Part of the name Eliphas Levi Zaed used by Alphonse Louis Constant (1810–1875) when he wrote books and articles. It was an attempt to translate and transliterate his name into Hebrew. When Constant published his first radical writing, La Bible de la liberté (1841, The Bible of Liberty), he was sentenced to an eight-month prison term and a high fine.
An especially radical pamphlet, La voix de la famine (1846, The Voice of Famine), earned Constant another prison sentence that was significantly shortened at the request of his pregnant wife, Marie-Noémi Cadiot.
Like many other socialists, the course of events, especially the massacres of the June Uprising in 1849, left him devastated and disillusioned. As his friend Esquiros recounted, their belief in the peaceful realization of a harmonious universal had been shattered.