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By Desiderius Erasmus / Teachers College / 1908
One of the most important figures of the 16th century, Desiderius Erasmus was a leading reformist and Renaissance humanist. Through his works and letters, Erasmus championed that true religion was a matter of inward devotion rather than outward symbols of ceremony and ritual, and sought to reform aspects of the Church from within. His works showed an astonishing intelligence, razor-sharp wit, and an authentic love for God and humanity. Soon after publication, his works were translated and read all over Europe.
This satirical work attacks the school of thought that believed in a rigid use of Ciceronian Latin. Erasmus' witty critique of language, reading and writing, teaching methods, and what constitutes a proper education is written in a conversational, back-and-forth dialogue.
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Few of the writings of Erasmus possess more pleasantness than the Ciceronianus.
—The Southern Review
Desiderius Erasmus (1466–1536) was a priest, scholar, author, and translator known as a leading figure in the Renaissance humanist movement before and during the Reformation. In 1506 he graduated as Doctor of Divinity from Turin University, and later was Lady Margaret's Professor of Divinity at the University of Cambridge. He then taught at Queens College, Cambridge for five years before becoming an independent scholar. Erasmus' works were very influential; his books were produced in many editions and translations and printed all through Europe during his lifetime.
Izora Scott, PhD, was the instructor of Latin at Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn, N.Y. and a contributor to the Cyclopedia of Education on the works of Erasmus and Ciceronianism.