Portrait of Etienne de la Boétie

Etienne de la Boétie

1530 – 1563

Estienne de la Boétie (1530-1563) was a friend of Montaigne and made a name for himself with his poetry and translations of ancient Greek authors. He is perhaps better known today for his essay “Discourse of Voluntary Servitude” where he explores why the majority too often willingly capitulates to the demands of a tiny ruling minority.

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  • for an English translation of Boétie’s most famous essay, Discourse of Voluntary Servitude (1576) see the section Forgotten Gems in The Forum

Notable People