We no longer believe Nolhac's view that Erasmus only became truly aware of the new spirit of humanism on this trip, and that afterwards he had the determination to carry that new spirit north of the Alps. 20 A number of scholars have shown in a substantial body of scholarly work that while still in the Low Countries Erasmus had begun to absorb Italian humanism: from Valla (through Agricola and Hegius, as well as through his own reading), from Neoplatonism (through Colet, and then, thanks to Vitrier, through Origen). But the debt to Italy for a far wider knowledge of Greek is not to be questioned. Renaudet and Cantimori have argued that what he saw in Italy quickened his sense of ecclesiastical abuses, 21 and Tracy has shrewdly observed that 'never does Erasmus seem more a disciple of the northerner, Gerard Groote, than when he recalls the famous Charterhouse (Certosa) of Pavia as a useless pile of marble filled by gawking tourists.' 22 It needs also to be said that Erasmus saw more of the learning and spirituality of Italy than Luther had done, and among this small but significant number of Roman clerics is likely to have been Caraffa (whom he certainly met in London in 1514, BR).23

He had brought forth his magnificent new Adagiorum Chiliades, indeed a vision of the ancient world through a greatly expanded collection of adages and rightly called 'a front-line work of the New Learning': it will merit a chapter for analysis and appreciation (24).

On the road to Italy in 1506 he had meditated on the vanities of scholarship and had written his memorable Carmen alpestre. On the road back north after leaving Italy he had his experience in Italy for his meditations: the superstitions of the people and the venalities of the papal court. And so -- thinking ahead to staying at the home of a wise man named More -- while riding north he began to compose his declamation on folly that he would call the Moriae Encomium, or Praise of Folly (chapter 26).


Notes
1)
Cf. Roma Aeterna -- Lateinische und Griechische Romdichtung von der Antike his in die Gegenwart, ed. Bernard Kytzler ( Zürich, 1972); and F. Gregorovius , Geschichte der Stadt Rom im Mittelalter, ed. W. Kamp, 3 vols ( Basel, 1953-7), and J. Klaczko, Rome and the Renaissance, trans. J. Dennie ( New York, 1903).
2)
Erasmus, 60-1, and the praise by Secundus in Opera ( Leiden, 1631) p. 65; see Reedijk, Poems, 281.
3)
On Erasmus and humanist medicine, see B. Ebels-Hoving and E. J. Ebels , "'Erasmus and Galen'", in Erasmus of Rotterdam, ed. J. Sperna Weiland and Th. W. M. Frijhoff ( Leiden, 1988) 132-42. Cf. R. J. Durling, "'Linacreand medical humanism'"

-71-

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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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