Definitions for erasmus, desiderius

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The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Erasmus, Desiderius

    a famous scholar and man of letters, born at Rotterdam; illegitimate son of one Gerhard; conceived a disgust for monkish life during six years' residence in a monastery at Steyn; wandered through Europe and amassed stores of learning at various universities; visited Oxford in 1489, and formed a lifelong friendship with Sir Thomas More; was for some years professor of Divinity and Greek at Cambridge; edited the first Greek Testament; settled finally at Basel, whence he exercised a remarkable influence over European thought by the wit and tone of his writings, notably the "Praise of Folly," the "Colloquia" and "Adagia"; he has been regarded as the precursor of the Reformation; is said to have laid the egg which Luther hatched; aided the Reformation by his scholarship, though he kept aloof as a scholar from the popular movement of Luther (1467-1536).

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