Academic journal article Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

Colloquies: The Collected Works of Erasmus

Academic journal article Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

Colloquies: The Collected Works of Erasmus

Article excerpt

Colloquies: The Collected Works of Erasmus, vols. 39 and 40. By Desiderius Erasmus.

Translated and annotated by Craig P. Thompson. Toronto: Toronto, 1997, 1,227 pp.,

150.

Never one to spare even himself from the pointed end of his razor wit, Erasmus once cited his writing of colloquies as proof that the end of the world was near and that no calamity was lacking. The calamity, of course, as we now know, would be the absence of the Colloquies, not their production, a calamity admirably forestalled by the University of Toronto Press's landmark edition of the Dutchman's famous tales. Entertaining and instructive, The Colloquies are fiction with a purpose, both moral and pedogogical. Published first in 1518 by Froben's Basel press, the work appeared without Erasmus's approval and corrections, which he supplied to another edition the following year. That re-issue was the first of more than twenty in the next three years.

Erasmus himself oversaw the expansion and reproduction of his colloquies for the rest of his adult life. …

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