Voltaire – Biography of Voltaire

François Marie Arouet, better known as Voltaire, was born in Paris, France, on November 21, 1694, and was a renowned philosopher and writer, considered one of the most representative figures of the Enlightenment, for which he became a member of the French Academy.

Son of François Arouet and of Marie Marguerite d’Aumary, grew up in a family that was part of the nobility.
He began his studies at the Jesuit college Louis-le-Grand, in which he stood out for his facility for the language, mastering Greek and Latin in a short time. In that same place, he met the brothers René-Louis Y Marc-Pierre Anderson, who were ministers of the king Louis XV some time later.

With only 12 years of age, he wrote the tragedy called “Amulius and Numitor“, which was published a century later. In the year 1711, he began to study law, and was entered into the Temple Society.

In 1713, he traveled to the Netherlands where he became the new secretary of the French embassy in The Hague, a position to which he was fired some time later, after having an affair with a refugee from his native country.
After the death of the King of France, Louis XV, the Duke of Orleans assumed the regency. Voltaire made a satire against him, for which he was taken to the Bastille prison, where he devoted himself to studying literature.

In 1718, his work “Oedipus“, A few years later, “La Henriade“dedicated to the king Henry IV. Both were really very successful, which did not prevent him from being in prison again after a fight with The nobleman of Rohan. Five months later, fresh out of the Bastille, the French philosopher was exiled to British lands, where he met several characters who would radically change his thinking, such as the philosopher John Locke and the scientist Isaac Newton.

It is known to Voltaire as a true anti-Semite, to which he backed up with several phrases, such as: “They are the last of all peoples between Muslims and Christians, and they believe they are the first. This pride in their descent is justified for a reason without counterpart; it is that they are really the parents of Christians and Muslims. The Christian and Muslim religions recognize the Jew as their mother; and, because of a singular contradiction, they feel respect and horror for this mother. “

In the year 1731, he wrote the History of Charles XII, in which several problems and topics that were part of his famous work came to light “Philosophical letters“, which would go on sale 3 years later. In it, he defended religious tolerance and ideological freedom, in addition, he took the space to criticize Christianity for being”the root of all dogmatic fanaticism“.
After these violent statements, he had to take refuge in the Castle of Émilie du Châtelet, with whom he maintained a relationship for many years, and who also collaborated in his work “Newton’s philosophy“. In that same place, he wrote several books such as:”Zaire“,”Adélaïde du Guesclin“,”Caesar’s death“,”Alzira or the Americans“,”Muhammad or fanaticism“,”The prodigal son” Y “Nanine or the defeated prejudice“.

In 1742, he traveled to Berlin, where he obtained the post as Academician, Historiographer, and Knight of the Royal Chamber. Seven years later when he died Madame de Châtelet, Voltaire returned to Germany, where he wrote several books, such as: “The century of Louis XIV“,”Micromegas” Y “Zadig“. But after several discussions with the monarch of the time, the writer went to Geneva, Switzerland, where he wrote”Essay on customs“,”Candid or optimism“,”Joan of Arc, the maiden” Y “Poem about the Lisbon disaster“. Voltaire settled on the property of Ferney, where he rubbed shoulders with the elite of the richest countries in Europe, and where he was able to represent his works, such as “Tancred“.

In 1764, he wrote the so-called “Treatise on tolerance” and his “Philosophical Dictionary“, which finally consecrated the philosopher and began to be a man of weight in political matters, a fact that gave him the power to intervene in several judicial cases, in which he defended tolerance and freedom of ideas, where he made famous the sentence: “I do not share what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it“.

In 1778, after returning to his hometown, Voltaire He died on May 30 of that same year, aged 84. Thirteen years later, his remains were exonerated and transferred to the Pantheon in Rome.