sense; and those meanings which Erasmus later thought were latent in the Panegyricus were not developed structurally. Erasmus was still learning the potentialities of the form of the declamatio and the effort of translating Libanius contributed to that process; and he was still working towards the full reaches of irony. 26 From 1503 to 1509 and the genesis of Moriae Encomium is only a space of six years, but Erasmus continued to learn and grow, as we shall see.

At Louvain Erasmus was now back in a Flemish-speaking environment. Although he did not speak of the matter in any letters now available to us, after eight years of living in a French-speaking court and in Paris (interrupted by six months in England), the return to his mother-tongue was certainly an everyday aspect of his settling in Louvain. Perhaps Erasmus' apparent silence on this matter indicates that he no longer clung to his mother-tongue; after all, the academic and learned language everywhere was Latin, and the vernacular was for merchants and servants. Perhaps not: there might not have been the occasion to speak of the matter.

In any case, he did not return to his native Netherlands, because he did not have to go back to Deventer or Den Bosch or Steyn. Only at Steyn was he assured of a long-term place to stay, but the terms were too high to pay.


Notes
1)
'And none point back': Erasmus in his own mind had surely passed the point of no return. He could not return to the monastery at Steyn, although we know he maintained proper communication with the prior and spent some time there as late as 1501 (ch. 18), and he would not return, except for brief visits, to Paris (perhaps he had burned that bridge in his relations with Standonck).
2)
There is a gap between Ep. 170, written from Saint-Omer on 2 July 1502, and Ep. 171, written from Louvain in late September or early October of that year, a gap of nearly three months. As Allen notes ( 1, 379-80), it is possible that 'he returned again [to Paris] in July or August 1502; but if he did so, he must have been frightened away again very quickly by a fresh outbreak of the disease (plague). He next thought of going to Cologne, but there the ravages of the pestilence were as great as in Paris (Ep. 172 n.6), and he therefore betook himself to Louvain'.
3)
Leuven, Traditie, en toekomst van een universiteit ( Tielt, 1970) 21.
4)
For a recent emphasis of this point see J. Sperna Weiland, "'Het verre land Utopia'" in Erasmus -- De actualiteit van zijn denken ( Amsterdam, 1986) 77.
5)
The prime source is V. Denis, Catholic University of Louvain, 1425-1958 (Louvain, 1958) and his brief but excellent article in NCE. See also Leuven. The traditional medieval mobility of clerici continued: cf., e.g., Erasmus' friend

-24-

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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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