Carolus Rex



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Tonight, we’ll read from the opening to “History of Charles XII” written by French writer and philosopher Voltaire. It was first published in 1731. In this first major historical biography from the author, Voltaire tells the story of a warrior king who was the embodiment of the archetypal ‘hero’. Voltaire’s Charles was a leader both admirably strong and unabashedly tyrannical. Charles XII, also known as Carl XII or Carolus Rex, was the king of Sweden and what is now Finland.  Charles assumed power at the age of 15. His reign lasted for about 20 years, ending in the year 1718.