It was on this date, January 18, 1689, that French jurist and nobleman Charles de Secondat, Baron de la Brède et de Montesquieu was born in Bordeaux of a wealthy family. He was educated in science, history and law, and came into his fortune in 1716. He came into fame at age 32 with his Persian Letters (Lettres Persanes, 1721) – in which he wrote, “No kingdom has ever suffered as many civil wars as the kingdom of Christ” – so the clerics whose lifestyles and liberties he criticized called him notorious.
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Originally published January 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.
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