Charron, Pierre

Charron, Pierre, a French writer, was born at Paris in 1541. At first he studied law at Orleans and Bourges, and practiced several years in his profession, but afterwards betook himself to the study of theology, and soon became a famous pulpit orator. He preached several years in the south of France, and became chaplain to queen Marguerite. When forty-seven years old he returned to Paris, with the intention of joining a monastic order. Being refused, on account of his advanced age, he went again to the south. At Bordeaux he became acquainted with Montaigne, who exercised a great influence upon-him. In 1594 he published his Des Trois Verites (Bordeaux), and the bishop of Cahors appointed him vicar-general. The year following he represented his diocese at the meeting of the French clergy, and was elected its clerk. He died suddenly at Paris, Nov. 16,1603. Of his many writings, besides the above, we mention a collection of sixteen Discours Chretiens (ibid. 1600):-Traite de la Sagesse (ibid. 1601 a. o.). The principles laid down in this last work found some severe opponents, especially in the Jesuit Garasse, who. accused Charron of atheism. In the second edition, which appeared in 1604, some of the obnoxious passages were left out; but in 1607 a new edition of the correct text was published, which became the basis for later editions as published by Elzevir in 1646 and Didot in 1789. The best and most complete edition is the one published by Renouard (Dijon, 1801, 4 vols.). See Schmidt, in Herzog's Real- Encyklop. s.v.; Bayle, Dictionnaire Historique et Critique, s.v.; Brucker, Historia Philosophies, iv, 512; Arboux, in Lichtenberger's Encyclop. des Sciences Religieuses, s.v.; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, s.v. (B. P.)

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