Volney, Constantin-François de Chassebœuf, count de

(1757-1820)
   philosopher, writer
   Born in Craon, Anjou, Constantin-François de Chassebœuf, count de Volney, after finishing his studies in law and medicine, visited the Near East and upon his return soon became known for his descriptions of that region through his Voyages en Egypte et en Syrie (1787). A representative of the Third Estate, then secretary to the National Assembly (1790), he edited his most famous work, Les Ruines ou Méditations sur les révolutions des empires (1791). During the revolution of 1789, he was imprisoned under the terror, then served as a member of the education committee under the Directorate. Volney can perhaps be considered through his writings as the moralist and sociologist for the "ideologues"—the group of late-18th-century French philosophers who sought the practical application of the ideas of the enlightenment (Recherches nouvelles sur l'histoire ancienne, 1814; Discours sur l'étude philosophique des langues, 1819). Vol-ney was elected to the académie française in 1803.

France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present . 1884.

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