The letters in this volume reflect Erasmus’ anxiety about the endemic warfare in Western Europe, the advance of the Ottoman Turks into Europe, and the increasing threat of armed conflict between Catholics and Protestants in Germany. Unable and unwilling to attend the Diet of Augsburg (June–November 1530), summoned by Emperor Charles V in the attempt to mediate a religious settlement, Erasmus corresponded with those in attendance, urging them (in vain) to preserve peace at all costs.
The letters also shed light on Erasmus’ controversies with Catholic critics (Luis de Carvajal and Frans Titelmans) who accused him of Lutheran sympathies, and former friends among the Protestant reformers (Gerard Geldenhouwer and others in Strasbourg), who embarrassed him by citing him in support of their views. Because of a mysterious and debilitating illness (identified in an appendix to the volume) the twelve months covered were less productive of scholarship than was usual for Erasmus, but it did see the publication of the five-volume Froben edition of St. John Chrysostom in Latin.
Volume 16 of the Collected Works of Erasmus series.
‘The Toronto Erasmus project is a magnificent achievement, one of the scholarly triumphs of our time. The succession of fine volumes – both in quality of content and of design and production – since the edition began in 1974 has continued to fulfil the original promise of the distinguished team of editors and the equally distinguished advisory committee.’
‘Academic publishing does not get any better than this: durably bound, expertly annotated, beautifully translated editions of the works of one of the finest scholars in the illustrious history of the Christian Church.’
"Like the preceding two volumes of the translated correspondence, CWE 16 has been admirably edited by James E. Estes; Alexander Dalzell, who translated the letter in CWE 15, has again put Erasmus’ complicated Latin into readable English prose."
‘This current volume retains the impeccable scholarship, careful attention to detail, and beautiful high-quality materials and printing that has characterized the series… A very valuable and much appreciated addition.’
‘The Collected Works of Erasmus project has long since established a new standard for scholarly translation series to emulate. Not only have the English versions represented Erasmus’ writings in crisp and accessible language, but meticulous editorial scholarship has placed the author’s thought and work in their proper intellectual contexts.’