At 300, Encyclopedia Pioneer May Yet Get A Hero's Burial

Historians in the News
tags: Diderot

Denis Diderot's work on the Encyclopédie faced stiff resistance in its time, but some scholars credit it with laying the foundations of the French Revolution.

Louis-Michel con Loo/Diderot Collection/Gift of M. de Vandeul to the French State in 1911

Before there was Wikipedia, there were encyclopedias — and Saturday marks the 300th birthday of the father of one of the world's most important.

Eighteenth-century French philosopher Denis Diderot was the driving force behind the Encyclopédie, one of the first compendiums of human knowledge of its time. The anniversary of his birth has prompted calls for Diderot to receive France's highest honor: have his remains reinterred in Paris' Pantheon, a mausoleum of sorts for France's national heroes...

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