Jean Bodin

Jean Bodin books and biography


Jean Bodin

Captain Jean Bodin (1530-1596) was a French jurist, member of the Parlement of Paris and professor of Law in Toulouse. He is considered by many to be the father of political science because of his theory on sovereignty. Parlement is not to be confused with the English Parliament

He wrote several books, but the Inquisition condemned most of them because the author demonstrated sympathy for Calvinist theories [citation needed], and Calvinists, called Huguenots in France were prosecuted by the Catholic church as other Protestant or Reformed Christian cults were in other Catholic countries.

His books divided opinion: some French writers were admiring, while Francis Hutchinson was his detractor, criticising his methodology.

De la République

Jean Bodin's most famous book was his 1576. Bodin's ideas in the Six Books of the Commonwealth (or Les Six livres de la République) on the importance of climate in the shaping of a people's character was also quite influential, finding a prominent place in the work of contemporary Italian thinker Giovanni Botero (1544-1617) and later in French philosopher the Baron de Montesquieu's (1689-1755) climatic determinism .

Finally, Bodin was among the first to recognize the interrelationship between the amount of goods and the amount of money in circulation. The boatloads of silver arriving in Spain from the Bolivian (then Peruvian) mine of Potosí were wreaking inflationary havoc at the time. Bodin laid the foundation for the "Quantity theory of money."


"On Witchcraft" (La Démonomanie des Sorciers)

Bodin recommended torture, even in cases of the disabled and children, to try to confirm guilt of witchcraft. He asserted that not even one witch could be erroneously condemned if the correct procedures were followed, suspicion being enough to torment the accused because rumours concerning witches were almost always true. [citation needed]

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