François Baudouin

François Baudouin (1520–1573), also called Balduinus, was a French jurist, Christian controversialist and historian. Among the most colourful of the noted French humanists, he was respected by his contemporaries as a statesman and jurist, even as they frowned upon his perceived inconstancy in matters of faith: he was noted as a Calvinist who converted to Catholicism.


He was born at Arras, then part of the Empire, and educated in the convent school at St. Vaast. Baudouin studied law in the University of Leuven with Mudaeus. He settled as an advocate in Arras, where he continued his studies, but was banned from the town in 1545 on charges of heresy due to his Calvinist leanings. He went to the court of the Emperor Charles V at Brussels, and then travelled extensively.

After brief stays in Paris, Strasbourg and Geneva – where he met and became an enemy of Calvin – he settled in 1549 in Bourges as a doctor and then professor of law, as a colleague of Baro and Duarenus. Rivalries with the latter led him to move to Strasbourg and, 1555, to Heidelberg, where his academic career reached its apogee.

Leaving his chair to engage in European confessional politics, Baudouin was unsuccessful in assisting with attempts to reconcile the Roman Catholic Church and the Reformation, for instance in the failed Colloquy at Poissy, and in mediation efforts in the Netherlands. In 1563, he re-converted to Catholicism and in 1569, he was called again to teach law at Angers. Before he could accompany his patron, Henry of Anjou – now King of Poland – to Kraków, he died 1573 in Paris of a fever.


Baudouin was a prolific writer on juridical and ecclesiastical topics. As a jurist, he established the palingenetic method of presentation of legal sources. His works include many substantial commentaries on Roman law. He was the first to reconstruct the original legislation of Justinian and to authenticate a text (the ‘Octavius’) of the early Christian writer Minucius Felix (200-400). Baudouin had produced a monograph on the Emperor Constantine in 1556.

He wrote a study of a major dispute between Catholics and Donatists (and the Emperor Constantine's first large-scale dealing with the Christian church), the episcopal election of Carthage in 313.

Selected bibliography


External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 3/30/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.