In 1580, he undertook a journey to Italy, whose main goal was to cure the pain of his kidney stones at thermal resorts.The journey is related in part by a secretary, in part by Montaigne himself, in a manuscript that was only discovered during the XVIII, and forgotten soon after.While Montaigne was taking the baths near Pisa, he learnt of his election as Mayor of Bordeaux.
In his second term he came under criticism for having abandoned the town during the great plague in an attempt to protect himself and his family.
His time in office was dimmed by the wars of religion between Catholics and Protestants.
Part of the brilliance of the lies in this very ability to elicit various forms of explanatory coherence whilst at the same time defying them.
The work is so rich and flexible that it accommodates virtually any academic trend.
The only thing we know with certainty is that his father bought him an office in the Court of Périgueux.
He then met Etienne de La Boëtie with whom he formed an intimate friendship and whose death some years later, in 1563, left him deeply distraught.Replicating Petrarca's choice in , Sextus Empiricus, Lucretius, and other classical authors, whom he read intensively.To escape fits of melancholy, he began to commit his thoughts to paper.Montaigne's repeated revisions of his text, as modern editions show with the three letters A, B, C, standing for the three main editions, mirror the relationship between the activity of his thought and the If it is true, as Edmund Husserl said, that philosophy is a shared endeavor, Montaigne is perhaps the most exemplary of philosophers since his work extensively borrows and quotes from others.Montaigne managed to internalize a huge breadth of reading, so that his erudition does not appear as such.Till the end of the XIX century, the copy text for all new editions was that of 1595; Fortunat Strowski and shortly after him Pierre Villey dismissed it in favor of the “Bordeaux copy”, a text of the 1588 edition supplemented by manuscript additions.The unity of the work and the order of every single chapter remain problematic.Yet, it is also so resistant to interpretation that it reveals the limits of each interpretation.Critical studies of the have, until recently, been mainly of a literary nature.He arranged instead for a German preceptor and the household to speak to him exclusively in Latin at home.So the young Montaigne grew up speaking Latin and reading Vergil, Ovid, and Horace on his own.