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Traité des trois imposteurs


uncertainty Paul Henri Dietrich d'Holbach
Charles Le Vier

Related resources

has translation
Il celebre e raro trattato de' tre impostori divenuti per accidente i tre piu grandi legislatori del mondo translation


This was the most notorious clandestine treatise of the eighteenth century, and circulated widely in print and manuscript in multiple translations. Despite many speculations, we don't know when it was written or by whom. It largely consists of fragments of different heterodox texts of the late 17th century, including Spinoza, Hobbes, Giulio Cesare Vanini and Machiavelli, together with a commentary that seeks to expose the imposture of religion.

The edition described here, commonly attributed to D'Holbach, is a retranslation from an earlier French version published anonymously in 1768 under the title Esprit de Spinosa.

Sonja Laevert reconstructs the complex origins and many translations of the Traite in her article 'The Traite des trios imposters: A Philosophical Plot, or (Retranslation) as Strategy of Enlightenment', Cadernos de Traduçao 1 (2019): 73-93.