War, Domination, and the Monarchy of France

Claude de Seyssel and the Language of Politics in the Renaissance


Claude de Seyssel's important political treatise, The Monarchy of France (1515) illuminates the link between warfare, the state, and the social order in the Renaissance. Raised and educated in Turin, Seyssel entered the service of the French king to facilitate the French invasion of Italy. His wide experience as a jurist, royal counselor, diplomat, propagandist, translator, historian, and prelate informed his unique political perspective. As a witness to the failures of the French in the Italian Wars, he maintained that successful conquest and occupation resulted from superior discipline and order as well as from the elimination of social conflict. In his view, a state with a well-ordered system of law and a wide base of popular support was best-suited to conquer and maintain an empire. His application of Italian political language to French society and government produced a vision of war, politics, and society with radical implications for French history.
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Biographical Note

Rebecca Ard Boone, Ph.D. (2000) in History, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, is Assistant Professor of History at Lamar University. She has written articles on early modern diplomacy, noble culture, and the Italian Wars.

Table of contents

List of Maps and Illustrations


1. In medias res: The Life of Claude de Seyssel
2. The Scholar Diplomat
3. The Translator of Histories
4. Seyssel in Italy: A Scholar looks at War
5. The Scholar and the State
6. Seyssel, the Church, and the Ideal Prelate



All those interested in the Renaissance, intellectual history, political thought, early modern France and Italy, Catholic reform, translation, and historiography.


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