Hugo 14

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Opening page of Victor Hugo's "Men of Genius" chapter, in which he ranks the top 14 author and poetry geniuses of all time.

In genius studies, Hugo 14 (LH:9) is Victor Hugo's 1864 list of the greatest "authors and poetry" geniuses of all time.


In 1864, Victor Hugo, in his William Shakespeare, devoted a chapter to "Men of Genius", which opens to a discussion of how "art is the second branch of nature", and discusses genius in general, after which he steps the 14 greatest "authors and poets":[1]

  1. Homer
  2. Job [Bible]
  3. Aeschylus
  4. Isaiah [Bible]
  5. Ezekiel [Bible]
  6. Lucretius
  7. Juvenal
  8. Tacitus
  9. John [Bible]
  10. Paul [Bible]
  11. Dante Alighieri
  12. Francois Rabelais
  13. Cervantes
  14. William Shakespeare

He called these geniuses, he says, gave birth to and nourished all the other great writers of their respective nations.[2] Hugo, supposedly, placed himself at 15th position.[3]


The following are quotes:

“These supreme geniuses do not form a closed set. The author of all things adds a name whenever the needs of progress demand it.”
— Victor Hugo (c.1850), Publication[3]

End matter


  1. Hugo, Victor. (1864). William Shakespeare (translator: Melville Anderson) (Book Two: Men of Genius, 36-82). McClurg, 1886.
  2. Blattberg, Charles. (2009). Patriotic Elaborations: Essays in Practical Philosophy (pg. 63). MQUP.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Queneau, Raymond. (1970). Letters, Numbers, Forms,: Essays, 1928-70 (Batons, chiffres et lettres and Le Voyage en Grece) (pg. 135). University of Illinois, 2007.
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