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France, Voltaire, Enlightenment, Philosophy, Revolution For Sale
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This HUGE medal (85 mm x 85 mm) has been minted in 1983 commemorate the French Enlightenment philosopher and writer, VOLTAIRE, (1694 – 1778).
This medal has been designed by the famous French medalist, G. CROUZAT
François-Marie Arouet (November 21, 1694 – May 30, 1778), better known by the pen name Voltaire, was a French Enlightenment writer, essayist, and philosopher known for his wit and his defense of civil liberties, including both freedom of religion and free trade.
Voltaire was a prolific writer and produced works in almost every literary form including plays, poetry, novels, essays, historical and scientific works, more than 20,000 letters and more than 2,000 books and pamphlets.
He was an outspoken supporter of social reform, despite strict censorship laws and harsh penalties for those who broke them. A satirical polemicist, he frequently made use of his works to criticize Catholic Church dogma and the French institutions of his day.
Voltaire was one of several Enlightenment figures (along with Montesquieu, John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau) whose works and ideas influenced important thinkers of both the American and French Revolutions.
av. The portrait of Voltaire
size – 80mm (3¼ “)
weight – 283.20 gr, (9.99 oz)
metal – bronze, old patina
Voltaire is also known for many memorable aphorisms, such as: "Si Dieu n'existait pas, il faudrait l'inventer" ("If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him"), contained in a verse epistle from 1768, addressed to the anonymous author of a controversial work, The Three Impostors.
Voltaire is remembered and honored in France as a courageous polemicist who indefatigably fought for civil rights– the right to a fair trial and freedom of religion– and who denounced the hypocrisies and injustices of the ancien régime. The ancien régime involved an unfair balance of power and taxes between the First Estate (the clergy), the Second Estate (the nobles), and the Third Estate (the commoners and middle class, who were burdened with most of the taxes).
Voltaire has had his detractors among his later colleagues. The Scottish Victorian writer Thomas Carlyle argued that, while Voltaire was unsurpassed in literary form, not even the most elaborate of his works were of much value for matter and that he never uttered an original idea of his own.
While he often used China, Siam and Japan as examples of brilliant non-European civilizations and harshly criticized slavery, he also believed that Jews were "an ignorant and barbarous people."
The town of Ferney, where Voltaire lived out the last 20 years of his life, is now named Ferney-Voltaire in honor of its most famous resident. His château is a museum.
Voltaire's library is preserved intact in the National Library of Russia at St. Petersburg, Russia.
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France, Voltaire, Enlightenment, Philosophy, Revolution: $175