Kristina Wasa

<history of philosophy, biography> queen of Sweden (1626-1689, queen from 1632) who pursued wide-ranging intellectual interests and corresponded with many of the seventeenth century's leading thinkers. Both Grotius and Descartes (to their peril) visited her court, and she published her Lettres de Descartes (Correspondence with Descartes) (1663). Kristina greatly admired the skepticism of Sextus Empiricus and Gassendi. After her refusal to marry led to a decision to abdicate the throne in 1654, Kristina first became an outspoken atheist and then converted to Catholicism. Recommended Reading: Susanna Akerman, Queen Christina of Sweden and Her Circle: The Transformation of a Seventeenth-Century Philosophical Libertine (Brill, 1991).

[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]


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