1689 - 1755

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Charles Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu (; French: [mɔ̃tɛskjø]; 18 January 1689 – 10 February 1755), generally referred to as simply Montesquieu, was a French judge, man of letters, historian, and political philosopher. He is the principal source of the theory of separation of powers, which is implemented in many constitutions throughout the world. He is also known for doing more than any other author to secure the place of the word "despotism" in the political lexicon. His anonymously published The Spirit of Law (1748), which was received well in both Great Britain and the American colonies, influenced the Founding Fathers of the United States in drafting the U.S. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Montesquieu has received more than 3,205,481 page views. His biography is available in 96 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 94 in 2019). Montesquieu is the 18th most popular philosopher (up from 20th in 2019), the 11th most popular biography from France (up from 14th in 2019) and the 2nd most popular French Philosopher.

Montesquieu is most famous for his work "The Spirit of the Laws," which is considered to be one of the most influential works in the history of political philosophy.

Memorability Metrics

  • 3.2M

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  • 89.08

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 96

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 15.40

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 2.99

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

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Among philosophers, Montesquieu ranks 18 out of 1,089Before him are Augustine of Hippo, John Locke, Francis Bacon, Pythagoras, Thomas Aquinas, and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. After him are Arthur Schopenhauer, Thomas Hobbes, Epicurus, Heraclitus, Baruch Spinoza, and Erasmus.

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Among people born in 1689, Montesquieu ranks 1After him are John V of Portugal, Samuel Richardson, Jacques I, Prince of Monaco, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Joseph Bodin de Boismortier, Archduchess Maria Magdalena of Austria, Samuel Bellamy, Prince William, Duke of Gloucester, Blas de Lezo, Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer, and Alexis Piron. Among people deceased in 1755, Montesquieu ranks 1After him are Louis de Rouvroy, duc de Saint-Simon, Francesco Durante, Gerard Majella, Joseph Bodin de Boismortier, Johann Georg Pisendel, Johann Georg Gmelin, Jean-Baptiste Oudry, Princess Albertina Frederica of Baden-Durlach, Philipp Stamma, Edward Braddock, and Stepan Krasheninnikov.

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In France

Among people born in France, Montesquieu ranks 11 out of 5,234Before him are Charlemagne (748), Voltaire (1694), Blaise Pascal (1623), Louis Pasteur (1822), Victor Hugo (1802), and Claude Monet (1840). After him are Jules Verne (1828), Molière (1622), Louis XVI of France (1754), Honoré de Balzac (1799), Nostradamus (1503), and Jean-Paul Sartre (1905).


Among philosophers born in France, Montesquieu ranks 2Before him are René Descartes (1596). After him are Auguste Comte (1798), Michel de Montaigne (1533), Michel Foucault (1926), Henri Bergson (1859), Peter Abelard (1079), Jean Bodin (1530), Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809), Roland Barthes (1915), Gilles Deleuze (1925), and Charles Fourier (1772).