Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 06, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412958660 | Print ISBN: 9781412958653 | Online ISBN: 9781412958660| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Bodin, Jean (1529–1596)
Jean Bodin was a sixteenth-century French jurist, philosopher, and scholar known primarily for his influential account of sovereignty, which he defined as the “absolute and perpetual power of a commonwealth.” In addition, he was recognized for his contributions to the philosophy of history, political economy, and religion. He was one of the most influential legal philosophers of the Renaissance, and his theories were heatedly debated both by his contemporaries and by succeeding generations of philosophers. Bodin was born in 1529 in Angers, in the northern French duchy of Anjou. Little is known of his family or of his early life, except that his father was a modestly successful burgher, probably a tailor; rumors of his mother being a Jewish refugee from Spain are now generally dismissed. In 1545, he entered the Carmelite order and was sent to Paris, where he received a formidable humanistic education at the Collège de Quatre ...