1594: Florimond de Raemond

French translation of De Corona Militis (and Ad Martyras?)


1594 : Florimond de RAEMOND, Erreur populaire de la Papesse Jane. Bordeaux: S.Millanges (1594).  Contains French translations of Tertullian, De Corona and Ad Martyras.  PL1 43B. Not checked  Reprinted 1599 (see this for more details).

[I have not seen a copy of this]


Barbara Sher TINSLEY, History and Polemic in the French Reformation; Florimond de Raemond: Defender of the Church.  Cranbury, NJ (1992), ISBN 0-945636-29-6.  Study with portrait.  Checked.  From this:

Florimond de RAEMOND was born in 1540 and was descended from the ancient counts of Toulouse.  He was sent to various colleges in the region as a young man where he was influenced by the rising tide of protestantism which was questioning the older customs and superstitions in the universities.  However after 1570, protestantism became less fashionable and Raemond became a fervent Catholic apologist.  As a magistrate in Bordeaux he was accused of anti-protestant actions.  He wrote three very successful books, and also edited the memoires (Commentaires) of the Catholic commander, Blaise de Monluc in 1592.  He did not dwell on Monluc's record of atrocities.

The first,  L'Erreur populaire de la Papesse Jane, examined the medieval legend of Pope Joan, and showed it to be a 13th century invention because of the presence of institutions from that period in the narratives.  The work is of interest for the history of textual criticism.  It first appeared anonymously in 1587 as a work of 68 pages; reissued in 1588 with 144 pages, and finally in 1594 with 316 pages, including translations of an essay by Tertullian, De Corona Militis [and Ad Martyras? or was this 1597?].  This edition was the first to bear the author's name: "Florimond de Raemond, conseiller du roy au Parlement de Bourdeaus." All three were published by S.Millanges of Bordeaux.  Later editions were renamed L'Anti-Papesse, to capitalise on the commercial success of his second work.  One of the Tertullian translations was dedicated to his friend, Geoffroy de Malvyn.

The second, L'Anti-Christ, attacked the protestant allegation that the pope was the Anti-Christ.  It appeared in 1597.  [It may have contained the first edition of the Ad Martyras].

The third, L'Histoire de la naissance, progrèz et décadence de l'hérésie de ce siècle, chronicled the rise of protestantism.  It was incomplete on his death and appeared in 1605 after the author's death with additions by his son.  It contains details of Calvin's life at Angoulême which Raemond must have gathered as a young man when he was attracted to Calvinism, and which are otherwise unknown.

His writing was brilliant but polemical and sarcastic; popular rather than scholarly.  His works ran to 37 editions, 32 before 1682.  On his death he was described as 'a very great man' and he was laid in the same church as his friend Montaigne.  But after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes and the expulsion of the protestants, his works were only of historical interest.  The rough enthusiasm of the writer did not commend itself to the polished civility of the succeeding century.  Attempts had already been made to blacken his name, or to assign his works to others.  Thereafter he was forgotten.  The first biography, Philip Tamizey de Larroque, Essai sur la vie et les ouvrages de Florimond de Raemond (1867) only contained the facts of his life.  However Larroque did praise the translations of Tertullian as the best then made.


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