Quotations From DESIDERIUS ERASMUS


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  • It is an unscrupulous intellect that does not pay to antiquity its due reverence.
    Desiderius Erasmus (c. 1466-1536), Dutch humanist. Works of Hilary, preface (Jan. 5, 1523).
  • The entire world is my temple, and a very fine one too, if I'm not mistaken, and I'll never lack priests to serve it as long as there are men.
    Desiderius Erasmus (c. 1466-1536), Dutch humanist. The Goddess of Folly, in Praise of Folly, ch. 47 (1509).

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  • If you look at history you'll find that no state has been so plagued by its rulers as when power has fallen into the hands of some dabbler in philosophy or literary addict.
    Desiderius Erasmus (c. 1466-1536), Dutch humanist. Praise of Folly, ch. 24 (1509).

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  • Man's mind is so formed that it is far more susceptible to falsehood than to truth.
    Desiderius Erasmus (c. 1466-1536), Dutch humanist. Praise of Folly, ch. 45 (1509).

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  • Out of all those centuries the Greeks can count seven sages at the most, and if anyone looks at them more closely I swear he'll not find so much as a half-wise man or even a third of a wise man among them.
    Desiderius Erasmus (c. 1466-1536), Dutch humanist. Praise of Folly, ch. 46 (1509).
  • They take unbelievable pleasure in the hideous blast of the hunting horn and baying of the hounds. Dogs' dung smells sweet as cinnamon to them.
    Desiderius Erasmus (c. 1466-1536), Dutch humanist. Praise of Folly, ch. 38 (1509). Referring to hunters.

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  • Everybody hates a prodigy, detests an old head on young shoulders.
    Desiderius Erasmus (c. 1466-1536), Dutch humanist. Praise of Folly, ch. 13 (1509).
  • The more ignorant, reckless and thoughtless a doctor is, the higher his reputation soars even amongst powerful princes.
    Desiderius Erasmus (c. 1466-1536), Dutch humanist. Praise of Folly, ch. 33 (1509).
  • It's the generally accepted privilege of theologians to stretch the heavens, that is the Scriptures, like tanners with a hide.
    Desiderius Erasmus (c. 1466-1536), Dutch humanist. Praise of Folly, ch. 64 (1509).
  • What is popularly called fame is nothing but an empty name and a legacy from paganism.
    Desiderius Erasmus (c. 1466-1536), Dutch humanist. A Letter to Martin Dorp (1515).

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