal Catholic advisors of King Charles IX. In the wake of the 1572 St. Bartholo­mew s Day Massacre, in which upwards of thousands of Protestants (called Huguenots by their opponents) in the city of Paris and a dozen other cities were murdered by Catholic mobs, Hotman fled to Geneva and finally settled in Basle.
Hotman s greatest work, the Francogallia (1573), was a constitutional history of France that offered support to emerging Protestant theories of resistance to the monarchy. The author accomplished this second goal by presenting historical evidence for the elective nature of the early French monarchy. He also empha­sized the integral nature of a public advisory council that represented the inter­ests of the entire population.
In Hotman s day that council was the Estates General, but the Francogallia insisted that this and earlier councils held ultimate power in the French state. Councils could create and depose monarchs, shared in the most important de­cisions relating to the kingdom, including taxation, and participated in the reg­ulation of religious matters. According to Hotman, the Roman Catholic church had exercised a malign influence on the public council in recent centuries, dis­torting the original mandate in the interests of the majority religion.
Hotman s legal antiquarianism placed the author within the mainstream of humanist scholarly researches. The study of ancient texts and state documents, which in Hotman s hands established the origins of a "mixed constitution" in early Frankish culture, provided contemporaries with a justification for political action against the centralizing state in an age of religious and civil conflict. By arguing in favor of an elective monarchy, Hotman provided Protestant opponents of the French Catholic monarchy with historical precedent for their cause.
Bibliography
D. Kelley, Francois Hotman: A Revolutionary's Ordeal, 1973.
William Spellman

Renaissance and Reformation 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary. . 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Hotman, François — ▪ French jurist in full  François Hotman, Sieur (sire) de Villiers Saint Paul , Latin  Franciscus Hotomanus  born Aug. 23, 1524, Paris, Fr. died Feb. 12, 1590, Basel, Switz.       French jurist and one of the most learned of humanist scholars,… …   Universalium

  • Francois Hotman — François Hotman Pour les articles homonymes, voir Hotman. François Hotman François Hotman, né à Paris le 23 août …   Wikipédia en Français

  • François Hotman — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda François Hotman François Hotman, nacido en París el 23 de agosto de 1524 y muerto en Basilea el 12 de febrero de 1590, fue un abogado y escritor francés. Tradicio …   Wikipedia Español

  • François Hotman — François Hotman. François Hotman (latinisiert auch Franciscus Hotomanus, gelegentlich Hottomannus oder Hotomannus geschrieben) (* 23. August 1524 in Paris; † 12. Februar 1590 in Basel) war ein humanistisch geprägter französischer Rechtsgelehrter… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Francois Douaren — Franciscus Duarenus (eigentlich: Duarein, latinisiert: Franciscus Duarenus, auch: François Douaren) (* 1509 bei Saint Brieuc; † 23. Juli 1559 in Bourges) war ein französischer Rechtsgelehrter und Professor an der Universität von Bourges. Leben… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • François Hotman — (August 23, 1524 February 12, 1590), was a French Protestant lawyer and writer, associated with the legal humanists and with the monarchomaques, who struggled against absolute monarchy. His firstname, is often written Francis in English. His… …   Wikipedia

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