Desiderius Erasmus

Essay by ISiCKB+, October 2007

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Desiderius Erasmus(1466 – 1536)Personal Background:Desiderius Erasmus’ real name was Gerrit Gerritszoon. He was born in Rotterdam, Netherlands on October 27, 1466. He was the illegitimate son of a monk named Roger Gerard. After his parents died a young age in 1483, he was receiving the best education for someone his age back in his time. In 1487, he met a man who he became great friends with. This man was known as Servatius Rogerus, in which Erasmus would call “Half my Soul.” In 1492, He was educated day by day in a monastery known as Augustinian College in Gouda, where he spent six years of his life. He became ordained to Catholic priesthood and took Augustinian vows at the age of twenty-five. Although, he was never known to actively work as a monastic priest, and ironically monasticism was his on his top hit list goals to defeat evils of the Church.

Even though he just recently received his priestly ordination, he was offered a chance to be a private secretary to Bishop of Cambray because of his great Latin skills. Pope Leo X gave him a permanent dispensation.

In 1495, Erasmus went on to study at the University of Paris with the consent of the bishop. The Chief seat of scholastic learning soon brought him to England where he expanded his knowledge and his friendships with numerous famous people; people such as King Henry VIII and Thomas More. Erasmus was offered spending the rest of his life as an English professor but turned it down because he preferred to live life as an independent scholar. He would desperately try to avoid anything that would prevent him from using his full potential for his intellect and literary expression. Not only was he offered a position as an English professor, but...