In XVIth century France the notion of republic identifies with that of best state, as is shown by the writings of the "politiques". The debate on the republican form becomes fiercer after St. Bartolomew's night massacre. The author retraces this debate through the study of the main works of the monarcomachs. During the civil wars of religion Huguenot thinkers use some central notions of the "republican myth" (such as virtue and political participation) merged with notions of modern political thought (such as the pact) and medieval thought (the theory of the right to resistance). The result is a notion of republic as form of state apt to redistribute power in society, inhabited by a new human being that seems to foreshadow the modern individual holder of rights.