Desiderius Erasmus

(1466-1536 / Rotterdam)

Desiderius Erasmus
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Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus (28 October 1466? – 12 July 1536), known as Erasmus of Rotterdam, was a Dutch Renaissance humanist, Catholic priest, social critic, teacher, and theologian.

Erasmus was a classical scholar who wrote in a pure Latin style. He was an early proponent of religious toleration, and enjoyed the sobriquet "Prince of the Humanists"; he has been called "the crowning glory of the Christian humanists". Using humanist techniques for working on texts, he prepared important new Latin and Greek editions of the New Testament. These raised questions that would be influential in the Protestant Reformation and Catholic Counter-Reformation. He also ... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''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).
  • ''Human affairs are so obscure and various that nothing can be clearly known. This was the sound conclusion of the Academic sceptics, who were the least surly of philosophers.''
    Desiderius Erasmus (1469-1536), Dutch humanist. In Praise of Folly, p. 84, trans. by Leonard Dean, Packard, Chicago (1946). Expression of Erasmus'...
  • Jupiter, not wanting man's life to be wholly gloomy and grim, has bestowed far more passion than reason—you could reckon the ration as twenty-four to one. Moreover, he confined reason to a crampe...
    Desiderius Erasmus (c. 1466-1536), Dutch humanist. Praise of Folly, ch. 16 (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).
  • The nearer people approach old age the closer they return to a semblance of childhood, until the time comes for them to depart this life, again like children, neither tired of living nor aware of deat...
    Desiderius Erasmus (c. 1466-1536), Dutch humanist. Praise of Folly, ch. 14 (1509).
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