KIYASOV S.E. Abbot A. Barruel about the Causes and Organizers of the French Revolution


Sergey E. Kiyasov

Doctor of Sciences (History), Professor,

Department of World History, Saratov National Research State University,

Astrakhanskaya St., 83, 410012 Saratov, Russian Federation

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Abstract. The article deal with the version of participation in the events of the French revolution of secret organizations, proposed by Catholic priest and publicist Augustin Barruel. According to the emigrant abbot, who became a witness and participant in the revolutionary processes, those events were organized by the conspirators represented by philosophers-enlighteners, masons and illuminati, who joined after 1789 in the Club of the Jacobins. A. Barruel shared his views in a multivolume work, which was published in London at the very end of the 18th century. The book aroused great interest and was translated into many languages, including Russian. From that moment, a “black legend” was approved in the assessment of the European Masonic movement. This legend explained all the revolutionary events by a destructive “Masonic conspiracy”. The author focuses the research on characterizing the real causes that had become the catalyst for the French revolution. In the context of criticism of Barruel’s views, the assessments are also given to the evolution of the Masonic movement in France of the 18th century. The author touches upon a very important problem of transformation of national Masonic organizations. This problem is considered in the context of the formation of the structures of the Great East of France. The article notes the close relationship of this structure with the elite and the Royal court. The undertaken analysis is based on the special literature and the original sources, such as The Constitutions by James Anderson – the first printed constitution of the premier Grand Lodge of England; Memoires by Augustin Barruel.

Key words: Masonry, Masonic conspiracy, Enlightenment philosophy, French revolution, anti-Masonic conception.

Citation. Kiyasov S.E. Abbot A. Barruel about the Causes and Organizers of the French Revolution. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4, Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2017, vol. 22, no. 6, pp. 133-144. (in Russian). DOI:

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Abbot A. Barruel about the Causes and Organizers of the French Revolution by Kiyasov S.E. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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