Cosimo Alessandro Collini (Florence 14 October 1727-Mannheim, 21 March 1806) was an Italian historian and Voltaire's secretary from 1752 to 1756.
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with 383,084 inhabitants in 2013, and over 1,520,000 in its metropolitan area.
Mannheim is a city in the southwestern part of Germany, the third-largest in the German state of Baden-Württemberg after Stuttgart and Karlsruhe with a 2015 population of approximately 305,000 inhabitants. The city is at the centre of the larger densely populated Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region which has a population of 2,400,000 and is Germany's eighth-largest metropolitan region.
François-Marie Arouet, known by his nom de plumeVoltaire, was a French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher famous for his wit, his criticism of Christianity, especially the Roman Catholic Church, and his advocacy of freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and separation of church and state.
Born into a noble family, he studied law and met Voltaire in Berlin in 1750 and was taken on as his secretary in April 1752.When Voltaire left the service of Frederick the Great Collini accompanied him, and was confined with him and Madame Denis on Frederick’s orders for three weeks in Frankfurt. In 1755 the young Jean-Louis Wagnière was made his assistant, and just over a year later, took Collini's place when he was dismissed from Voltaire's service for insulting Madame Denis.
Berlin is the capital and largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,748,148 (2018) inhabitants make it the second most populous city proper of the European Union after London. The city is one of Germany's 16 federal states. It is surrounded by the state of Brandenburg, and contiguous with its capital, Potsdam. The two cities are at the center of the Berlin-Brandenburg capital region, which is, with about six million inhabitants and an area of more than 30,000 km², Germany's third-largest metropolitan region after the Rhine-Ruhr and Rhine-Main regions.
Frederick II ruled the Kingdom of Prussia from 1740 until 1786, the longest reign of any Hohenzollern king. His most significant accomplishments during his reign included his military victories, his reorganization of Prussian armies, his patronage of the arts and the Enlightenment and his final success against great odds in the Seven Years' War. Frederick was the last Hohenzollern monarch titled King in Prussia and declared himself King of Prussia after achieving sovereignty over most historically Prussian lands in 1772. Prussia had greatly increased its territories and became a leading military power in Europe under his rule. He became known as Frederick the Great and was nicknamed Der Alte Fritz by the Prussian people and eventually the rest of Germany.
Frankfurt is a metropolis and the largest city of the German federal state of Hesse, and its 746,878 (2017) inhabitants make it the fifth-largest city of Germany after Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, and Cologne. On the River Main, it forms a continuous conurbation with the neighbouring city of Offenbach am Main, and its urban area has a population of 2.3 million. The city is at the centre of the larger Rhine-Main Metropolitan Region, which has a population of 5.5 million and is Germany's second-largest metropolitan region after the Rhine-Ruhr Region. Since the enlargement of the European Union in 2013, the geographic centre of the EU is about 40 km (25 mi) to the east of Frankfurt's central business district. Like France and Franconia, the city is named after the Franks. Frankfurt is the largest city in the Rhine Franconian dialect area.
He then entered the service of Charles Theodore, Elector of Bavaria as his private secretary and historiographer. In 1763 he became a member of the Palatine Academy of Sciences and director of the Mannheim Cabinet of Natural History. In 1764 he was the first person to describe the pterosaur that Georges Cuvier went on the identify, seventeen years later, as a flying reptile.
Charles Theodore reigned as Prince-elector and Count Palatine from 1742, as Duke of Jülich and Berg from 1742 and also as prince-elector and Duke of Bavaria from 1777 to his death. He was a member of the House of Palatinate-Sulzbach, a branch of the House of Wittelsbach.
Pterosaurs were flying reptiles of the extinct clade or order Pterosauria. They existed during most of the Mesozoic: from the late Triassic to the end of the Cretaceous. Pterosaurs are the earliest vertebrates known to have evolved powered flight. Their wings were formed by a membrane of skin, muscle, and other tissues stretching from the ankles to a dramatically lengthened fourth finger.
Jean Léopold Nicolas Frédéric, Baron Cuvier, known as Georges Cuvier, was a French naturalist and zoologist, sometimes referred to as the "founding father of paleontology". Cuvier was a major figure in natural sciences research in the early 19th century and was instrumental in establishing the fields of comparative anatomy and paleontology through his work in comparing living animals with fossils.
In his later years, he denounced the fanaticism of the French revolutionary wars and in 1799 he defended the collections in his cabinet from destruction, and managed to have them transferred, four years later, to Munich.
A street in Mannheim is named after him, as is the Collini-Center development in the city.
Denis Diderot was a French philosopher, art critic, and writer, best known for serving as co-founder, chief editor, and contributor to the Encyclopédie along with Jean le Rond d'Alembert. He was a prominent figure during the Enlightenment.
Jean-Baptiste le Rond d'Alembert was a French mathematician, mechanician, physicist, philosopher, and music theorist. Until 1759 he was co-editor with Denis Diderot of the Encyclopédie. D'Alembert's formula for obtaining solutions to the wave equation is named after him. The wave equation is sometimes referred to as d'Alembert's equation.
Friedrich Melchior, Baron von Grimm was a German-born French-language journalist, art critic, diplomat and contributor to the Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers. In 1765 Grimm wrote Poème lyrique, an influential article for the Encyclopédie on lyric and opera librettos. Like Christoph Willibald Gluck Grimm became interested in opera reform. According to Martin Fontius, a German literary theorist, "sooner or later a book entitled The Aesthetic Ideas of Grimm will have to be written."
Thomas Arthur, comte de Lally, baron de Tollendal was a French general of Irish Jacobite ancestry. Lally commanded French forces, including two battalions of his own red-coated Regiment of Lally of the Irish Brigade, in India during the Seven Years' War. After a failed attempt to capture Madras he lost the Battle of Wandiwash to British forces under Eyre Coote and then was forced to surrender the remaining French post at Pondicherry. After a time spent as a prisoner of war in Britain, Lally voluntarily returned to France to face charges where he was beheaded for his alleged failures in India. Ultimately the jealousies and disloyalties of other officers, together with insufficient resources and limited naval support prevented Lally from securing India for France. In 1778, he was publicly exonerated by Louis XVI of his alleged crime.
The Dictionnaire philosophique is an encyclopedic dictionary published by Voltaire in 1764. The alphabetically arranged articles often criticize the Roman Catholic Church, Judaism, Islam, and other institutions. The first edition, released in June 1764, went by the name of Dictionnaire philosophique portatif. It was 344 pages and consisted of 73 articles. Later versions were expanded into two volumes consisting of 120 articles. The first editions were published anonymously in Geneva by Gabriel Grasset. Due to the volatile content of the Dictionnaire, Voltaire chose Grasset over his usual publisher to ensure his own anonymity. There were many editions and reprints of the Dictionnaire during Voltaire's lifetime, but only four of them contained additions and modifications. Furthermore, another work published in 1770, Questions sur l'Encyclopédie, which contained reshaped and modified articles from the Encyclopédie always in alphabetical order, led many following editors to join this and the Dictionnaire in a unique opus. The Dictionnaire was a lifelong project for Voltaire. It represents the culmination of his views on Christianity, God, morality and other subjects.
Jean Huber was a Swiss painter, silhouettiste, soldier and author, who was a citizen of the Republic of Geneva.
Les Délices, or "The Delights", was from 1755–1760 the home of the French philosopher Voltaire (1694–1778) in Geneva, Switzerland. Since 1952 it has housed the Institut et Musée Voltaire, a museum dedicated to his life and works.
Voltaire is a 1933 American pre-Code biographical film directed by John G. Adolfi and starring George Arliss as the renowned 18th-century French writer and philosopher.
Marie Françoise Catherine de Beauvau-Craon, marquise de Boufflers (1711–1786), commonly known as Madame de Boufflers, was a French noblewoman. She was the royal mistress of Stanislas Leszczyński and mother of the poet Stanislas de Boufflers.
Marie Louise Mignot (1712–1790) was a French literary figure. She was the daughter of Voltaire's sister, Catherine Arouet (1686–1726) and her husband Pierre-François Mignot. After the death of her widowed father in 1737, Voltaire provided her with a dowry and she married army supply officer Nicolas-Charles Denis, giving rise to her married name of Madame Denis. After her husband's premature death in 1744, she was taken in by Voltaire and became his housekeeper, hostess and companion. She also adopted his protégée Reine Philiberte de Varicourt when the latter's marriage to the marquis de Villette foundered on his homosexuality.
The Treatise on Tolerance on the Occasion of the Death of Jean Calas from the Judgment Rendered in Toulouse is a work by French philosopher Voltaire, published in 1763, in which he calls for tolerance between religions, and targets religious fanaticism, especially that of the Jesuits, indicting all superstitions surrounding religions.
Joseph Omer Joly de Fleury (1715-1810) was a member of the distinguished Joly de Fleury family, originally from Burgundy, from which came a number of leading French magistrates and officials under the ancien regime. He is notable for four principal things: his strong opposition to the philosophes and the publication of the Encyclopedie in 1759; his role in the expulsion of the Jesuits; his involvement in the Lally Tollendal Affair; and his ban on inoculation against smallpox in June 1763. In a pun on his name, Voltaire described him as ‘ni Homère, ni joli, ni fleuri'. In one of his private letters, Voltaire described him as a ‘little black balloon puffed up with stinking vapours’
Samson was an opera by the French composer Jean-Philippe Rameau with a libretto by Voltaire. The work was never staged due to censorship, although Voltaire later printed his text. Rameau intended the opera on the theme of Samson and Delilah as the successor to his debut Hippolyte et Aricie, which premiered in October 1733. Like Hippolyte, Samson was a tragédie en musique in five acts and a prologue. Voltaire had become a great admirer of Rameau's music after seeing Hippolyte and suggested a collaboration with the composer in November 1733. The opera was complete by late summer 1734 and went into rehearsal. However, a work on a religious subject with a libretto by such a notorious critic of the Church was bound to run into controversy and Samson was banned. An attempt to revive the project in a new version in 1736 also failed. The score is lost, although Rameau recycled some of the music from Samson in his later operas.
Précis du siècle de Louis XV is a historical work by the French philosopher and author Voltaire, first published in its own right 1768. Celebrating the progress of Enlightenment ideas and the retreat of prejudice, it comments on cultural, economic and technological progress made in France during the reign of Louis XV of France.
Étienne Noël Damilaville 21 November 1723 – 13 December 1768) was an 18th-century French man of letters, friend of Voltaire, Diderot and d'Alembert. He served in various military and administrative functions of the Ancien Régime. He was a member of the bodyguard of King Louis XV, and then a senior civil servant in the tax office responsible for supervising the Vingtième. His official roles meant that his correspondence was unexamined by censors, enabling him to circulate letters between leading thinkers of the day, most particularly during the Sirven affair.
Jean-Louis Wagnière was Voltaire's secretary from 1756 to 1778, when Voltaire died.
Sémiramis (1746) is a tragedy in five acts by Voltaire, first performed in 1748 and published in 1749.
Tancrède is a tragedy in five acts by Voltaire that premiered on 3 September 1760.