Voltaire (born François-Marie Arouet, November 21, 1694-May 30, 1778) was a French Enlightenment writer, philosopher, and historian. He was a profound advocate of freedom of religion, including separation of church and state. His attacks on the Catholic Church solidified him as an outspoken advocate, and over his life, he produced works in every form—plays, poems, essays, scientific research, novels, and pamphlets. Voltaire wrote between fifty to sixty plays on historic figures including Socrates, Mahomet, and Eriphile; his essays include the History of Charles XII, The Annals of the Empire, and History of the Russian Empire Under Peter the Great, and his most known works on philosophy are Letters on the English (1778), Micromegas (1752), Candide (1759), and Philosophical Dictionary (1764).