376. Books That Last Forever: Erasmus

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The “learned piety” of Desiderius Erasmus, the greatest figure of northern humanism.



Further Reading

• A.H.T. Levi (ed.), Collected Works of Erasmus, volume 27: Literary and Educational Writings (Toronto: 1986) [includes Praise of Folly, Instruction of the Christian Prince, Plea of Peace]

• J.W. O’Malley (ed.), Collected Works of Erasmus, volume 66: Spiritualia (Toronto: 1988). [contains Handbook of the Christian Soldier]


• C. Augustijn, Erasmus: His Life, Works, and Influence (Toronto: 1992).

• J. Chomarat, Grammaire et rhetorique chez Erasme, 2 vols (Paris: 1981).

• L. Jardine, Erasmus, Man of Letters: the Construction of Charisma in Print (Princeton: 1993).

• J.K. McConica, Erasmus (Oxford: 1991).

• J. Monfasani, “Erasmus and the Philosophers,” Erasmus Studies 32 (2012), 47-68.

J.C. Olin, Six Essays On Erasmus (New York: 1979).

• E. Rummel, Erasmus (London: 2004).

• S. Ryle (ed.), Erasmus and the Renaissance Republic of Letters (Turnhout: 2014).

• R.J. Schoeck, Erasmus of Europe, 2 vols (Edinburgh: 1990-93).

• J.D. Tracy, Erasmus of the Low Countries (Berkeley: 1997).

Stanford Encyclopedia: Erasmus


Franz Gassner on 4 July 2021

1490es instead of 1590es?

Dear Prof. Adamson!

Thanks for the wonderful podcast on Erasmus. At 2 min 57 sec, I think you wanted to say "in the 1490es", instead of "in the 1590es"?

Thanks a lot for your efforts!

Franz Gassner


In reply to by Franz Gassner

Peter Adamson on 4 July 2021

14 vs 15

Oh yes, sorry! Typo, I fixed it for the book version - thank you for catching this. We'll also patch the mistake and put up a new audio file.

Peter Wall on 5 July 2021

Source for “Dominican Bluster”?

Hi, Professor, 

Around 7:35, you read a great quote of “one Dominican [who] blustered”: “What an impostor Erasmus is! He writes annotations on the New Testament, he addresses responses to some theologians, yet he is ignorant of all theology!”


What a great line! What is the source for that?

In reply to by Peter Wall

Peter Adamson on 5 July 2021

Dominican bluster

Got that from:

E. Rummell, “The Theology of Erasmus,” in D. Bagchi and D.C. Steinmetz (eds), The Cambridge Companion to Reformation Theology (Cambridge: 2004), 28-38, at 30.

Nathaniel Brotzman on 15 July 2021

Theme music request

Hi Peter I absolutely love your podcast, so amazingly helpful. I got put onto it in grad school by my Christian Ethics professor Luke Bretherton (formerly of Kings College, now at Duke Divinity School). I’ve listened to most of the series so far and I love the reformation one so far.

i have a suggestion/request for theme music once you reach Luther, namely his great hymn “Ein Feiste Burg” or A Mighty Fortress is our God. I think the original German would be an amazing theme song for a slew of episodes once we get to Luther - I have suggestions from Calvin and Cranmer if you want more for other parts of the Reformation. I love the hymnody of the Reformation so it would be great to hear it for these episodes if you can swing it. Thanks again for all you do!

In reply to by Nathaniel Brotzman

Peter Adamson on 15 July 2021

Theme music

Thanks for the suggestion! I was actually going to use the music that has been appearing so far in the Reformation series for all the Germany/Low Countries episode, and then switch to different clips for the mini-series on France, on Britain, and on southern Europe. It is not so easy because I always try to find copyright free music, so I can't just necessarily choose any song and use that.

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