Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Literary and Educational Writings, 3 and 4

Literary and Educational Writings, 3 and 4: Volume 3: De conscribendis epistolis / Formula / De civilitate. Volume 4: De pueris instituendis / De recta pronuntiatione, Volume 25-26

edited by J.K. Sowards
Volume: 25-26
Copyright Date: 1985
Pages: 678
  • Book Info
    Literary and Educational Writings, 3 and 4
    Book Description:

    Erasmus was above all an educator, and his writings as a teacher and theorist give him a claim to be regarded as the greatest figure in the history of education since antiquity. By the decade of the i32os, he had become the leading spokesman for the cause of humanistic education in Europe.

    The five translations in Collected Works of Erasmus 23 and 26 reflect Erasmus' main ideas about education: concern for the most desirable and effective curriculum; the need to read and appreciate the best writings of the finest classical authors; the importance of well-trained, well-paid, competent, inventive, and compassionate teachers; practical advice on the temperament and conduct of parents; the provision of adequate education for women and mature students; in short, the development of a philosophy of education that would produce the kind of person best educated for the service of God and man.

    Contained in these volumes are the first modern English translations of De conscribendis epistolis I On the Writing of Letters, Conficiendarum epistolarum formula I A Formula for the Composition of Letters, De civilitate I On Good Manners for Boys, De pueris I A Declamation on the Subject of Early Liberal Education for Children, and De recta pronuntiatione I The Right Way of Speaking Latin and Greek A Dialogue. These works present Erasmus' educational program for children from the very young to pre-university age - a compendium of his views on the nature and value of a humanistic education that remains of importance for all times and places.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7670-1
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations Export to NoodleTools Export to RefWorks Export to EasyBib Export a RIS file (For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...) Export a Text file (For BibTex)
  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Introduction
    (pp. ix-lx)

    In the famous catalogue of his works which Erasmus appended to a letter to his old friend the Scotsman Hector Boece in the spring of 1530,¹ and which updated the earlier catalogue addressed to another friend, Johann von Botzheim, in 1523,² Erasmus prescribed that the four works included in these two volumes of CWE be published in any eventual edition of his works in the first category (ordo) of works ‘that concern literature and education.’ They were thus arranged in the BaselOpera omniaof 1540 and in LB, and we follow the same practice in this second set of...

  4. ON THE WRITING OF LETTERS De conscribendis epistolis
    (pp. 1-254)

    The essay on letter-writing, like most of Erasmus’ early pedagogical works, had a long history of misadventures. The first authorized version appeared in 1522, and in the prefatory letter to it Erasmus bestows legitimacy on the piece only reluctantly, protesting that he was forced to take the work up again because of the appearance of a spurious edition in England. He informs us that the first draft was begun in Paris some thirty years previously and hastily reworked some time later at the request of a friend of dubious loyalty, a patent reference to his pupil of those days Robert...

  5. A FORMULA FOR THE COMPOSITION OF LETTERS Conficiendarum epistolarum formula
    (pp. 255-268)

    The person responsible for sending theFormulato the printer fortunately identified himself in a letter which he appended to it. This letter is headed’H. to his friend Fabricius,’ and addresses the recipient as ‘My dear Peter’; it offers advice and encouragement to a young man who has recently abandoned philosophy, ‘the madness of the sophists,’for the pursuit of literature and eloquence; and in referring to himself in the third person the writer asks, ‘What in fact do you want from your Hugualdus?’ This points to the Basel scholar Ulrich Hugwald,¹ and it is no surprise that when he recommends...

  6. ON GOOD MANNERS FOR BOYS De civilitate morum puerilium
    (pp. 269-290)

    Erasmus’De civilitate morum pueriliumwas written at Freiburg im Breisgau in 1530 and is, therefore, one of the last of the series of moral and educational treatises that had begun withDe ratione studiiin 1511. IfDe civilitatelacks some of the sparkle and wit of the earlier educational works we must remember the circumstances of Erasmus at the time when it was written. The triumph of the Reformation in Basel in 1529 drove him to forsake that city for the Catholic town of Freiburg. To Erasmus, now over sixty and in poor health, having to leave Basel...

  7. Middle Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  8. A DECLAMATION ON THE SUBJECT OF EARLY LIBERAL EDUCATION FOR CHILDREN De pueris statim ac liberaliter instituendis declamatio
    (pp. 291-346)

    Although it is one of Erasmus’ most important treatises on education, theDedamatio de pueris statim ac liberaliter instituendiswas originally intended to serve a rhetorical as much as a pedogogical purpose. As Erasmus explains in his dedicatory letter to William, the thirteen-year-old son of the Duke of Cleves, he composed the work during his sojourn in Italy (probably in 1509 towards the end of his three-year stay in that country) as a kind of illustrative appendix to his rhetorical treatiseDe copia verborum ac rerum: De pueris instituendiswas to demonstrate one of the main principles ofDe copia,...

  9. THE RIGHT WAY OF SPEAKING LATIN AND GREEK: A DIALOGUE De recta latini graecique sermonis pronuntiatione dialogus
    (pp. 347-476)

    Erasmus’ dialogueDe recta latini graecique sermonis pronuntiationeis one of the foundation charters of the classical education that reigned supreme in European schools from the sixteenth to the twentieth century. This is because Erasmus, though not the first Renaissance scholar to consider the ancient pronunciation of Greek and Latin, does not limit himself, as his predecessors had done, to establishing the correct values of the vowels and diphthongs and consonants, but also considers the larger units of discourse, the word, the sentence, and what in our terminology we should call the paragraph. In short his subject is, as the...

  10. Notes
    (pp. 477-626)
    (pp. 627-630)
    (pp. 631-634)
  13. Table of Contents of De conscribendis epistolis
    (pp. 635-637)
  14. Table of Contents of Conficiendarum epistolarum formula
    (pp. 638-638)
  15. Table of Contents of De civilitate
    (pp. 639-639)
  16. Index of Vernacular Words in De pronuntiatione
    (pp. 640-641)
  17. Index of Pronunciations in De pronuntiatione
    (pp. 642-644)
  18. Index of Classical and Christian Sources
    (pp. 645-654)
  19. General Index
    (pp. 655-678)
  20. Back Matter
    (pp. 679-679)