By Joseph McCabe
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Additional resources for A Biographical Dictionary of Ancient, Medieval, and Modern Freethinkers
Fiske (2 vols, 1917) that he accepted only an "unknowable" god and immortality (as an act of faith) and rejected Christianity. Fitzgerald, Edward (1809-1883), poet and translator of Omar Khayyam. Few would know anything of Omar if it were not for the British poet or of Fitzgerald but for his translation of the Persian. It is so free a translation that wee may call it a fine poem of his own, but he never falsifies the sentiments though in places he expresses his agnosticism a little more boldly than a Persian poet would have dared.
He became the most learned, brilliant, and effective monarch in Europe. Three Popes in succession fought him, and with "ferocity and unscruptulousness" (the historian Holland admits), and his freethought was so well known that an anti-Christian work called The Three Impostors (Moses, Jesus and Mohammed) which then appeared was attributed-dubiously-to him. He invited the other Christian monarchs to depose the Pope. But his political position as ruler from the Baltic to Sicily was too unstable, and he often had to make concessions, such as penal laws against heresy, to the Popes.
He was a theist (Theology of Evolution , 1887), but did not believe in immortality. Courtney, Baron Leonard Henry (1832-1918), British statesman. A lawyer, then professor of political economy, who entered politics and rose to front rank positions. He published a Diary of a Church Goer in which he confesses that he was no religious beliefs beyond a liberal theism and that a large number of distinguished churchgoers like himself do not believe in Christianity. Cousin, Victor (1792-1867), French philosopher.
A Biographical Dictionary of Ancient, Medieval, and Modern Freethinkers by Joseph McCabe