Saving France in the 1580s

Writings of Etienne Pasquier

by James H. Dahlinger (Author)
©2014 Monographs VIII, 132 Pages


Etienne Pasquier (1529–1615) was a renowned magistrate of the Parliament of Paris, a poet, an advisor to the last Valois kings as well as to Henri IV, and a founder of modern French historiography. This book examines Pasquier’s use of various genres: the dialogue, the published correspondence, and ecclesiastic history as well as his self-fashioning and his recognition by posterity for his efforts to protect the French state against threats both real and invented during the French Civil Wars of Religion. Pasquier strategically casts the Jesuits as the enemy to aid his self-construction as guardian of France and her political survival.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the Author
  • About the Book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • Acknowledgments
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Pasquier’s Self-Fashioning as the Ideal Public Servant
  • 1. Pasquier and the Idea of Self-Fashioning
  • 2. The Stoical Garden: Early Goals and Sensibilities Remembered in Pasquier’s Later Correspondence
  • 3. Diversions and Salon Life in the Service of Pasquier’s Construction of Self
  • 4. “Making Books” and Petrarcan Imitation for Mental Hygiene as a Lasting Testimony of Pasquier’s Character
  • 5. “Le Service des dames,” and Pasquier’s Professional Advancement
  • 6. Poetry and Pasquier’s Tribute to Celebrated Ladies
  • 7. The Cardinal de Lorraine
  • 8. Pasquier’s Relationship with Fellow Jurist-Poets and with the Dames Des Roches
  • 9. Constructing His Image as Defender of the State Against Invented Enemies
  • 10. Pasquier’s Fashioning of His Sons’ Careers
  • 3. Law, Custom and the Individual, Revisited in the Pourparlers
  • 1. The Pourparler du prince
  • 2. Le Pourparler de la Loy
  • 3. Le Pourparler d’Alexandre
  • 4. Law and the Christian Tradition in France
  • 1. Gallicanism and French Relations with the Popes
  • 2. Heresies of the Past to Be Avoided in the Interests of National Unity
  • 3. Pasquier’s Personal Piety and Appeals to His Reader
  • 4. Religion, Law and the Need for Continuity
  • 5. Book III in Relation to the Other Books of the Recherches de la France
  • 6. Pasquier’s Tone and Intentions in Book III
  • 7. Continuity with the Ecclesiastical Past
  • 8. Book III and Gallicanism
  • 9. A Central Theme in Pasquier’s Program: Attaining Good Counsel
  • 10. The Pallium
  • 11. Jean Gerson and Institutional Memory
  • 12. The Term “Huguenot” in Context
  • 5. Pasquier’s Reception in Posterity
  • 1. Under the Ancien Régime, the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
  • 2. The Chancellor Pasquier’s Edition of the Institutes de Justinian
  • 3. Léon Feugère and the “Selected Works” Series
  • 4. Maître Dupin as “Alter-Pasquier”
  • 5. Sainte-Beuve
  • 6. The Twentieth Century
  • 6. Conclusions
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Primary Sources
  • Secondary Sources
  • Index


I would like to thank editors Marie-Madeleine Fragonard and François Roudaut for their monumental edition of Etienne Pasquier’s Recherches de la France, from Editions Champion, which partially inspired this project about Pasquier’s contributions to peace and continuity of law in his time. I thank Editions Champion for permission to reprint from the Fragonard and Roudaut volumes. I thank Professor Nancy Regalado of New York University for much good advice. I’d like to thank Editions Droz for their permanently useful editions of Pasquier’s correspondence, as well as for permission to reprint from those volumes; the always helpful staffs of the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris and New York University and Columbia University libraries; the encouragement of colleagues and members of the annual Sixteenth Century Studies Conference; Professor Moya Arthur and Professor Robert Cousineau SJ for showing interest in my work. I also wish to thank Le Moyne College, Syracuse for providing me a sabbatical year to work on this project, and also the Jesuit Community of Loyola Hall, Fordham University for kind support during that sabbatical, as well as for access to the Fordham University libraries. Many thanks to the excellent staff of Peter Lang Publishing Inc., especially my wonderful production editor Jackie Pavlovic. Finally I reserve my warmest thanks for my sister, Susan E. Dahlinger, an author and editor in nineteenth century studies, for much advice and support. ← Vii | Viii → ← Viii | 1 →

· 1 ·


Assemblée des Trois Estats Tenue en la Ville de Blois, 1588

Pendant qu’icy d’une magnifique arroy

Chacun de vous à l’envy sacrifie

(Docte prelat) et sa mort et sa vie

Pour restablir nostre ancienne loy.

Moy cependant qui ne suis point à moy


VIII, 132
ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2014 (April)
historiography ecclesiastic history dialogue
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2014. 132 pp.

Biographical notes

James H. Dahlinger (Author)

James H. Dahlinger is a Jesuit and a specialist in French literature of the medieval and early modern periods. He received his PhD from New York University. He is Associate Professor of Foreign Languages and English at Le Moyne College, Syracuse, New York. The present book is a companion to Dahlinger’s Etienne Pasquier on Ethics and History (Peter Lang, 2007).


Title: Saving France in the 1580s
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142 pages