Thomas Hobbes was born on April 5, 1588 in Wiltshire. Leading a sheltered and leisured life, his education was provided his uncle, a tradesman and alderman of Malmesbury. Before the age of fifteen, he attended school in Magdalen Hall, Oxford. He left in 1608 and became companion to the eldest son of Lord Cavendish of Hardwicke, which gave him a permanent connection with the family. He traveled the continent three times, in his life, with a pupil.
In 1610, he visited France, Germany, and Italy and learned the French and Italian languages. He returned and settled down at Hardwicke and London where he set himself to be a scholar. In 1628, his pupil died. In 1629, he left for the continent again with a new pupil and returned in 1631. His third visit lasted from 1634 to 1637. At Paris, he was an intimate of Mersenne, who was the center of a scientific circle that involved Descartes and Gassendi. At Florence he held discourse with Galileo.
In 1640, after signs of activity threatening civil war, Hobbes fled to France and stayed there for 11 years. Here, he had matured the plan for his own philosophical works. In 1651, his greatest work, Leviathan, was published and he also returned to England where he felt was a safer place for a philosopher. In 1675, he completed both Iliad and Odyssey when he left London for the last time. He lived with the Cavendish and died at Hardwicke on December 4, 1679.