Mably, Gabriel Bonnot, abbé de (1709-1785)

French philosopher and historian.

Secretary to the Cardinal de Tencin (c. 1742-46); participated in high-level diplomatic negotiations. Canon of the abbey church of Sainte-Barbe. Published numerous historical and philosophical works in which he condemned modern decadence, sought to apply ancient Greek principles to modern societies, and laid the intellectual groundwork for communism. In Observations sur le gouvernement et les lois des Etats-Unis d’Amérique (1784), Mably warned the young United States to renounce mercantilism. Franklin owned a copy of Mably’s Des principes des négociations (1767).

Born in Grenoble. Educated at the Jesuit college in Lyon.