Erasmus cover

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Dutch Renaissance humanist, Catholic priest, and theologian

1466   -   1536

movement: Renaissance philosophy
country of citizenship: Seventeen Provinces
educated at: University of Paris, Queens' College, University of Cambridge
occupation: translator, philosopher, theologian, teacher, essayist, Bible translator, writer, Lady Margaret's Professor of Divinity, latinist, priest, university teacher
student of: George Hermonymus, Alexander Hegius von Heek, Jan Standonck, John Colet
influenced by: Epicureanism, Cicero, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola

Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus (; 28 October 1466 – 12 July 1536), known as Erasmus or Erasmus of Rotterdam, was a Dutch Christian humanist who was the greatest scholar of the northern Renaissance. Originally trained as a Catholic priest, Erasmus was an important figure in classical scholarship who wrote in a pure Latin style. Among humanists he enjoyed the sobriquet "Prince of the Humanists", and 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, which raised questions that would be influential in the Protestant Reformation and Catholic Counter-Reformation. He also wrote On Free Will, In Praise of Folly, Handbook of a Christian Knight, On Civility in Children, Copia: Foundations of the Abundant Style, Julius Exclusus, and many other works. Erasmus lived against the backdrop of the growing European religious Reformation, but while he was critical of the abuses within the Catholic Church and called for reform, he kept his distance from Luther, Henry VIII and John Calvin and continued to recognise the authority of the pope, emphasizing a middle way with a deep respect for traditional faith, piety and grace, rejecting Luther's emphasis on faith alone. Erasmus remained a member of the Roman Catholic Church all his life, remaining committed to reforming the church and its clerics' abuses from within. He also held to the Catholic doctrine of free will, which some Reformers rejected in favor of the doctrine of predestination. His middle road ("via media") approach disappointed, and even angered, scholars in both camps. Erasmus died suddenly in Basel in 1536 while preparing to return to Brabant, and was buried in Basel Minster, the former cathedral of the city. A bronze statue of Erasmus was erected in 1622 in his city of birth, replacing an earlier work in stone.
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literary work by Erasmus of Rotterdam

author: Erasmus


De libero arbitrio diatribe sive collatio

humanistic book by Erasmus

author: Erasmus


The Education of a Christian Prince

book by Erasmus of Rotterdam

author: Erasmus


Handbook of a Christian Knight

book by Erasmus of Rotterdam

author: Erasmus


A handbook on manners for children

book by Desiderius Erasmus

author: Erasmus



treatise by Erasmus of Rotterdam

author: Erasmus



book by Desiderius Erasmus

author: Erasmus


Ecclesiastes of Erasmus

Book by Erasmus of Rotterdam

author: Erasmus


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