408. Constitutional Conventions: the Huguenots

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Protestant French thinkers like François Hotman and Theodore Beza propose a radical political philosophy: the king rules at the pleasure of his subjects.



Further Reading

• J.H. Franklin, Constitutionalism and Resistance in the Sixteenth Century: Three Treatises by Hotman, Beza, and Mornay (New York: 1969).

• G. Garnett (trans.), Vindiciae, contra tyrannos (Cambridge: 1994).

• R.E. Giesey (ed.) and J.H.H. Salmon (trans.), Francogallia by François Hotman (Cambridge: 1972).

• H. Kurz (trans.), Etienne de La Boétie: The Politics of Obedience. The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude (Auburn AL: 2008).


• W.F. Church, Constitutional Thought in Sixteenth-Century France: a Study in the Evolution of Ideas (Cambridge: 1941).

B. Diefendorf, Beneath the Cross: Catholics and Huguenots in Sixteenth-Century Paris (New York: 1991).

D. Kelley, François Hotman: a Revolutionary’s Ordeal (Princeton: 1973).

• N.O. Keohane, Philosophy and the State in France: the Renaissance to the Enlightenment (Princeton: 1980).

• J.H. Franklin, Constitutionalism and Resistance in the Sixteenth Century (New York: 1969).

K.A. Parrow, “From Defense to Resistance: Justification of Violence during the French Wars of Religion,” Transactions of the American Philosophical Society 83 (1993) 1-79.

Q. Skinner, The Foundations of Modern Political Thought, Volume 2: The Age of Reformation (Cambridge: 1978).

J. Witte Jr, “Rights, Resistance, and Revolution in the Western Tradition: Early Protestant Foundations,” Law and History Review 26 (2008), 545-70.


Phillip Pomfret on 7 March 2023

Episode 408.

Is it possible to get the text of this episode? On the episodes that I have most interest in, you have such a huge amount of information to get across, I find your speech a little to fast to keep up with. 

Thank you for your work, I have listened to all 408 episodes to date.

WG on 27 April 2023

Are you a Socrates or a Hotman?

Finally, a philosopher who cares about how he looks.

In reply to by WG

Peter Adamson on 28 April 2023


Ha! I thought about doing a joke along those lines but your version is better than anything I came up with.

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