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Chrestien, Florent

CHRESTIEN, FLORENT (1541-1596), French satirist and Latin poet, the son of Guillaume Chrestien, an eminent French physician and writer on physiology, was born at Orleans on the 26th of January 1541. A pupil of Henri Estienne, the Hellenist, at an early age he was appointed tutor to Henry of Navarre, afterwards Henry IV., who made him his librarian. Brought up as a Calvinist, he became a convert to Catholicism. He was the author of many good translations from the Greek into Latin verse, - amongst others, of versions of the Hero and Leander attributed to Musaeus, and of many epigrams from the Anthology. In his translations into French, among which are remarked those of Buchanan's Jephthé (1567), and of Oppian De Venatione (1575) he is not so happy, being rather to be praised for fidelity to his original than for excellence of style. His principal claim to a place among memorable satirists is as one of the authors of the Satyre Ménippée, the famous pasquinade in the interest of his old pupil, Henry IV., in which the harangue put into the mouth of cardinal de Pelvé is usually attributed to him. He died on the 3rd of October 1596 at Vendôme.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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