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Who was Erasmus and why is he significant? Free essay! Download now

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Who was Erasmus and why is he significant?

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Downloads to date: N/A | Words: 600 | Submitted: 12-Feb-2009
Spelling accuracy: N/A | Number of pages: | Filetype: Word .doc


Who was Erasmus and why is he significant?


Erasmus was born in Rotterdam, The Netherlands in 1469. He was an illegitimate son of a priest. In his books, he addresses his abhorrence of family, teachers, compatriots and his own intellectual abilities. The misery of his early life, with his low self-esteem and his hatred of his surroundings, affected his entire life. He was educated in the Brethren of the Common Life School. Their teachings of personal virtue and simple Christianity formed a necessary part of Erasmus’ religious outlook. There, he met Rudolf Agricola, who had a great impact on Erasmus’ life, through his humanism, interest in classical studies and an opposition to religious authority.
In 1483, Erasmus entered the Augustinian monastery due to money difficulties. He hated life in the monastery. Though he still made his vows a year later, a choice he later regretted. At the abbey, he learnt about classical and humanist teachings, which helped him to improve his Latin style. Soon after making his vows, he left the monastery to become a secretary to the bishop of Cambrai. Erasmus was miserable with being a secretary and, with the bishop’s help; he decided to enter the College de Montaigue at the University of Paris. Here he received his degree in theology in 1495. A year later, he left to visit England.

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