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Fabre d'Olivet, Antoine

(3,338 words)

Author(s): McCalla, Arthur
Fabre d'Olivet, Antoine, * 8 Jan 1767 (Ganges), † 27 Mar 1825 (Paris) The immensely curious and massively erudite self-proclaimed Neo-Pythagorean Fabre d'Olivet was born to a wealthy Protestant family. As a young man, he came under the influence of Delisle de Sales, an Enlightenment rationalist with a penchant for historical speculation. Under Delisle's influence, Fabre d'Olivet wrote Lettres à Sophie sur l'histoire (1801), a resume of ancient and modern cosmogonic systems together with a history of civilizations. Fabre d'Olivet's other notable pre-theosophical work is Le Trouba…

Maistre, Joseph de

(1,249 words)

Author(s): McCalla, Arthur
Maistre, Joseph de, * 1 Apr 1753 (Chambéry), † 26 Feb 1821 (Turin)…

Ballanche, Pierre Simon

(1,440 words)

Author(s): McCalla, Arthur
Ballanche, Pierre Simon, * 4 Aug 1776 (Lyons), † 12 Jun 1847 (Paris) The Ballanche family owned a publishing house in Lyons. An encounter with Juliette Récamier during her period of exile under Napoleon transformed Pierre-Simon's ambitions. Upon his father's death in 1816, Ballanche sold the business and moved the next year to Paris, where he devoted the rest of his life to private study and chaste devotion to Mme. Récamier. Ballanche held himself above the political factionalism of the Restoration era, beli…