- Estienne Family
- French publishers and printers who created one of the most famous publishing firms of Renaissance Europe, noted for its publication of classical, biblical, and humanistic texts. The firm was founded at Paris by Henri I (ca. 1470-1520), whose publications embraced both medieval scholastic theology and humanism. His most famous humanistic author was Jacques Lefèvre d'Etaples. When Henri died in 1520, his widow turned management over to her second husband, Simon de Colines. In 1526 Robert I (1503-1559), a son of Henri I, took control and developed the press into one of the largest publishers in Europe, producing a total of about 500 titles. His editions included famous editions of the Bible in Greek, Latin, and Hebrew. In 1539 King Francis I appointed Robert as royal printer. The Paris theologians, however, found some of the notes in Estienne's Bibles heretical, and in 1550 Robert moved to Geneva, where he continued to publish Bibles and became a major printer of Protestant theologians, especially John Calvin. When Robert moved to Geneva, the Paris operations came under the control of his brother, Charles (ca. 1504-1564), who served as royal printer from 1551 to 1561.At Geneva, Robert I was succeeded by his eldest son, Henri II (1528-1598), a scholar of immense erudition and a publisher who specialized even more than his predecessors in the printing of Greek texts. His major publication was Thesaurus linguae Graecae (5 vols., 1572), which still remains a reference work of value for Greek scholars. He produced important editions of classical Greek authors and also continued his father's program of publishing Calvinist books. The Paris branch continued under the leadership of Robert II (1530-1571), who also succeeded to the title of royal printer. It continued under his widow and his son (Robert III) until 1631. The Geneva branch was headed by Paul (1566-1627) and then by Paul's son Antoine (1592-1674), who converted to Catholicism and moved back to Paris. He became royal printer and continued publishing until 1664.
Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. Charles G. Nauert. 2004.