In sum, the Colloquies represent Erasmus most completely, for we find Erasmus the conversationalist, always free to bring into the conversation a remembrance from his schooling or childhood; Erasmus the master-rhetorician, inexhaustibly energetic, fecund, in- ventive, and always exhibiting a marvellously supple Latin style; and Erasmus the reformer. Here the reader -- contemporary as well as modern -- is entertained by Erasmus' often slashing wit and earthy humour; but always the wit and humour are for the sake of provok- ing thought, for the sake of exploring a question. Here too is Erasmus the apostle of conscience and the enemy of false piety; seeking to restore theology to its earlier simplicity and vigour, combating those who would undermine liberty and peace. Here, finally, is Erasmus the humanist: always defending good letters, the studia humanitatis, which was such a dependable road to sound ethics and christian living, and ever demonstrating to his readers the vital- ity and beauty of the classical tradition. ' Saint Socrates, pray for us' captures the spirit of not only 'The Godly Feast' but the main part of the Colloquies as well.

In an age torn apart by strife -- warfare among christian nations, bitter animosities within the universities and religious orders, and the growing split between the Reformers and Rome -- Erasmus chose the dialogue and brought it to its perfection in the colloquy: a testimony to civility and humour, and always to a conviction in the rightness and viability of tolerance. If he spoke vividly to his own times, he speaks no less clearly to ours. 22


Notes
1)
See F. Bierlaire in BR, where Hollonius' act is called unscrupulous. In his 1519 preface Erasmus wrote, 'As for Hollonius, if he scraped together a little coin out of this, I do not grudge it him. But I do not propose to thank the man, unless he does something else to earn my gratitude; and if he continues, I shall reckon him not so much Hollonius as wholly felonious' ( CWE 6:219/60-64; Allen III, 466/54-57: '... ex Holonio faciemus holo- polam aut, si malit, holopolium' is elaborate word-play).
2)
The Formulae was reprinted within a few months in Paris and Antwerp, then by Froben in 1519. Other reprints (either of the 1518 or the 1519 edition, which has a few pages of new material) appeared during 1519 in Antwerp, Leipzig, Vienna, and Cracow; it clearly caught the interest of the times, and there were more than forty editions during Erasmus' lifetime, well after the appearance of the Colloquia (or Familiarium colloquiorum opus) in 1522.
3)
In these earliest formulae the speakers are Christian, Augustine and Erasmus. Christian and Heinrich Northoff of Liibeck were students of

-243-

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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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