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The Correspondence of Erasmus

Letters 993 to 1121 (1519-1520)

by Desiderius Erasmus, translated by R.A.B. Mynors, notes by P.G. Bietenholz

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Description

A painful time in Erasmus' life is reflected in this volume of letters. As the two volumes immediately previous to this one indicated, Erasmus' first two years in Louvain were agreeable, productive, and carefree. But the spirit of congenial scholarship in which he lived at this time was gradually giving way to bitter conflict and controversy: Louvain was merely a microcosm of Erasmus' entire world, which was undergoing great strain. The exuberant expectancy of a Golden Age of civilized Christianity was yielding to the bleak prospect of helplessly watching the progress of what Erasmus termed the 'Lutherana tragoedia,' a play that he felt would end in catastrophe.

The reader of this volume encounters a troubled Erasmus, who fights back constantly and unhappily against innuendo and open attacks, especially against the accusation that he is in connivance with Luther. His literary production and scholarly research suffer considerably as a result of his preoccupation and the general turmoil. Erasmus' conflicts with two younger theologians in particular. Jacobus Latomus and Edward Lee, loom large in this volume, and his over-reaction to Lee's criticisms shows him to be his own worst enemy.

The volume features several memorable letters by Thomas More that testify to his integrity and clear-sightedness, his capacity for sober self-assessment and restraint combined with charity. It also contains one of Erasmus' most famous letters, Ep 999, which paints a subtle and sparkling pen portrait of More, the man and the Christian.

About the Authors
Desiderius Erasmus (c. 1466-1536), a Dutch humanist, Catholic priest, and scholar, was one of the most influential Renaissance figures. A professor of divinity and Greek, Erasmus wrote, taught, and travelled, meeting with Europe’s foremost scholars. A prolific author, Erasmus wrote on both ecclesiastic and general human interest subjects.
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R.A.B. Mynors is Corpus Christi Professor of Latin, Oxford University.

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Peter G. Bietenholz is a professor emeritus in the Department of History at the University of Saskatchewan.
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Other Titles by Desiderius Erasmus

Literary and Educational Writings, 3 and 4

Literary and Educational Writings, 3 and 4

Volume 3: De conscribendis epistolis / Formula / De civilitate. Volume 4: De pueris instituendis / De recta pronuntiatione, Volume 25-26
edition:Hardcover
also available: eBook
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Other Titles by P.G. Bietenholz

Contemporaries of Erasmus

Contemporaries of Erasmus

A Biographical Register of the Renaissance and Reformation, Volume 3 - N-Z
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Encounters with a Radical Erasmus

Encounters with a Radical Erasmus

Erasmus' Work as a Source of Radical Thought in Early Modern Europe
edition:eBook
also available: Hardcover Paperback
tagged : renaissance
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