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Erasmus Quotes. Biography

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  • Tuesday, 21 November 2023 07:40

“The most disadvantageous peace is better than the most just war.”

Adagia (1508)

“War is delightful to those who have had no experience of it.”

― Desiderius Erasmus

“The summit of happiness is reached when a person is ready to be what he is.”

― Desiderius Erasmus

“Bis dat, qui cito dat.” – He that gives quickly gives twice.

Adagia (1508)

“I am a lover of liberty. I will not and I cannot serve a party.”

Spongia adversus aspergines Hutteni

“He who allows oppression shares the crime.”

― Desiderius Erasmus

“Bidden or unbidden, God is present.”

― Desiderius Erasmus

“I put up with this church, in the hope that one day it will become better, just as it is constrained to put up with me in the hope that I will become better.”

― Desiderius Erasmus

“No Man is wise at all Times, or is without his blind Side.”

– The Alchymyst

“By burning Luther’s books you may rid your bookshelves of him, but you will not rid men’s minds of him.”

― Desiderius Erasmus

“Only a very few can be learned, but all can be Christian, all can be devout, and – I shall boldly add – all can be theologians.”

― Desiderius Erasmus

“Wherever you encounter truth, look upon it as Christianity.”

― Desiderius Erasmus

“There is nothing I congratulate myself on more heartily than on never having joined a sect.”

― Desiderius Erasmus

“I am a citizen of the world, known to all and to all a stranger.”

― Desiderius Erasmus

“A nail is driven out by another nail; habit is overcome by habit.”

― Desiderius Erasmus

“I doubt if a single individual could be found from the whole of mankind free from some form of insanity. The only difference is one of degree. A man who sees a gourd and takes it for his wife is called insane because this happens to very few people.”

― Desiderius Erasmus

“Do not be guilty of possessing a library of learned books while lacking learning yourself.”

Letter to Christian Northoff (1497), as translated in Collected Works of Erasmus (1974), p. 115

“In regione caecorum rex est luscus. – The main hope of a nation lies in the proper education of its youth”

― Desiderius Erasmus

“In the country of the blind the one eyed man is king.”

– Adagia

“I consider as lovers of books not those who keep their books hidden in their store-chests and never handle them, but those who, by nightly as well as daily use thumb them, batter them, wear them out, who fill out all the margins with annotations of many kinds, and who prefer the marks of a fault they have erased to a neat copy full of faults.”

― Desiderius Erasmus

“Next to the theologians in happiness are those who commonly call themselves the religious and monks. Both are complete misnomers, since most of them stay as far away from religion as possible, and no people are seen more often in public. They are so detested that it is considered bad luck if one crosses your path, and yet they are highly pleased with themselves. They cannot read, and so they consider it the height of piety to have no contact with literature..”

The Praise of Folly (1509)

“The merchants are the biggest fool of all. They carry on the most sordid business and by the most corrupt methods. Whenever it is necessary, they will lie, perjure themselves, steal, cheat, and mislead the public. Nevertheless, they are highly respected because of their money. There is no lack of flattering friars to kowtow to them, and call them Right Honorable in public. The motive of the friars is clear: they are after some of the loot. . . .”

The Praise of Folly (1509)