This Day in History: Jean-Paul Marat Stabbed To Death in Bathtub On July 13, 1793

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Is The Pen Mightier Than The Sword?

The saying, “the pen is mightier than the sword”, couldn’t be more true for Jean-Paul Marat.  His newspaper articles during the French Revolution, inspired memorable events such as the September Massacre.  Unfortunately for him the political group Girondists tried to press charges on him for urging the public into violence.  Lucky for Jean-Paul, the courts took his side on the matter.  Afterwards he encouraged the imprisoning, killing or running anyone belonging to the Girondist group out of Paris. 

            On July 13, 1793 Jean-Paul learned the hard way that the pen might be mightier but the knife is much more deadly.  While taking a bath to ease a chronic skin disease that historians believe was dermatitis herpetiformis that caused a potent stench, pain and itchy skin, Charlotte Corday, a young woman, came to visit him with a list of traitors.  In addition to giving him the list she stabbed him with a common kitchen knife.

            Her act might have killed the man but not the violence he had inspired.  Girondists were still round up and imprisoned.   When the Reign of terror began on September 5, 1793 Girondists members were some of the first causalities.  

Further Reading

Jean-Paul Marat

Charlotte Corday

Dermatitis herpetiformis


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