Pierre-Sylvain Maréchal

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Maréchal, Pierre-Sylvain

 

Born Aug. 15, 1750, in Paris; died Jan. 18, 1803, in Montrouge. French politician, philosopher, and writer.

In his works, Maréchal combined atheist materialism with an egalitarian communism and from these ideas formulated a pro-gram for revolutionary action. He expressed his views in witty pamphlets (For and Against the Bible, 1801) and in the didactic antireligious poem The French Lucretius (1781; final version 1797). In 1790, Maréchal headed the democratic weekly Revolutions de Paris. His antityrannical prophecy-farce Last Judgment Over the Kings (1793) is one of the best works of Jacobin theater.

Under the Directory, Maréchal joined the movement Conspiracy of the Equals, which was headed by G. Babeuf. He was the author of the first version of the Manifesto of the Equals, as well as of the society’s proclamation song. In 1799 he published the six-volume historical Enlightenment novel Travels of Pythagoras (published in Russia without the author’s name in 1804-10) and, in 1802, The History of Russia.

WORKS

In Russian translation:
Izbrannye ateisticheskie proizvedeniia. Introductory article by Kh. N. Momdzhian. Moscow, 1958.

REFERENCES

Ocherki iz istorii dvizheniia dekabristov. Moscow, 1954. Pages 474-515.
Velikovskii, S. Poety frantsuzskikh revoliutsii 1789-1848. Moscow, 1963.
Oblomievskii, D. Literatura frantsuzskoi revoliutsii 1789-1794 gg. Moscow, 1964.
Dommanger, M. Sylvain Maréchal, L’egalitaire, “L’homme sans dieu”; Sa vie, son oeuvre. Paris, 1950.

S. I. VELIKOVSKII