- La Boétie, Etienne de
- (1530-1563)French humanist, author, and translator. He was educated in law and had a public career in the Parlement of Bordeaux. He translated classical texts by Plutarch and Xenophon into French. His Mémoire sur la pacification des troubles / On the Pacification of the Civil Wars, though not published until the 20th century, took a conservative stance on the problems of theFrench Wars of Religion, insisting that since two rival religious could not coexist peacefully in the same society, only Catholicism should be legally permitted despite his repugnance to the use of force to suppress intellectual disagreements. His best-known work, Discours de la servitude volontaire / On Voluntary Servitude (1574), denounces tyranny and was used by the Huguenot party in the civil wars to justify their cause, even though it also maintained that individuals are obligated to submit to the traditional laws of their country. La Boétie is best known in French literary history as an intimate friend of Michel de Montaigne, who devoted one of his most famous essays, "On Friendship," to the memory of their friendship.
Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. Charles G. Nauert. 2004.