Erasmus was born in Rotterdam to unmarried parents. His mother was a widow, and his father became a priest sometime shortly after his birth. His father was a devotee of Italian humanism, who knew Latin and Greek and supported himself in Rome as a scribe. Erasmus had a brother, Pieter, three years older, and the boys were orphaned by the early death of both parents about 1484. Little more about his origins can be said with certainty. He was then, with his brother sent off to his guardians, they not wanting to deal with them and viewing them as a heavy burden sent them off to a monastery school near Gouda. This is where he learned his introduction to humanism which he holds for his later works. After Erasmus spent six years at the monastery he left and went to Paris in order to attend more schooling. He later started a handbook to keep track of his thoughts and views as well as his criticisms.
Using the inclusion in his handbook of a section on "imitation," the normal practice in rhetorical theories, Erasmus would seem to hold to particular elements of standard rhetorical and educational practices. He moves counter to the way people were starting to move in that time. For Erasmus, a writer shows ...
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...error, so that they could fix it, and help heal the world. His main view was to live the world the way it was; a live, learn, and love view if-you-will. He believed that no one was above any other person i.e. the pope, and/or other people of importance, and therefore shouldn’t act in a condescending manner. The bible tells all humanity that no one knows any knowledge about God, or how to be “Godly.” People should follow that, and just live life the way we are intended to, learning as we go along and spreading the gospel, correctly, to whomever we can.
Erasmus, Desiderius, and Loon Hendrik Willem Van. The Praise of Folly,. New York: Published for the Classics Club by W.J. Black, 1942. Print.
Kreis, Steven. "Desiderius Erasmus, 1466-1536." The History Guide -- Main. 14 May 2004. Web. 14 Nov. 2011.
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