Clootz or Cloots, Anacharsis (änäkärsēsˈ klōts) [key], 1755–94, French revolutionary, self-styled Orator of the Human Race. Born near Cleves and a member of the lesser German nobility, his given name was originally Jean Baptiste. Fanatically devoted to humanitarian ideals and to the liberal ideas of the Encyclopédie, he came to Paris in 1776 and spent his large fortune for the advancement of those ideas. After the outbreak of the French Revolution, he headed (1790) a delegation of foreigners as "ambassadors of the human race" to the National Assembly; he adopted the name Anacharsis and was elected to the Convention, the revolutionary assembly, where he was an ardent supporter of the liberation of Europe in the name of the ideals of the Revolution. Aligned with the Hébertists (see Hébert, Jacques René), he was executed when that faction fell in Mar., 1794, during the Reign of Terror.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: French History: Biographies