|Name:||Michel de Montaigne|
|Birth Day:||February 28, 1533|
|Death Date:||13 September 1592(1592-09-13) (aged 59)
Château de Montaigne, Guyenne, Kingdom of France
|Birth Place:||Château de Montaigne, France|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
As per our current Database, Michel de Montaigne died on 13 September 1592(1592-09-13) (aged 59)
Château de Montaigne, Guyenne, Kingdom of France.
Around the year 1539, Montaigne was sent to study at a highly regarded boarding school in Bordeaux, the College of Guienne, then under the direction of the greatest Latin scholar of the era, George Buchanan, where he mastered the whole curriculum by his thirteenth year. He finished the first phase of his educational studies at the College of Guienne in 1546. He then began his study of law (his alma mater remains unknown since there are no certainties about his activity from 1546 to 1557) and entered a career in the local legal system. He was a counselor of the Court des Aides of Périgueux and, in 1557, he was appointed counselor of the Parlement in Bordeaux, a high court. From 1561 to 1563 he was courtier at the court of Charles IX and he was present with the king at the siege of Rouen (1562). He was awarded the highest honour of the French nobility, the collar of the Order of Saint Michael, something to which he aspired from his youth.
While serving at the Bordeaux Parlement, he became a very close friend of the humanist poet Étienne de La Boétie, whose death in 1563 deeply affected Montaigne. It has been suggested by Donald M. Frame, in his introduction to The Complete Essays of Montaigne that because of Montaigne's "imperious need to communicate", after losing Étienne he began the Essais as a new "means of communication" and that "the reader takes the place of the dead friend".
Montaigne married Françoise de la Cassaigne in 1565, probably in an arranged marriage. She was the daughter and niece of wealthy merchants of Toulouse and Bordeaux. They had six daughters, but only the second-born, Léonor, survived infancy. Little is known about their marriage, he wrote very little about their relationship, however, he did write about of his daughter Léonor, "All my children die at nurse; but Léonore, our only daughter, who has escaped this misfortune, has reached the age of six and more without having been punished, the indulgence of her mother aiding, except in words, and those very gentle ones." His daughter married François de la Tour and later, Charles de Gamaches. She had a daughter by each.
Following the petition of his father, Montaigne started to work on the first translation of the Catalan monk Raymond Sebond's Theologia naturalis, which he published a year after his father's death in 1568 (in 1595, Sebond's Prologue was put on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum because of its declaration that the Bible is not the only source of revealed truth). After this, he inherited the family's estate, the Château de Montaigne, to which he moved back in 1570, thus becoming the Lord of Montaigne. Another literary accomplishment was Montaigne's posthumous edition of the works of his friend, Boétie.
In 1571, he retired from public life to the Tower of the château, his so-called "citadel", in the Dordogne, where he almost totally isolated himself from every social and family affair. Locked up in his library, which contained a collection of some 1,500 works, he began work on his Essais ("Essays"), first published in 1580. On the day of his 38th birthday, as he entered this almost ten-year period of self-imposed reclusion, he had the following inscription placed on the crown of the bookshelves of his working chamber:
In 1578, Montaigne, whose health had always been excellent, started suffering from painful kidney stones, a tendency he inherited from his father's family. Throughout this illness, he would have nothing to do with doctors or drugs. From 1580 to 1581, Montaigne traveled in France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Italy, partly in search of a cure, establishing himself at Bagni di Lucca, where he took the waters. His journey was also a pilgrimage to the Holy House of Loreto, to which he presented a silver relief depicting him, his wife, and their daughter kneeling before the Madonna, considering himself fortunate that it should be hung on a wall within the shrine. He kept a journal recording regional differences and customs and a variety of personal episodes, including the dimensions of the stones he succeeded in expelling. This was published much later, in 1774, after its discovery in a trunk that is displayed in his tower.
His humanism finds expression in his Essais, a collection of a large number of short subjective essays on various topics published in 1580 that were inspired by his studies in the classics, especially by the works of Plutarch and Lucretius. Montaigne's stated goal was to describe humans, and especially himself, with utter frankness. Montaigne's writings are studied as literature and philosophy around the world.
During a visit to the Vatican that Montaigne described in his travel journal, the Essais were examined by Sisto Fabri, who served as Master of the Sacred Palace under Pope Gregory XIII. After Fabri examined Montaigne's Essais the text was returned to him on 20 March 1581. Montaigne had apologized for references to the pagan notion of "fortuna" as well as for writing favorably of Julian the Apostate and of heretical poets, and was released to follow his own conscience in making emendations to the text.
While in the city of Lucca in 1581, he learned that, like his father before him, he had been elected mayor of Bordeaux. He returned and served as mayor. He was re-elected in 1583 and served until 1585, again moderating between Catholics and Protestants. The plague broke out in Bordeaux toward the end of his second term in office, in 1585. In 1586, the plague and the French Wars of Religion prompted him to leave his château for two years.
Montaigne continued to extend, revise, and oversee the publication of the Essais. In 1588 he wrote its third book and also met Marie de Gournay, an author who admired his work and later edited and published it. Montaigne later referred to her as his adopted daughter. King Henry III was assassinated in 1589, and Montaigne then helped to keep Bordeaux loyal to Henry of Navarre, who would go on to become King Henry IV.
Montaigne died of quinsy at the age of 59, in 1592 at the Château de Montaigne. In his case the disease "brought about paralysis of the tongue", especially difficult for one who once said, "the most fruitful and natural play of the mind is conversation. I find it sweeter than any other action in life; and if I were forced to choose, I think I would rather lose my sight than my hearing and voice." Remaining in possession of all his other faculties, he requested Mass, and died during the celebration of that Mass.
The Essais exercised an important influence on both French and English literature, in thought and style. Francis Bacon's Essays, published over a decade later, in 1596, usually are presumed to be directly influenced by Montaigne's collection, and Montaigne is cited by Bacon alongside other classical sources in later essays.
Ever since Edward Capell first made the suggestion in 1780, scholars have suggested Montaigne to be an influence on Shakespeare. The latter would have had access to John Florio's translation of Montaigne's Essais, published in English in 1603, and a scene in The Tempest "follows the wording of Florio [translating Of Cannibals] so closely that his indebtedness is unmistakable". Most parallels between the two may be explained, however, as commonplaces: as similarities with writers in other nations to the works of Cervantes and Shakespeare could be due simply to their own study of Latin moral and philosophical writers such as Seneca the Younger, Horace, Ovid, and Virgil.
The Musée d'Aquitaine announced on 20 November 2019 that the human remains, which had been found in the basement of the museum a year earlier, might belong to Montaigne.. Investigation of the remains, postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, resumed in September 2020.
Currently, Michel de Montaigne is 489 years, 11 months and 2 days old. Michel de Montaigne will celebrate 490th birthday on a Tuesday 28th of February 2023. Below we countdown to Michel de Montaigne upcoming birthday.
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