age of this humanist, and of his willingness to engage hostile critics and enemies of himself and of the humanism he espoused and they shared, in order to make clear what it was that he espoused. Of the fifteen hundred known letters written to Erasmus by a cross-section of educated European society of the period, one remarkable letter stands out and can serve as an example for the host of others. At the end of 1532 a young French friar and scholar, then a proofreader for the printer Gryphius in Lyon, wrote to Erasmus, whom he had never met, and that autograph letter is extant in Leipzig. That young humanist on the threshold of his own greatness was François Rabelais, who addressed the great Dutch humanist whose writings (especially the Adagia) he had been studying:

I gladly seized that occasion, kind father, of showing by a pleasing service {forwarding a matiuscript} with what devotion and piety I love you. I call you father; for, as we daily see that pregnant women nourish offspring which they have never seen and protect them from the harsh outer air, the same has happened to you who have educated me who am unknown to you and of simple estate. Thus have you hitherto nourished me with the most chaste breasts of your divine learning, so that, did I not ascribe to you alone my whole worth and being, I should be the most ungrateful of all men who are now alive or ever shall be. Hail again and again, most beloved father, father and glory of your country, champion and defender of letters and unconquered fighter for the truth. 19

Colet's prediction that the name of Erasmus would never perish was fulfilled by such a reader then and in such a remarkable way (for the pages of Rabelais' own masterpiece are filled with marks of his indebtedness to the Adagia), and the prediction continues to be fulfilled by countless readers around the world today.

Nomen Erasmi ...


Notes
1)
For the earlier period see A. Flitner, Erasmus im Urteil seiner Nachwelt: Das literarische Erasmus-bild von Beatus Rhenanus bis zu Jean Le Clerc ( Tübingen, 1952). Bruce Mansfield's survey covers from about 1550 to 1750: Phoenix of His Age ( Toronto, 1979). See also "'The Genius of Erasmus and His Place in History'" in Preserved Smith, Erasmus, 421-41. In addition to the bibliographical coverage in Van der Haeghen, Bibliotheca Erasmiana, there is a complete bibliography of Erasmian scholarship in the three volumes edited by J.-C. Margolin: Douze années de bibliographie érasmienne, 1950-1961 ( Paris, 1963); Quatorze années de bibliographie érasmienne, 1936-1949 ( Paris, 1969); and Neuf années de bibliographie érasmienne, 1962-1970 ( Paris-Toronto, 1977).

-377-

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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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