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Guillaume Budé

Guillaume Budé
Guillaume Budé, portrait by Jean Clouet
Born (1467-01-26)26 January 1467
Paris, Kingdom of France
Died 23 August 1540(1540-08-23) (aged 73)
Paris, Kingdom of France
Era Renaissance philosophy
Region Western Philosophy
School Renaissance humanism

Guillaume Budé (Latin: Guilielmus Budaeus) (26 January 1467 – 23 August 1540) was a French scholar.


  • Life 1
  • Works 2
  • Family 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Budé was born in Paris. He went to the University of Orléans to study law, but for several years, being possessed of ample means, he led an idle and dissipated life. When about twenty-four years of age, he was seized with a sudden passion for study, and made rapid progress, particularly in the Latin and Greek languages.

The work which gained him greatest reputation was his De Asse et Partibus Eius (1514), a treatise on ancient coins and measures. He was held in high esteem by Francis I, who was persuaded by him, and by Jean du Bellay, bishop of Narbonne, to found the Collegium Trilingue, afterwards the Collège de France, and the library at Fontainebleau, which was removed to Paris and was the origin of the Bibliothèque Nationale. He also induced Francis to refrain from prohibiting printing in France, which had been advised by the Sorbonne in 1533.

He was sent by Louis XII to Rome as ambassador to Leo X, and in 1522 was appointed maître des requêtes and was several times prévôt des marchands.

Budé died in Paris on 23 August 1540. His request that he should be buried at night, and his widow's open profession of Protestantism at Geneva (where she retired after his death), caused him to be suspected of leanings towards Calvinism. Sections of his correspondence with Erasmus also suggest this religious inclination.

At the time of the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, the members of his family were obliged to flee from France. Some took refuge in Switzerland, where they worthily upheld the traditions of their house, while others settled in Pomerania under the name Budde or Buddeus (see Johann Franz Buddeus).


Budé was also the author of Annotationes in XXIV. libros Pandectarum (1508), which, by the application of philology and history, had a great influence on the study of Roman law, and of Commentarii linguae Graecae (1529), an extensive collection of lexicographical notes, which contributed greatly to the study of Greek literature in France.

Epistolae (1520, 8vo) is a collection that contains only a small part of the voluminous correspondence of Bude, written in Greek with remarkable purity.

Guillaume Budé corresponded with the most learned men of his time, amongst them Erasmus, who called him the "marvel of France", and Thomas More. He wrote with equal facility in Greek and Latin, although his Latin is inferior to his Greek, being somewhat harsh and full of Greek constructions.


Guillaume was the son of Jean Budé (d.1502) and Catherine Le Picart. He married Roberte Le Lieur when she was about 15 years old. [1]Their children included;[2]

  • Dreux Budé (d.1547), married Marthe Paillart
  • François (d.1550)

See also


  1. ^ McNeil, David O. (1975). Guillaume Bude and Humanism in the Reign of Francis I. Google Books: Geneve Librairie Droz. p. 7.  
  2. ^ Sylie Charton le Clech, Chancellerie et Culture, (1993), 324

  • Budé, Guillaume, "De Asse et Partibus Ejus", 1528 at Google Books
  • Budé, Guillaume, "De Asse et Partibus Ejus", 1542 at Google Books

External links

  • Loys Leroy (or Regius), Vita G. Budaei (1540)
  • D. Rebitté, G. Budé, restaurateur des études grecques en France (1846)
  • E. de Budé, Vie de G. Budé (1884), who refutes the idea of his ancestor's Protestant views
  • D'Hozier, La Maison de Budé
  • L. Delaruelle, Études sur l'humanisme français (1907)
  • D. McNeil, Guillaume Budé and Humanism in the Reign of Francis I (1975)


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