This contribution focuses on the complex origin and publication history of the clandestine treatise Traite des trois imposteurs that put into motion the process of the radical Enlightenment. The treatise consists almost completely of a compilation of paraphrases and quotations of heterodox texts of the 17th century. A summary will be made of the most important source texts assembled in the collage. One of them is Vanini's De Admirandis Naturae Reginae Deaeque Mortalium Arcanis from 1619 on which the analysis will focus. Two editions of the treatise are particularly important in this respect and will be looked at in detail: the first publication in print from 1719 under the title L'esprit de Spinosa (that can be seen as a translation in French) and the re-edition as Traite des trois imposteurs from 1768 probably made by D'Holbach (considered as a retranslation in French). The hypothesis developed of this contribution is that through the translation and the retranslation, step by step, a shift in meaning from Renaissance pantheism and the idea of natural religion to atheism and materialism took place. This hypothesis will be assessed by a precise comparative analysis of two excerpts of Dialogue 50 of De Admirandis, the French translation in L'Esprit de Spinosa and the French retranslation in the Traite des trois imposteurs. Finally, also the Italian translation of 1798 will be compared with the previous editions/ translations.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)73-93
Aantal pagina's21
TijdschriftCadernos de Traduçao
Nummer van het tijdschrift1
StatusPublished - jan 2019


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