Friday, August 3, 2012

François-Marie Arouet Voltaire - quotes

François-Marie Arouet (21 November 1694 – 30 May 1778), known by his nom de plume Voltaire, was a French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher famous for his wit and for his advocacy of civil liberties, including freedom of religion, freedom of expression, free trade and separation of church and state. Voltaire was a prolific writer, producing works in almost every literary form, including plays, poetry, novels, essays, and historical and scientific works. Voltaire was one of several Enlightenment figures (along with Montesquieu, John Locke, Richard Price, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Émilie du Châtelet) whose works and ideas influenced important thinkers of both the American and French Revolutions.

"...Alexander, having been elected at Corinth captain-general of Greece, and commissioned as such to avenge the invasions of the Persians... This excess of civility having astonished Parmenio, Alexander told him that he had known Jaddus... that this same Jaddus had exhorted him to cross the Hellespont, assuring him that God would march at the head of the Greeks, and that the God of the Jews would give him the victory over the Persians. This old woman’s tale makes but a sorry figure in the history of such a man as Alexander... All that we can be quite certain of is that Alexander, at the age of twenty-four, had conquered Persia by three battles; that his genius was as great as his valor; that he changed the face of Asia, Greece, and Egypt..."

(The Works of Voltaire. A Contemporary Version. A Critique and Biography by John Morley, notes by Tobias Smollett, trans. William F. Fleming (New York: E.R. DuMont, 1901). In 21 vols. Vol. III.)


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