Etienne de la Boétie
Historical Period: The Renaissance and the Reformation
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.
- for an English translation of Boétie’s most famous essay, Discourse of Voluntary Servitude (1576) see the section Forgotten Gems in The Forum
Quotes from Etienne de la Boétie:
- Etienne de la Boétie on tyranny collapsing
- Étienne de la Boétie on why the suffering majority obeys the minority who rule over them (voluntary servitude)
Titles from Etienne de la Boétie: