The work was written during the Etats Généraux which were convened by Charles of Lorraine, Duke of Mayenne (leader of the Catholic League) in Paris (on February 10, 1593) in the hopes of electing himself to the French throne (replacing the pretender to the throne, the future Henry IV of France). The work was conceived by Pierre le Roy (canon of Rouen and chaplain to the cardinal of Bourbon) during discussions with friends ("français en politique et gallicans en religion" or "Frenchmen in politics and Gallicans in religion") in Paris at the home of Jacques Gillot (chaplain of the Sainte-Chapelle). The work was written by Nicolas Rapin, Jean Passerat and Florent Chrestien, and edited/revised by Pierre Pithou.
The philosophy of the group around Pithou and Rapin and the Satire Ménippée is that of the "Politiques", moderate Catholics who privileged peace, conceived of a distinction between the State and Religion, and sought political accommodation with the Huguenots. By the end of the civil wars, the "politiques" were the favored target of attack of the Catholic League.
The work includes several remarkable passages, including a description of a procession and all the forces of the League, the public orations of the Duke of Mayenne, of the legate of the Pope, and of the cardinals Pelvé (attributed to Chrestien) and Aubray (attributed to Pithou). The writers paint the miseries of the nation and the blindness of their detractors, and they encourage an alliance of the people and the monarchy to save the nation.
Satyre Menippee de la Vertu du Catholicon d'Espagne et de la tenue des Estats de Paris, MARTIN Martial (édition critique de), Paris, H. Champion, 2007, "Textes de la Renaissance", n° 117, 944 p. ISBN : 9782745314840