André Tiraqueau was a French jurist of the sixteenth century, who was notably counselor of the Parisian Parliament. His works deal with many topics and concern both Roman law and Canon law but also French customs and judgments of the courts. His method applies humanist principles to the study of the law, without a complete break with the techniques of the medieval jurisprudence.
André Tiraqueau was a French jurist of the sixteenth century born at Fontenay-le-Comte (Poitou) in 1488 and died at Paris in 1558 (Brejon 1937). He certainly studied law at the University of Poitiers, which allowed him to become judge in his hometown. In 1512, he married Marie Cailler, daughter of the “lieutenant criminel” (legal officer) of Fontenay-le-Comte. Then Tiraqueau became himself “lieutenant général.” He declined an office of counselor of the Parliament of Bordeaux, but became counselor of the Parisian Parliament in 1541. There, he tied friendship with famous jurists, such as Charles Du Moulin, Michel de l’Hospital, and Christofle de Thou. The end of his career was notably marked by a trip to Rome in 1552–1553. Throughout his career, Tiraqueau published numerous law books. Moreover, after his death in 1558, his son – who succeeded him in his office of counselor of the Parliament of Paris – brought out several unpublished writings.
The works of Tiraqueau are very various (Tiraqueau 1574). They concern both Roman law and Canon law but also French customs and judgments of the courts. Besides, his books deal with many topics, such as matrimonial law (De legibus connubialibus (Tiraqueau 1546)), property law (De jure constituti possessorii), nobility (De nobilitate et jure primigeniorum), succession law (Le mort saisit le vif), criminal law (De pœnis temperandis (Tiraqueau 1986)), or also procedure (De judicio in rebus exiguis ferendo). These books made Tiraqueau famous among the jurists of the modern times. They have been reprinted numerous times during the sixteenth and the seventeenth centuries. They have also led to disputes. For example, Tiraqueau quarreled with his friend, Amaury Bouchard, about the famed “querelle des femmes.” The De legibus connubialibus portrayed women in an unflattering way, which relegated them exclusively to domestic duties (Veillon 2001). In response, Bouchard wrote in 1522 a genuine praise of women, entitled Feminei sexus apologia. Tiraqueau then fleshed out his argument over the numerous reissues, which indicate the spreading of his works.
This success is especially due to the method of André Tiraqueau (Rossi 2007). He does not completely break with the techniques of the medieval jurisprudence. Consequently, although humanist, Tiraqueau is sometimes considered as one of the last French Bartolists. Thus, his commentaries borrow several features to the method of the Glossators and Commentators. He quotes about 100 medieval jurists, particularly Bartolus de Saxoferrato, Baldus de Ubaldis, and Panormitanus. The formal appearance of his treatises may be compared to those of some of his predecessors. Nevertheless, he divides from the medieval scholastic due to his extensive humanist culture. He tries to combine new ideas with traditional methods. So, his writings have both a practical relevance and great erudition, not only legal but also literary. He uses obviously many ancient sources, both Greek and Latin. The influence of Erasmus is particularly noticeable and he quotes numerous Italian humanists, notably Giovanni Pico della Mirandola. His literary scholarship serves constantly the study of legal sources.
The humanist culture of Tiraqueau flourished in “cénacle de Fontenay-le-Comte,” which grouped great figures of the time. For instance, there, he befriended Pierre Lamy, who certainly taught him Greek. Moreover, François Rabelais belonged to this famous circle. The books of Rabelais offer probably the best illustration of Tiraqueau’s fame and innovations. The character Trinquamelle is traditionally identified with the French jurist. Above all, Rabelais criticizes vehemently the medieval jurisprudence, but he praises the method of legal humanism, then represented by André Tiraqueau. The influence of the jurist was really important, so much that some passages of the Third Book of Rabelais are inspired by Tiraqueau’s writings (Perrat 1954).
- Brejon J (1937). André Tiraqueau (1488–1558). ParisGoogle Scholar
- Perrat C (1954) Autour du juge Bridoy: Rabelais et le De nobilitate de Tiraqueau. In: Bibliothèque d’Humanisme et Renaissance, vol XVI. Geneva, pp 41–57Google Scholar
- Rossi G (2007) Incunaboli della modernità. Scienza giuridica e cultura umanistica in André Tiraqueau (1488–1558). TurinGoogle Scholar
- Veillon D (2001) Le De Legibus Connubialibus d’André Tiraqueau. In: Études rabelaisiennes, vol XLIII. Geneva, pp 195–213Google Scholar