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The Correspondence of Erasmus

The Correspondence of Erasmus: Letters 993 to 1121 (1519-1520), Volume 7

translated by R.A.B. Mynors
annotated by Peter G. Bietenholz
Volume: 7
Copyright Date: 1987
Pages: 468
  • Book Info
    The Correspondence of Erasmus
    Book Description:

    A painful time in Erasmus' life is reflected in this volume of letters. As the two volumes immediately previous to this one indicated, Erasmus' first two years in Louvain were agreeable, productive, and carefree. But the spirit of congenial scholarship in which he lived at this time was gradually giving way to bitter conflict and controversy: Louvain was merely a microcosm of Erasmus' entire world, which was undergoing great strain. The exuberant expectancy of a Golden Age of civilized Christianity was yielding to the bleak prospect of helplessly watching the progress of what Erasmus termed the 'Lutherana tragoedia,' a play that he felt would end in catastrophe.

    The reader of this volume encounters a troubled Erasmus, who fights back constantly and unhappily against innuendo and open attacks, especially against the accusation that he is in connivance with Luther. His literary production and scholarly research suffer considerably as a result of his preoccupation and the general turmoil. Erasmus' conflicts with two younger theologians in particular. Jacobus Latomus and Edward Lee, loom large in this volume, and his over-reaction to Lee's criticisms shows him to be his own worst enemy.

    The volume features several memorable letters by Thomas More that testify to his integrity and clear-sightedness, his capacity for sober self-assessment and restraint combined with charity. It also contains one of Erasmus' most famous letters, Ep 999, which paints a subtle and sparkling pen portrait of More, the man and the Christian.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-8103-3
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-vii)
  3. Illustrations
    (pp. viii-viii)
  4. Preface
    (pp. ix-xiii)
  5. Map showing the principal places mentioned in volume 7
    (pp. xiv-xiv)
    (pp. 1-328)

    I know quite well, my learned friend Leonardus, that men of this kidney are never idle; their chief resource lies in fluent falsehoods and brazen innuendo. For my part, I am already hardened to all that; I can only marvel that persons who are distinguished by their profession of the religious life should feel themselves free to do something which conflicts above all with true religion. They wish it to be thought an unpardonable sin if they eat meat; and yet it is virtuous to rain the poisoned arrows of their hellish language¹ on a fellow Christian, even on one...

  7. THE DIALOGUE OF THE TWO-TONGUED AND THE TRILINGUALS Dialogus bilinguium ac trilinguium
    (pp. 329-348)

    The letters in this volume contain some echoes of the wide attention that theDialogue bilinguium ac trilinguiumgained around 1520; surprisingly, it has not so far been available in an English translation. Probably in July 1519 the Paris publisher Konrad Resch issued a short piece attributed to one Konrad Nesen:Eruditi adulescentis Chonradi Nastadiensis Germani dialogus sanequam festivus bilinguium ac trilinguium, sive de funere Calliopes. The title-page also indicated the address of Resch's firm, the Ecude Bale: Sub scuto Basiliensi venale comperies. This dialogue was quickly reprinted in Basel without an indication of place, printer, or date and,...

  8. Notes
    (pp. 349-437)
    (pp. 438-440)
    (pp. 441-443)
    (pp. 444-448)
  12. Index
    (pp. 449-468)