Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus (/ˌdɛzɪˈdɪəriəs ɪˈræzməs/; Dutch: [ˌdeːziˈdeːriʏs eˈrɑsmʏs]; English: Erasmus of Rotterdam or Erasmus;[note 1] 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.[2][3][4]

Bornc. 28 October 1466
Died12 July 1536(1536-07-12) (aged 69)
Other names
  • Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus
  • Erasmus of Rotterdam
Academic background
EducationQueens' College, Cambridge
University of Paris
University of Turin (DD, 1506)
Academic advisorsPaulus Bombasius and Jacques Lefèvre d'Étaples (epistolary correspondents)
Academic work
EraRenaissance philosophy
16th-century philosophy
School or tradition
InstitutionsUniversity of Leuven
Notable studentsDamião de Góis
Main interests
Notable works
Notable ideas
Ecclesiastical career
ChurchCatholic Church
Ordained25 April 1492

A Catholic priest, he was an important figure in classical scholarship who wrote in a spontaneous and natural Latin style.[5] Among humanists he was given the sobriquet "Prince of the Humanists", and has been called "the crowning glory of the Christian humanists".[6] 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 Reformation and Counter-Reformation. He also wrote On Free Will,[7] In Praise of Folly, Handbook of a Christian Knight, On Civility in Children, Copia: Foundations of the Abundant Style 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.[8][9] 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 Muenster, the former cathedral of the city.[10]

Share this article:

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Erasmus, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.