Comptes rendus / Tijdschrift voor Rechtsgeschiedenis 79 (2011) 553-582 565 © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2011 DOI: 10.1163/157181911X596466 Etienne Dolet, De officio legati , De immunitate legatorum , De legationibus Ioannis Langiachi Episcopi Lemovicensis , Texte établi, traduit, introduit et commenté par David Amherdt. [Les classiques de la pensée politique, 23], Genève 2010. 158 p. Etienne Dolet (1508–1546) was a French humanist who, born in Orléans, went to Paris to study. In 1530 he accepted the post of secretary to Jean de Langeac, bishop of Limoges (Langeac ? – Paris 1541). Dolet could not resist to defy ecclesiastical authori- ties, a trait which brought him into conflict with censorship and which would, in the end, lead to his execution in Paris as heretic 1 . Langeac, of distinguished descent, took orders and made an ecclesiastical career, but next to that he proved to be an out standing diplomat. Many times he was sent on an embassy by the French king Francis I 2 . Dolet accompanied him on his embassy to Venice in 1528–1529. After having suffered for a long time from bad health, Langeac died on 22 May 1541. It is in this year that Dolet published his book which he dedicated to his protector (who just lived to see it; p. 9). As such Dolet’s work precedes works like Gentili’s De legationibus libri tres of 1582 3 . It consists of three parts. The first, De officio legati , deals first with the qualities needed in an ambassador, and second with his functions and how he should execute them. The second part, De immunitate legatorum , treats of the immunity accorded to ambassadors (immunity in Antiquity, immunity nowadays and the difference between these). This parts ends with an eulogy on Langeac. It serves as introduction to the third part of the book, a honorific poem on the various embassies of Jean de Langeac, De legationibus Ioannis Langiachi Episcopi Lemovicensis , in the style of the day. Amherdt has taken the original and only edition of the work as basis for his edition and translated the text. The commentary consists of an introduction to the work as such (p. 9–13), of an introduction to each separate part (resp. p. 13–25, 25–28 and 28–40), with ample references; and of many footnotes in the translation. A bibliography and index close the edition. As translation, and because of this commentary, it will be most useful to those who study the history and development of international diplomacy in the early modern times, and it has rendered a work of a French humanist accessible to a wider public. A.J.B. Sirks Oxford 1 He was executed on the Place Maubert, where a statue commemorates him (p. 1; the biblio- graphy provides the literature on Dolet). 2 Amherdt provides a survey of Langeac’s career and embassies on p. 32–34 and the literature on him on p. 30 note 63. Since Langeac was appointed to several considerable posts in 1501, we may assume that his birth will have been some 25 years or more before. 3 Armherdt gives a brief survey on p. 11–13, with further references.
The Legal History Review / Tijdschrift voor Rechtsgeschiedenis / Revue d'Histoire du Droit – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2011
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