The Full Wiki

Libertine: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Did you know ...

More interesting facts on Libertine

Include this on your site/blog:


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A libertine is one devoid of any moral restraints, especially one who ignores or even spurns accepted morals and forms of behavior sanctioned by the larger society. The philosophy gained new-found adherents in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, particularly in France and Britain. Notable among these were John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester, and the Marquis de Sade. "Libertine", like many words, is an evolving one, defined today as "a dissolute person; usually a person who is morally unrestrained".[1] Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand wrote that Joseph Bonaparte "sought only life's pleasures and easy access to libertinism" while on the throne of Naples.[2]



The word "libertine" was originally coined by John Calvin to negatively describe opponents of his policies in Geneva, Switzerland. This group, led by Ami Perrin, argued against Calvin's "insistence that church discipline should be enforced uniformly against all members of Genevan society".[3] Perrin and his allies were elected to the town council in 1548, and "broadened their support base in Geneva by stirring up resentment among the older inhabitants against the increasing number of religious refugees who were fleeing France in even greater numbers".[3] By 1555, Calvinists were firmly in place on the Genevan town council, so the Libertines, led by Perrin, responded with an "attempted coup against the government and called for the massacre of the French ... This was the last great political challenge Calvin had to face in Geneva."[3]


Les Liaisons dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons, 1782), an epistolary novel by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos, is a trenchant description of sexual libertinism. Wayland Young argues:

"…the mere analysis of libertinism… carried out by a novelist with such a prodigious command of his medium… was enough to condemn it and play a large part in its destruction."[4]

Agreeable to Calvin’s emphasis on the need for uniformity of discipline in Geneva, Samuel Rutherford (Professor of Divinity in the University of St. Andrews, and minister of the Gospel in 17th Century Scotland) offers a compelling treatment regarding “Libertinism” in his polemical work “A Free Disputation against pretended Liberty of Conscience” (1649).

Notable libertines

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand, “Napoleon’s European Legacy, 1853,” Napoleon: Symbol for an Age, A Brief History with Documents, ed. Rafe Blaufarb (New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2008), 151.
  3. ^ a b c Zophy, Johnathan W. (2003). A Short History of Renaissance and Reformation Europe: Dances Over Fire and Water (Third Edition ed.). Prentice Hall. pp. 226. 
  4. ^ Young, 1966, 246

Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource

by Robert Ervin Howard

I set my soul to a wild lute
   And taught my feet to dance.
I float, a broken straw,
   Upon the Sea of Chance.

Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

found only Acts 6:9, one who once had been a slave, but who had been set at liberty, or the child of such a person. In this case the name probably denotes those descendants of Jews who had been carried captives to Rome as prisoners of war by Pompey and other Roman generals in the Syrian wars, and had afterwards been liberated. In A.D. 19 these manumitted Jews were banished from Rome. Many of them found their way to Jerusalem, and there established a synagogue.

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

what mentions this? (please help by turning references to this page into wiki links)


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address