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Rotterdam Erasmus

Rotterdam Erasmus

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Dutch writer (1466-1536). His humanist ideas left important marks on liberal and progressive Renaissance thinking.

The Dutch scholar and scholar Erasmus of Rotterdam (or Erasmus Desiderius) was one of the first top-selling authors in the world. He acquired his fame during the Renaissance, during which there was an incredible awakening of art, thought and literature, which rescued Europe from the intellectual darkness of the Middle Ages. Although in the Renaissance many people rediscovered classical Greek and Roman literature, and reconsidered classical thinking, the period also sought innovations and inventions. Universities spread throughout Europe and there was a great wave of dissemination of ideas, made possible by the emergence of the Gutenberg press in 1450 and the birth of the publishing industry.

Born in Rotterdam, Erasmus's humanist ideas epitomized the liberal and progressive thinking of the Renaissance. He studied in the Netherlands and Paris before traveling, in 1498, to England, where he studied Greek at the University of Oxford. His first theological treatise, The Christian Knight's Manual, was published in 1503, shortly before he left for Venice and Rome, where he would be received by Pope Julius II.

Erasmus returned to England and became a favorite of the court of King Henry VIII (1491-1547). He continued to live in England for almost a decade before returning to the European continent in 1517. First settling in Louvain and then in Basel, France.

Erasmus's writings were popular because of his clever imagination and clear and descriptive style. Although this made him attract large numbers of powerful enemies because of their satires. Among his most important works are the Praise of Madness (1509), in which "madness" speaks to an imaginary audience composed of people of various kinds; From Duplici Copia Verborum et Rerum (1511), a rhetorical text for Latin scholars; The Christian Parents (1521); Family Colloquiums (1516-1536); From Libero Arbitrary (1526), ​​a pamphlet satirizing Martin Luther; The Ancient Navigations (1532), a series of short stories; and Preparation for Death (1533).