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In Praise of Folly

Overview

In Praise of Folly is an essay written in 1509 by Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam and first printed in 1511. The essay was inspired by De Triumpho Stultitiae, written by Italian humanist Faustino Perisauli, born at Tredozio, near Forl?. Erasmus revised and extended the work, which he originally wrote in the space of a week while sojourning with Sir Thomas More at More's estate in Bucklersbury. In Praise of Folly is considered one of the most notable works of the Renaissance and one of the catalysts of the ...
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In Praise of Folly

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Overview

In Praise of Folly is an essay written in 1509 by Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam and first printed in 1511. The essay was inspired by De Triumpho Stultitiae, written by Italian humanist Faustino Perisauli, born at Tredozio, near Forlì. Erasmus revised and extended the work, which he originally wrote in the space of a week while sojourning with Sir Thomas More at More's estate in Bucklersbury. In Praise of Folly is considered one of the most notable works of the Renaissance and one of the catalysts of the Protestant Reformation. It starts off with a satirical learned encomium after the manner of the Greek satirist Lucian, whose work Erasmus and Sir Thomas More had recently translated into Latin, a piece of virtuoso foolery; it then takes a darker tone in a series of orations, as Folly praises self-deception and madness and moves to a satirical examination of pious but superstitious abuses of Catholic doctrine and corrupt practices in parts of the Roman Catholic Church-to which Erasmus was ever faithful-and the folly of pedants (including Erasmus himself). Erasmus had recently returned disappointed from Rome, where he had turned down offers of advancement in the curia, and Folly increasingly takes on Erasmus' own chastising voice. The essay ends with a straightforward statement of Christian ideals. Erasmus was a good friend of More, with whom he shared a taste for dry humor and other intellectual pursuits. The title "Moriae Encomium" can also be read as meaning "In praise of More". The double or triple meanings go on throughout the text. The essay is filled with classical allusions delivered in a style typical of the learned humanists of the Renaissance. Folly parades as one of the gods, offspring of Plutos and Freshness and nursed by Inebriation and Ignorance, whose faithful companions include Philautia (self-love), Kolakia (flattery), Lethe (oblivion), Misoponia (laziness), Hedone (pleasure), Anoia (madness), Tryphe (wantonness), Komos (intemperance) and Eegretos Hypnos (dead sleep).
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781466200074
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
  • Publication date: 8/25/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 172
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Meet the Author

Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536) was a Dutch Renaissance humanist and a Catholic priest and theologian. Erasmus was a classical scholar who wrote in a "pure" Latin style and enjoyed the sobriquet "Prince of the Humanists." He has been called "the crowning glory of the Christian humanists." Using humanist techniques for working on texts, he prepared important new Latin and Greek editions of the New Testament. These raised questions that would be influential in the Protestant Reformation and Catholic Counter-Reformation. He also wrote The Praise of Folly, Handbook of a Christian Knight, On Civility in Children, Copia: Foundations of the Abundant Style, Julius Exclusus, and many other works. Erasmus lived through the Reformation period and he consistently criticized some contemporary popular Christian beliefs. In relation to clerical abuses in the Church, Erasmus remained committed to reforming the Church from within. He also held to Catholic doctrines such as that of free will, which some Protestant Reformers rejected in favor of the doctrine of predestination. His middle road approach disappointed and even angered many Protestants, such as Martin Luther, as well as conservative Catholics. He died in Basel in 1536 and was buried in the formerly Catholic cathedral there, recently converted to a Reformed church.
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 27, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Erasmus's "In Praise of Folly"

    This was an incredible book, we read it for my History of the Reformation course. Not only is this book important due to the significance of its author within the context of the Reformation, but the novel was an incredibly interesting commentary on the willingness of humanity to accept and praise "folly" over intellect and truth. The commentary is not only important as a historical context, but it so frequently applied to modern society. The novel was a bit hard to start, the first few pages were dense; but once I got past the first chapter I realized I understood it, and the rest was much more comprehensible. I highly recommend this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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