Innocent Gentillet

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Innocent Gentillet (1535–1588) was a French lawyer and politician.

Huguenot moderate lawyer and parliamentarian, he was exiled to Geneva after the massacre of St. Bartholomew, and then returned to France after the Edict of Beaulieu in 1576. His views are again the Protestant exile in Geneva in 1585.

He wrote in 1576 of the Sermon on the means of governing (Anti-Machiavelli), in which he condemned the ideas of Nicolas Machiavelli, suspected of trying to introduce impiety and immorality in government. He accused the Italians of the entourage of Catherine de' Medici to make the propagators. The book, published first in Latin, then in French and English, has considerable diffusion throughout Europe until the mid-seventeenth century. Gentillet argues that the source of wealth of a state is its large population. He believes that the infighting and bad laws are contrary to the development of population and condemned luxury as detrimental to national welfare.

Anti-Machiavelli helped to establish lasting misunderstandings about the work of Machiavelli, he is the first rebuttal. He also announced political science as defined by Jean Bodin.