Desiderius Erasmus

Desiderius Erasmus

Desiderius Erasmus was born in Rotterdam in about 1466. He joined the Augustinian monastery at Steyn in 1487 and was ordained in 1492.

Erasmus spent time in France before moving to England where he taught at Oxford University (1499) and Cambridge University (1509-14) where he was Professor of Divinity.

Erasmus became the leader of the movement of scholarship known as humanism. Erasmus believed strongly in the human capacity for self-improvement through education. He argued that world peace could be obtained by consensus and consent. He published several books including a collection of proverbs, Adagia (1500). This was followed by Handbook of a Christian Soldier (1503) and Praise of Folly (1509).

Erasmus advocated a tolerant Christianity and was highly critical of the abuses of the Catholic Church and his ideas helped to prepare the way for Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation. However, Erasmus disapproved of Luther's radical methods and criticized him in his book De Libero Arbitrio (1523).

Desiderius Erasmus died in 1536.

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Student Activities

Henry VIII (Answer Commentary)

Henry VII: A Wise or Wicked Ruler? (Answer Commentary)

Henry VIII: Catherine of Aragon or Anne Boleyn?

Was Henry VIII's son, Henry FitzRoy, murdered?

Hans Holbein and Henry VIII (Answer Commentary)

The Marriage of Prince Arthur and Catherine of Aragon (Answer Commentary)

Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves (Answer Commentary)

Was Queen Catherine Howard guilty of treason? (Answer Commentary)

Anne Boleyn - Religious Reformer (Answer Commentary)

Did Anne Boleyn have six fingers on her right hand? A Study in Catholic Propaganda (Answer Commentary)

Why were women hostile to Henry VIII's marriage to Anne Boleyn? (Answer Commentary)

Catherine Parr and Women's Rights (Answer Commentary)

Women, Politics and Henry VIII (Answer Commentary)

Historians and Novelists on Thomas Cromwell (Answer Commentary)

Martin Luther and Thomas Müntzer (Answer Commentary)

Martin Luther and Hitler's Anti-Semitism (Answer Commentary)

Martin Luther and the Reformation (Answer Commentary)

Mary Tudor and Heretics (Answer Commentary)

Joan Bocher - Anabaptist (Answer Commentary)

Anne Askew – Burnt at the Stake (Answer Commentary)

Elizabeth Barton and Henry VIII (Answer Commentary)

Execution of Margaret Cheyney (Answer Commentary)

Robert Aske (Answer Commentary)

Dissolution of the Monasteries (Answer Commentary)

Pilgrimage of Grace (Answer Commentary)

Poverty in Tudor England (Answer Commentary)

Why did Queen Elizabeth not get married? (Answer Commentary)

Francis Walsingham - Codes & Codebreaking (Answer Commentary)

Sir Thomas More: Saint or Sinner? (Answer Commentary)

Hans Holbein's Art and Religious Propaganda (Answer Commentary)

1517 May Day Riots: How do historians know what happened? (Answer Commentary)