Francois I, King of France, by Jean Clouet 1516 Francois I (1494-1547), the son of Charles d'Orleans, succeeded Louis XII in 1515. His reign (1515-1547) was marked by his pugnacity and his interest in arts and letters. He was a warrior and fought throughout his entire life against Charles V, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire whose lands encircled the Kingdom of France from which he took (in 1515) and restored (1525) the Duchy of Milan. In the face of the enemy, he contracted alliances with the German Protestant Princes and the Muslim ruler Suleiman the Magnificent, Ottoman sultan from 1520 to 1566. He also fought at home, repressing the Protestants, keen followers of the new reformist religion, after the Affaire des placards, in which texts insulting to the Catholic Church were attached to his bedchamber door. His reign was of great cultural importance. He signed the Villers-Cotterets Order making French the official language instead of Latin. On the advice of the humanist Guillaume Buda, he founded the Collage du Roi in 1529 - forerunner of the Collage de France - an institution that did not come under the authority of the University and which offered education for all. He also established the first copyright laws by obliging printers from 1538 onwards to give the State a copy of every published work. He was a Father of letters Rabelais and Marot were his protagas, and an art lover, surrounded by intellectuals and men of science and he introduced the Renaissance movement to France.


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