Antiokh Dmitrievich Kantemir was born 8 September 1708 in Constantinople, Turkey to Dimitrie Cantemir (1673-1723) and Cassandra Cantacuzino (1682-1713) and died 31 March 1744 Paris, France of unspecified causes.
Prince Antiokh Dmitrievich Kantemir (Антиох Дмитриевич Кантемир in Russian, Antioh Cantemir in Romanian, Dimitri Kantemiroğlu in Turkish, Antioche Cantemir in French; 8 September 1708 – 31 March 1744) was a Moldavian-born Russian Enlightenment man of letters and diplomat.
His work reflects the scope and purpose of Peter the Great's European-style reforms, standing out as a contribution to the integration of Russian culture into the world circuit of Classicism. In this respect, the most noticeable effort is his Petrida, an unfinished epic glorifying the Emperor.
From 1731 he was Russian envoy to London (where he brought along the manuscript to Dimitrie's History of the Growth and Decay of the Ottoman Empire, also writing the biography and bibliography of his father that accompanied the English 1756 edition). From 1736 until his death, Antiokh was minister plenipotentiary in Paris, where he was a noted intellectual figure and close friend to Montesquieu and Voltaire.
Kantemir's language seems dull and antiquated to the modern reader, because he stuck to the gallic system of rhyming, which was subsequently discarded. His best known poems are several satires in the manner of Juvenal, including To My Mind: On Those Who Blame Education and On the Envy and Pride of Evil-Minded Courtiers.
Kantemir translated de Fontenelle into Russian (1740 – Conversations on the Plurality of Worlds), although this was partly censored as heretical. He also produced a tract on old Russian versification (1744) and translated the poetry of Horace and Anacreon into Russian. His own philosophical work is the 1742 Letters on Nature and Man ("O prirode i cheloveke").
Antioch Kantemir died a bachelor in Paris, while the litigation concerning his illegitimate children dragged on for years.
- (Russian) A collection of Kantemir's poetry
- (Russian) The ancestors Prince Antiokh Dmitrievich Kantemir
|Romanian Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
|SHORT DESCRIPTION||Russian academic|
|DATE OF BIRTH||8 September 1708|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Constantinople, Turkey|
|DATE OF DEATH||31 March 1744|
|PLACE OF DEATH||Paris, France|