was a Dutch humanist born at Rotterdam. The exact date of birth is speculated to be 28th October 1466. His father was called Gerritszoon and is said to have turned in to a monk. He attended the brother of common life school at Deveter. Erasmus studied at the college Montaigu in Paris. He stayed in Paris up to 1498 and practiced teaching, which was his source of livelihood. Erasmus taught Lord Mountjoy in Paris who later invited him to England in 1498. While in England, he lived at Oxford and was highly influenced by John Colet. He went back to Paris in 1500 where he lived up to 1506. Thereafter, he went back to England and moved on to Italy.
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It is during this time that Erasmus taught at Alexander. 1n 1509 he was invited once more to England and induced in to making England his home. Erasmus loved letter writing he at the same time criticized kings and church leaders for their callous way of life. His brief stay at Cambridge was punctuated by his elevation to the position of a professor of Divinity and a professor of Greek. In 1519 he authored the Colloquia which focused on the abuses of the church and was meant to prepare men for the Luther’s work. He published the New Testament which was the first Greek text in 1519 and also wrote St .Jerome volumes. In these books, Erasmus focused more on the rational of Christian doctrine which he anticipated would emancipate men’s minds from scholastic theology. The Lutherans revolution caught him napping and accused him of inconsistency and being a coward in as far as following his opinions to their logical conclusion was concerned. After leaving Louvain he headed to Freiburg where he stayed for six years before heading to Basel where he spent the rest of his life. Erasmus Desiderius was a great writer; he edited classical and patristic works while at the same time engaging in controversies. He was criticized by Ulrich von Hutten, Luther and Sorbonne. Hutten accused him of not siding with Luther, while at the same time was assailed by Sorbonne. Before his death on July the 12th 1536, he enjoyed great fame and received a lot of collations. He was buried in a catholic cathedral which had been turned into a reformed church.
Erasmus Desiderius contributed greatly to human a affairs. He was the proponent of common sense and did everything within his limits to rescue theology from scholars while at the same time singled out the injustices and the abuses committed by the church. He single handedly rekindled the revival of learning. Most of his work was written in Latin style, he was a renaissance humanist, a theologian as well as a priest. His usage of humanist techniques while working on texts has been hailed for influencing the new Latin and Greek editions of the New Testament. His approach and style culminated in to influencing the protestant reformation and Catholic counter-reformation. Erasmus Desiderius authored the praise of folly which is a handbook of a Christian Knight, his other writing include Copia: foundations of the abundant style, Julius Exclusus and other many more. The fact that Erasmus Desiderius lived in the reformation times is what is believed to have made him a fierce critic of the church. He however could not join reformers because of reasons best known to him. His argument was that the church must be reformed from within. He was a great adherent to the catholic doctrines including the free will.
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His name Erasmus was given to him at baptism and was derived from the St. Erasmus of Formiae. He later adopted an additional name Desideriuos in 1496. His scholarly name was Roterodemus which was derived from the city of Rotterdam where he was borne. His writings briefly give scanty information on his early life. His parents were never married. His father was called Roger Gerard who later on became a priest. No more information about his mother is available apart from the fact that she was a daughter of a physician and was referred to as Magaret. Erasmus Desiderius was borne out of wedlock.