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In Medias Res: The Life Of Claude De Seyssel

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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents a biography to clarify Claude de Seyssel's sense of identity and purpose. For the historian, Seyssel has proved to be an extremely elusive figure. Unlike many of his contemporaries including Erasmus, who used friendly correspondence to boost his standing in the world of letters, Seyssel shunned even the most common forms of humanist self-promotion. Seyssel’s biography indicates that at least during his lifetime, his identity as a scholar was overshadowed by his role as a political actor. Scholarship functioned as a tool in the service of his career as a diplomat and military advisor. He appears as a figure struggling to maneuver in a world characterized by the constant twists and turns of sixteenth century diplomacy, and reveals how the experience of political chaos lay at the heart of his search for order and stability.

Keywords: Claude de Seyssel; legal scholar; military advisor; sixteenth century diplomacy



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