Richard Popkins meticulous translation--the most complete since the eighteenth century--contains selections from thirty-nine articles, as well as from Bayles four Clarifications. The bulk of the major articles of philosophical and theological interest--those that influenced Leibniz, Berkeley, Hume, and Voltaire and formed the basis for so many eighteenth-century discussions--are present, including David, Manicheans,Paulicians,Pyrrho,Rorarius,Simonides,Spinoza, and Zeno of Elea.
Pierre Bayle (1647-1706), Protestant philosopher and critic, was born in France. In 1675 he became professor of philosophy at Sedan until forced into exile in Rotterdam in 1681, where he published works on religion with a liberal and tolerant tendency. He was dismissed from his position at the Huguenot refugees academy in 1693 following the accusation that he was an agent of France and an enemy of Protestantism. In 1696 he completed his major work, the Dictionnaire historique et critique.