The Tudor Society
  • Desiderius Erasmus: An Exceptional Mind by Heather R. Darsie

    Erasmus: his name is synonymous with humanism, education and intelligence. Across Northern Europe several Erasmus programs exist at universities, so students may pursue their studies at multiple universities and in multiple languages. During his lifetime, Erasmus corresponded with such notable people as Sir Thomas More and John Colet. Erasmus assisted Hans Holbein in his quest to move to England, and advised Anne of Cleves’s father when he was writing religious tolerance laws.

    Desiderius Erasmus was born on 27 or 28 October 1466 or 1467* in Rotterdam, Netherlands. His exact date of birth is not known. The second son and an illegitimate child of his father, a priest, and mother, a physician’s daughter, Erasmus was sent to school at the age of five. In about 1484, when Erasmus was approximately eighteen years of age, his parents both died of plague. Erasmus’s three guardians sent Erasmus and his brother to a new, more conservative school run by the Brethren of the Common Life. There, Erasmus studied Latin and Christian theology.

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