FRANCOIS RABELAIS (c. 1490-1553), French humorist, was born at Chinon on the Vienne in the province of Touraine.
There is nothing in the positive facts of his life which would not suit tolerably well with any of these dates; most 17th-century authorities give the earliest, and this also accords best with the age of the eldest of the Du Bellay brothers, with whom Rabelais was (perhaps) at school.
In favour of the latest it is urged that, if Rabelais was born in 1483, he must have been forty-seven when he entered at Montpellier, and proportionately and unexpectedly old at other known periods of his life.
The only contribution which need be made here to the controversy is to point out that if Rabelais was born in 1483 he must have been an old man when he died, and that scarcely even tradition speaks of him as such.
In the year 1519, on the 5th of April, the Francois Rabelais of history emerges.