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The Education of a Christian Prince


The Education of a Christian Prince (Latin: Institutio principis Christiani) is a Renaissance "how-to" book for princes, by Desiderius Erasmus, which advises the reader on how to be a good Christian prince. The book was dedicated to Prince Charles, who later became Habsburg Emperor Charles V. Erasmus wrote the book in 1516, the same year that Thomas More finished his Utopia and three years after Machiavelli had written his advice book for rulers Il Principe. The Principe, however, was not published until 1532, 16 years later. Erasmus stated that teachers should be of gentle disposition and have unimpeachable morals. A good education included all the liberal arts. Like the Roman educator Quintilian, Erasmus was against corporal punishment for unruly students. He stressed the student must be treated as an individual. Erasmus attempted throughout the work to reconcile the writers of antiquity with the Christian ethics of his time. The text was written in part to secure Erasmus a position as Prince Charles's tutor.
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original title: Institutio principis Christiani
date of publication: 1532
genre: mirrors for princes


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