Random Quote #46 topic: voltaire-dict, Philosophical Dictionary by Voltaire, 1694-1778


Our questions barely turn on geography; but let us be permitted to mark
in two words our astonishment about the town of Bourges. The
"Dictionnaire de Trevoux" claims that "it is one of the most ancient
towns of Europe, that it was the seat of the empire of the Gauls, and
gave kings to the Celts."

I do not wish to combat the ancientness of any town or any family. But
was there ever an empire of the Gauls? Did the Celts have kings? This
mania for antiquity is a malady from which one will not be healed so
soon. The Gauls, Germany, Scandinavia have nothing that is antique save
the land, the trees and the animals. If you want antiquities, go toward
Asia, and even then it is very small beer. Man is ancient and monuments
new, that is what we have in view in more than one article.

If it were a real benefit to be born in a stone or wooden enclosure more
ancient than another, it would be very reasonable to make the foundation
of one's town date back to the time of the war of the giants; but since
there is not the least advantage in this vanity, one must break away
from it. That is all I had to say about Bourges.


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