On This Day

Erasmus

Humanist and Theologian Erasmus

Full Name: Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus
Profession: Humanist and Theologian

Nationality:
Netherlands
Dutch

Why Famous: A proponent of religious toleration, sometimes known as 'the Prince of the Humanists'. Erasmus's letters and correspondence remain one of the primary sources for Renaissance intellectual thought.

Erasmus's own works include "In Praise of Folly" (1509) and the first published version of the New Testament in Greek (1516).

Before this he published a collection of Greek and Latin proverbs "Adagiorum collectanea" in 1500 and updated until his death. Through this work Erasmus is responsible for many common proverbs, including "the blind leading the blind", "Necessity is the mother of invention" and "kill two birds with one stone".

Living through a period of intense religious debate and the Protestant Reformation Erasmus was a leading figure in the religious debates of the day and communicated with Martin Luther. However he remained a defender of the Catholic Church throughout his life, while advocating for its reform.

Born: October 28, 1466
Birthplace: Rotterdam, Netherlands
Star Sign: Scorpio

Died: July 12, 1536 (aged 69)

Events in the Life of Erasmus

  • 1516-03-01 Printing is completed of Erasmus' "Novum Instrumentum omne", first published New Testament in Greek

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