Michel de Montaigne, Date of Birth, Place of Birth, Date of Death


Michel de Montaigne

French-Occitan author, humanistic philosopher, statesman

Date of Birth: 28-Feb-1533

Place of Birth: Saint-Michel-de-Montaigne, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

Date of Death: 13-Sep-1592

Profession: writer, politician, jurist, translator, poet lawyer, French moralist, philosopher, essayist, autobiographer

Nationality: France

Zodiac Sign: Pisces

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About Michel de Montaigne

  • Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, Lord of Montaigne ( mon-TAYN, French: [mi??l ek?m d? m?~t??]; 28 February 1533 – 13 September 1592) was one of the most significant philosophers of the French Renaissance, known for popularizing the essay as a literary genre.
  • His work is noted for its merging of casual anecdotes and autobiography with intellectual insight.
  • His massive volume Essais contains some of the most influential essays ever written. Montaigne had a direct influence on Western writers, including Francis Bacon, René Descartes, Blaise Pascal, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Albert Hirschman, William Hazlitt, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Friedrich Nietzsche, Stefan Zweig, Eric Hoffer, Isaac Asimov, and possibly, on the later works of William Shakespeare. During his lifetime, Montaigne was admired more as a statesman than as an author.
  • The tendency in his essays to digress into anecdotes and personal ruminations was seen as detrimental to proper style rather than as an innovation, and his declaration that, "I am myself the matter of my book", was viewed by his contemporaries as self-indulgent.
  • In time, however, Montaigne came to be recognized as embodying, perhaps better than any other author of his time, the spirit of freely entertaining doubt that began to emerge at that time.
  • He is most famously known for his skeptical remark, "Que sçay-je?" ("What do I know?", in Middle French; now rendered as Que sais-je? in modern French).

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