Erasmus cover

photo credits: Wikimedia Commons


Dutch Renaissance humanist, Catholic priest, and theologian

1466   -   1536

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

Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus (; English: Erasmus of Rotterdam or Erasmus; 28 October 1466 – 12 July 1536) was a Dutch philosopher and Catholic theologian who is considered one of the greatest scholars of the northern Renaissance. As a Catholic priest, he 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. He remained a member of the Catholic Church all his life, remaining committed to reforming the Church and its clerics' abuses from within. He also held to the doctrine of synergism, which some Reformers (Calvinists) rejected in favor of the doctrine of monergism. 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.
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In Praise of Folly

1509 essay by Desiderius Erasmus

author: Erasmus



collection of Greek and Latin proverbs, compiled by Erasmus of Rotterdam

author: Erasmus


The Education of a Christian Prince

book by Erasmus of Rotterdam

author: Erasmus


De libero arbitrio diatribe sive collatio

humanistic book by Erasmus

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


Ecclesiastes of Erasmus

Book by Erasmus of Rotterdam

author: Erasmus


Julius Excluded from Heaven

book by Desiderius Erasmus

author: Erasmus, anonymous


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