Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos: A Defence of Liberty Against Tyrants

Author: Junius Brutus
Translated from the French and Latin.
Newly set type of the 1689 English translation as modernized by Harcourt Brace in 1923.

Medium: Hi-fidelity Portable Document Format (PDF)
Last Updated: September 1, 2021
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Publisher's Commentary

Vindiciae was first published in French and Latin in 1579, almost certainly in response to the Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre of 1572. It was written under a pseudonym, and the true authorship is a subject of ongoing interest and debate. It succinctly crystallizes the Protestant view of the true purpose and nature of government, with numerous citations from Scripture as well as classical writers such as Cicero. It lays out the case for when and how rulers should be obeyed or resisted, and the differences between rulers and tyrants.


  1. August 31, 2021: First Portage edition posted.
  2. September 1, 2021: Minor changes.

Other Editions:

  • We especially commend George Garnett’s new English translation, published by Cambridge University Press in 1994. His editorial notes, preface, introduction, and glossary should be of great help to the reader in understanding the book’s context, the mystery of its authorship, its friends and enemies, and its place in history. It is available from Thrift Books and Amazon, and almost certainly many other places.
  • There are numerous editions available at Amazon.