This edition includes a modern introduction and a list of suggested further reading.
On March 10, 1762, Jean Calas, a Protestant merchant, was publicly executed in Toulouse, France. This punishment had been prescribed by the regional parliament, with hopes that Calas would confess to murdering his adult son in order to prevent his conversion to Catholicism. Steadfastly declaring his innocence, the elderly Huguenot expired after hours of suffering, his limbs broken one by one before the executioner strangled him and burned his corpse. These were the events that inspired Voltaire'sTreatise on Tolerance. Even today the Treatise on Tolerance stands as one of the most important milestones in the acceptance of religious tolerance in the Western world.