De Regimine Principium by Giles de Rome Translated as Li livres du gouvernement du rois, by Henri de Gauchi

Giles of Rome, the Archbishop of Bourges, completed the De regimine Principum in the late thirteenth century, in the years around 1279. Written for the future king of France, Philippe le Bel, this mirror for princes provided a framework for a ruler’s behavior, combining the rediscovered Politics of Aristotle with Christian theology. The work was translated in 1282 from Latin into French by Henri de Gauchi, at the request of Phillippe le Bel, who may have asked that the De Regimine be translated to facilitate the king’s frequent consultation of the work. Henri de Gauchi provided an abridged translation of Gilles’ work, and consciously omitted certain passages that were too “learned” for a vernacular audience

One of the manuscripts listed below was created in Italy the late thirteenth century, therefore very shortly after Henri de Gauchi finished his translation in 1282. Although no positive evidence has surfaced about the work’s transmission to Italy, Italian merchants travelled frequently to the fairs in the areas around Champagne, where several contemporaneous French-language manuscripts of de Gauchi’s translation were also copied. The second Italian manuscript, produced a century later, features French script but Italian decoration, and may have belonged to the library of the Dukes of Milan in the fifteenth century.


Paris, BnF, fr. 24233 (end of 13th century)
Paris, BnF, fr. 1203 (France or Italy – end of 14th/ beginning of 15th century)

One other manuscript, the Berlin, Staatsbibliothek, Preussischer Kulturbesitz Ham. 672, is an anonymous French-lnaguage translation from the 15th century,
which may have been produced either in France or Italy.


Giles of Rome’s De regimine principum: Reading and Writing Politics at Court and University, c.1275–c.1525. Ed. Charles F. Briggs. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999.

Secondary Literature

Noëlle-Laetitia Perret, Les traductions françaises du De regimine principum de Gilles de Rome. Leiden: Brill, 2011.

See Arlima.