Calvinist-inspired coup d’e
´tat in the Dutch Republic, led by the
Prince of Orange, leading to the execution of Oldenbarnevelt
and imprisonment of Grotius.
24; birth of Spinoza in Amsterdam to a Portuguese
Jewish immigrant family; his father Michael d’Espinoza was a
merchant trading with Portugal, Morocco, the Canaries and
Treaty of Westphalia ends the Thirty Years War and simulta-
neously the Eighty Years War between the Spanish and the
First Anglo-Dutch War; capture of several cargoes belonging to
Spinoza’s father, and near ruin of the Spinoza family ¢rm.
States of Holland and States General pass edicts introducing new
procedures of book censorship and outlawing anti-Trinitarianism
The Dutch West India Company loses its last outposts in Brazil.
Death of Michael d’Espinoza; Spinoza brie£y becomes head of
what remains of the family business.
Spinoza involved in heated exchanges, at the week-day evening
Keter Torah yeshivah discussion group with the Amsterdam
27, the twenty-four-year-old Spinoza expelled from the
Synagogue and placed under a general ban in the Jewish world
by the Amsterdam Sephardic rabbis.
Spinoza writes his Apologia against the rabbis in Spanish, a
work later lost.
Probable timing of Spinoza’s attendance at philosophy lectures
The end of the Cromwellian Commonwealth in England and
Restoration of the English Monarchy.
Publication of the ¢rst work of Dutch ‘democratic republican-
ism’, Johan de la Court’s Considerations of State.
Spinoza’s encounter, via cross-Channel correspondence, with
Spinoza moves house from Rijnsburg (near Leiden) to Voor-
burg (nearThe Hague).
Publication of Spinoza’s geometric exposition of the principles
of Descartes’ philosophy, the only work to be published under
his own name during his life-time, together with his own Cogi-
tata metaphysica inserted as an appendix.
The English seize New Amsterdam (New York); the Second
Van den Enden’s Free Political Institutions anonymously pub-
lished in Amsterdam.
Lodewijk Meyer’s Philosophia published by Rieuwertsz in
The trial and imprisonment in Amsterdam of the Dutch free-
thinker Adriaen Koerbagh.
Spinoza moves house from Voorburg to the centre of The
TractatusTheologico-Politicus clandestinely published in Amsterdam.
Third Anglo-Dutch War.
1672 Fre nch Inva s io n of the Dutch Re public ; ove r t hrow of th e an t i -
O rang is t re g i me in Holla nd ; Sp ino z a cl o s e to the s c e n e of the
m o b mu rder of t he B rothe rs de Witt , in The Hague.
1674 St ate s of Holla nd an d Sta te s Ge n e ral for mally ba n the TTP
to ge th e r with Meye r ’s Ph ilos op h ia and Ho bb e s’ Leviathan.
1676 Le ib ni z vis it s Sp in o z a in The Hag ue a nd c onfe rs with h i m
‘s eve ral t i me s and at g re a t le ngth’.
1677 Feb r uar y 21, dea th of Sp ino z a at The Hagu e.
1677 Ale r te d by the C at holi c le ade rship i n Holla nd, the Holy O ⁄c e
in Ro me t ake s ste p s to tr y to preve n t public at io n of Sp in o z a’s
1677 Po st hu m ous public at io n in A ms te rdam u n der th e s o on le g e n -
dar y in it ials B. D. S. , of t he Opera Pos thuma inc luding Sp in o z a’s
Ethics , c or re sp onde nce , an d u n¢nis he d tre at is e s.
1678 The St ate s of Holla n d and Sta te s Ge n e ral for mally ban Sp ino -
z a’s philo s ophy, i n to to to ge th e r with all re-working s a nd
re s t ate me n ts of his i dea s , t hre a te ning aut hors , publis he rs and
pr in te rs wh o violate th e ba n with he avy ¢ n e s and lo ng te r ms of
Appearance of theTTP in French translation under three dif-
ferent clandestine titles.
in France, Bayle acquires copies of and reads all the works of
‘le fameux Spinosa’.
Publication in London of Charles Blount’s Miracles, no Viola-
tions of the Laws of Nature, much of which consists of an English
re n der ing of th e
s ixth c hapte r
of the TTP.
TTP becomes the ¢rst work of Spinoza to be published in
English, appearing in London (without his name on the title-
page) under the title ATreatise PartlyTheological and Partly Poli-
tical, Containing some few Discourses to Prove that the Liberty of
Philosophizing (that is, Making Use of Natural Reason) may be
allow’d without any Prejudice to Piety, or to the Peace of any
The best recent account of Spinoza’s life and circle of friends is
undoubtedly Steven Nadler, Spinoza. A Life (Cambridge,
1999). A useful
additional recent summary of his intellectual development is Richard H.
Popkin, Spinoza (Oxford,
For a general bibliography of Spinoza in English from the seventeenth
century to the present see Wayne I. Boucher, Spinoza in English (Leiden,
For a general survey of Spinoza’s philosophy in context, see The
Cambridge Companion to Spinoza, ed. Don Garrett (Cambridge,
Further introductory and general outlines of Spinoza’s philosophy as an
integrated system areTheo Verbeek,‘Baruch de Spinoza’ in Alan Kors (ed.),
The Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment (
4 vols. Oxford, New York, 2003), iv,
117^20; Edwin Curley, Behind the Geometric Method. A Reading of
Spinoza’s Ethics (Princeton, NJ,
1988); G. H. R. Parkinson, ‘Editor’s
Introduction’ to B. Spinoza, Ethics (Oxford,
2000), pp. 5^54; Steven B.
Smith, Spinoza’s Book of Life. Freedom and Redemption in Ethics (New Haven,
2003) and Stuart Hampshire, Spinoza and Spinozism (Oxford, 2005).
For an excellent English translation of the Ethics by a major expert on
Spinoza’s philosophy, see Edwin Curley (ed.), The Collected Works of Spinoza
1 (Princeton, NJ, 1988).
On the Dutch intellectual and philosophical context of Spinoza’s time,
and the other Dutch radical republicans and philosophical dissidents of
the age, see the essays in Wiep van Bunge (ed.), The Early Dutch
Enlightenment in the Dutch Republic,
1650^1750 (Leiden, 2003), and inWiep
van Bunge and Wim Klever (eds.), Disguised and Overt Spinozism around
1700 (Leiden, 1996). Further helpful contributions are Wiep van Bunge,