On This Day


Enlightenment Philosopher Voltaire

Full Name: François-Marie Arouet
Profession: Enlightenment Philosopher


Biography: French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher famous for his wit, his attacks on the established Catholic Church and his advocacy of freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and the separation of church and state.

Born: November 21, 1694
Birthplace: Paris, France
Star Sign: Scorpio

Died: May 30, 1778 (aged 83)

Articles and Photos

Historical Events

  • 1718-11-18 Voltaire's "Oedipe" premieres in Paris
  • 1730-12-11 Voltaire's tragedy "Brutus" premieres in Paris
  • 1732-08-13 Voltaire's tragic play "Zaire" premieres in Paris
  • 1753-03-25 Voltaire leaves the court of Frederik II of Prussia
  • 1759-01-15 Voltaire's satire "Candide" is published anonymously in five editions in five countries to scandalous acclaim (estimated date)
  • 1762-03-10 French Huguenot Jean Calas, who was wrongly convicted of killing his son, dies after being tortured by authorities; the event inspires Voltaire to begin campaign for religious tolerance and legal reform
  • 1765-01-11 Frisia bans Voltaire's "Traité sur la tolérance"
  • 1765-03-09 After a public campaign by the writer Voltaire, judges in Paris posthumously exonerate Jean Calas of murdering his son. Calas had been tortured and executed in 1762 on the charge, though his son had actually committed suicide.
  • 1778-02-10 Voltaire returns to Paris to great acclaim after an absence of 28 years
  • 1778-03-30 Playwright Voltaire crowned with laurel wreath

Quotes by Voltaire

  • "It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere."
  • "Every man is guilty of all the good he didn't do."

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