Montaigne, Michel de

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Montaigne, Michel de Gender: M
Michel Eyquem de Montaigne
born on 28 February 1533 Jul.Cal. (10 Mar 1533 greg.) at 11:30 (= 11:30 AM )
Place Château de Montaigne, France, 44n5242, 0e0148
Timezone LMT m0e0148 (is local mean time)
Data source
Rodden Rating B
Collector: Rodden
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_piscol.18.gif 19°26' s_mo.18.gif s_taucol.18.gif 06°56 Asc.s_cancol.18.gif 05°08'

Michel de Montaigne


French writer and Renaissance man, the author of "Essais," 1595, translator of "The Natural World" and "Apologie de Ramon Sebond," 1569 and "Journal De Voyage," posthumously published in 1744. He is most noted for being the creator of a new literary genre to accommodate what would later be called "the dialogue of the mind with itself," or the modern essay.

The son of a rich Catholic landowning father and a Spanish Jewish mother, his early education was taken so seriously that he only heard and spoke Latin until the age of six. After attending the College de Guyenne in Bordeaux for seven years, he studied for the law at the University de Toulouse. Obtaining a post through a connection with the parliament of Bordeaux, Montaigne served as a city councilman, holding a magistracy until 1571. He then succeeded to the family estate at Montaigne and with his wife, went into seclusion to write and live the life of a country gentleman in his ancestral castle. While ostensibly aloof and removed from the political and religious upheavals affecting his countrymen, he was not the hermit as he is often depicted. In addition to managing his estate and traveling through Germany, Austria and Italy, he served as confidante to Henry III and Henry IV. The first two books of his "essai" were written between 1571 and 1582; these were trials and tests of his own judgments on a wide variety of subjects in a style formal and familiar, full of concrete images and humor. They illustrate the development of this thinking as his examination of himself evolved into a study of man and nature. "I myself an the subject of my book...It is not reasonable that you should employ your leisure on a topic so frivolous and vain." The middle period of his works were characterized by his frequent motto "Que sais-je? (What do I know?) which summed up his skepticism toward all knowledge represented by his essay "Apologie de Ramon Sebond." This essay allegedly defends a Catalan theologian whose work Montaigne had translated in 1569 but is actually an exposition of human frailty.

Like his father before him, Montaigne was eventually elected mayor of Bordeaux, a position he held from 1581-1585. While almost nothing is known about his wife, Montaigne wrote extensively about his friendship with fellow parliamentarian Etienne de la Boetie in his second book of "essai," entitled published "On Friendship" in 1580, "I am better at friendship than anything else," he wrote in one of his earliest essays, and it was the loss of Boetie's friendship through his untimely death that caused Montaigne to withdraw inside himself and write a third book of essays that was published in 1588. Montaigne's last essays were known for his acceptance that life is good, and for his conviction that man must discover his own nature in order to live with others in peace and dignity.

Montaigne died of quinsy on 13 September 1592 at the Château de Montaigne, France. He requested mass, and died during the celebration of that mass. He was 59.

Link to Wikipedia biography



  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1569 (Book, "Apologie de Ramon Sebond")
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1580 (Book, "On Friendship")
  • Work : Gain social status 1581 at 12:00 midnight in Bordeaux, France (Elected Mayor of Bordeaux)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1588 (Third book of essays)
  • Death by Disease 13 September 1592 (greg.) (Quinsy, age 59)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1595 (Book, "Essais")
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1744 (Book, "Journal De Voyage")

Source Notes

Modern Astrology 4/1932, "According to a book of his father's he was born at 11:00 AM but in his own statement, given in his essays, he was born between 11:00 and 12:00 Noon, February 28, 1533 OS."


  • Traits : Mind : Education extensive
  • Traits : Personality : Private
  • Family : Childhood : Advantaged (Son of rich Catholic landowning father)
  • Lifestyle : Work : Stressful work
  • Lifestyle : Work : Work alone/ Singular role
  • Lifestyle : Financial : Wealthy
  • Lifestyle : Social Life : Friends (Confidante to powerful people)
  • Lifestyle : Social Life : Travel (Through Europe)
  • Passions : Sexuality : Homosexual male
  • Vocation : Law : Jurist (Magistrate)
  • Vocation : Politics : Public office (Mayor of Bordeaux, city councilman)
  • Vocation : Writers : Textbook/ Non-fiction (Essayist)
  • Notable : Famous : Founder/ originator (Creator of modern essay)
  • Notable : Book Collection : Culture Collection