Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Antiochus Cantemir

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From volume V of the work.
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CANTEMIR, Antiochus (1700-1744), the father of Russian poetry, was the youngest son of Demetrius Cantemir, noticed below. Under the ablest professors, whom Peter the Great had invited to St Petersburg, he studied mathematics, physics, history, moral philosophy, and polite literature. When quite young he was elected a member of the Academy of St Petersburg; and he wrote some satires at twenty, which helped greatly to fix Russian versification and develop Russian poetry. At thirty years of age he was nominated minister to the court of Great Britain; and there, as well as in France, whither he went in 1736 as minister-plenipotentiary, he was equally admired as a statesman and as a man of letters. His conduct in relation to the different revolutions which agitated Russia during his absence procured him the confidence and esteem of three successive princes. He died at Paris in 1744. Besides a Russian translation of Anacreon and the epistles of Horace, he wrote original satires, odes, and fables, and translated Fontenelle's Plurality of Worlds and Algarotti's Dialogues on Light and Colours. The Abbé Guasco wrote his life in French, and translated his satires into that language.