Heterodoxy, Spinozism, and Free Thought in Early-Eighteenth-Century Europe

Studies on the Traité des Trois Imposteurs

  • Silvia Berti
  • Françoise Charles-Daubert
  • Richard H. Popkin

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. History and Interpretation of the Traité des Trois Imposteurs

  3. Around the Traité

  4. The Threads of a Tradition

  5. Back Matter
    Pages 475-532

About this book


'the oldest biography of Spinoza', La Vie de Mr. Spinosa, which in the manuscript copies is often followed by L'Esprit de M. Spinosa. Margaret Jacob, in her Radical Enlightenment, contended that the Traite was written by a radical group of Freemasons in The Hague in the early eighteenth century. Silvia Berti has offered evidence it was written by Jan Vroesen. Various discussions in the early eighteenth century consider many possi­ ble authors from the Renaissance onwards to whom the work might be attributed. The Trois imposteurs has attracted quite a bit of recent attention as one of the most significant irreligious clandestine writings available in the Enlightenment, which is most important for understanding the develop­ ment of religious scepticism, radical deism, and even atheism in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Scholars for the last couple of decades have been trying to assess when the work was actually written or compiled and by whom. In view of the widespread distribution of manu­ scripts of the work all over Europe, they have also been seeking to find out who was influenced by the work, and what it represented for its time. Hitherto unknown manuscripts are being turned up in public and private libraries all over Europe and the United States.


18th century De tribus impostoribus English Spinoza Spinozism Thomas Hobbes anti-religious Enlightenment thought enlightenment

Editors and affiliations

  • Silvia Berti
    • 1
  • Françoise Charles-Daubert
    • 2
  • Richard H. Popkin
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.University of RomeItaly
  2. 2.Centre Nationale de Recherches ScientifiquesFrance
  3. 3.Washington UniversitySt. LouisUSA
  4. 4.University of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1996
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-90-481-4741-0
  • Online ISBN 978-94-015-8735-8
  • Series Print ISSN 0066-6610
  • Buy this book on publisher's site