18
Return from England: The Years in Flanders and Paris, 1501-1502

One who aspires to wisdom should therefore apply himself to reading, learning, and meditation.

John of Salisbury, Metalogicon, lib. 1, c.24

All sacred scriptures should be read in the spirit in which they were written ... If you desire to profit, read with humility, simplicity, and faith, and have no concern to appear learned.

Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ, 1, 5

The winter of 1500-1501 may well have been one of the worst periods in the life of the struggling Dutch humanist, for his money had run out (as narrated in chapter 17), and his chances of patronage were slim. Hoping to rebuild his shaky finances, Erasmus was ready to turn away from the merdas gallicas of Paris, a biting phrase in a letter (translated in CWE 1:193/13 as 'among French dunghills'). But this phrase occurs in a letter to his Paris jesting companion, Fausto Andrelini (Epistle 103), and it is a private, not a public, letter. Yet for a number of reasons, not least the health conditions in the city, Erasmus did not want to remain in Paris, where he had returned on 2 February 1500. However, his relationship with his bishop Hendrik van Bergen was cooling (perhaps, as suggested in Volume 1, owing to the reports of his enemy Standonck), and in any event Hendrik accompanied archduke Philip the Handsome of Burgundy and Joanna of Spain on their journey to Spain in 1501.

Erasmus turned his eyes instead towards Flanders, where his friend Jacob Batt was already helping him from his own personal resources -- and Erasmus kept pressing him for more -- and there was the continuing hope that Batt might intercede for him with Lady Anne of Veere, a wealthy heiress in her own right. Erasmus tried all possible sources for financial help, including the abbot of St Bertin, Antoon van Bergen, brother of his bishop, to whom Erasmus had written an account of a recent witchcraft trial in Orleans (chapter 17); and he had delicately asked another illegitimate son of Antoon

-1-

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Erasmus of Europe: - Vol. 2
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Notes xiv
  • List of Abbreviations xv
  • List of ILlustrations xvii
  • 18 Return from England: the Years in Flanders and Paris, 1501-1502 1
  • 19 the Early Louvain Years, 1502-1504 14
  • Notes 24
  • 20 the Enchiridion: 'Philosophia Christi' 28
  • Notes 40
  • 21 1504, a Threshold Year 41
  • Notes 49
  • 22 Return to England, 1505-1506 51
  • Notes 59
  • 23 Italy, 1506-1509 62
  • Notes 71
  • 24 the Adages 74
  • Notes 82
  • 25 England Again, 1509: the 'Period of Silence' 86
  • Notes 92
  • 25 the Praise of Folly 95
  • Notes 105
  • 27 the Cambridge Years, 1511-1514 109
  • Notes 122
  • 28 the Changing World in 1514 126
  • 29 Vocation and Life-Style 140
  • Notes 147
  • 30 to Basel, Summer 1514 149
  • Notes 161
  • 31 1516, the Annus Mirabilis 165
  • Notes 173
  • 32 the New Testament: A Life Work 175
  • Notes 189
  • Notes 210
  • 34 the Rising Storm of Controversy: Erasmus and His Catholic Critics, 1517-1522 216
  • Notes 231
  • 35 the Colloquies 236
  • Notes 243
  • Erasmus and His Friends: His Audience and His Geography 247
  • Notes 259
  • 37 Reform and Reformation: Ecclesia Semper Reformanda 263
  • Notes 278
  • 38 the Basel Years, 1521-1529: the Reformation Storm Rising 283
  • 39 Erasmus and Luther: on the Freedom of the Will 298
  • Notes 306
  • 40 Language and Style 310
  • Notes 317
  • 41 the Basel Years: Humanism and Religion 320
  • Notes 333
  • 42 the Freiburg Years, 1529-1535 337
  • Notes 346
  • 43 the Final Act at Basel: Summer 1535 to July 1536 350
  • Notes 359
  • 44 the Achievement of Erasmus and His Place in History 362
  • Notes 377
  • Appendix C Erasmus' Dispensations 381
  • Notes 383
  • Appendix D Erasmus' Wills 384
  • Notes 385
  • Appendix E Portraits of Erasmus 387
  • An Erasmian Chronology: LIfe and Writings 390
  • Bibliography 393
  • Index of Names of Persons 408
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