The history of Erasmus Programme – Who was Erasmus?

As I have already written a few posts about the Erasmus+ programme, every of us should know what it is about (If not, please follow the link here), but do you know who was Erasmus?

The Erasmus Programme is named after the Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus (1466-1536), known as Erasmus of Rotterdam (Dutch). Erasmus was the dominant figure of the early humanist movement. Neither a radical nor an apologist, he remains one of early Renaissance controversial figures.

He was one of Europe’s most famous and influential scholars. A man of great intellect who rose from meager beginnings to become one of Europe’s greatest thinkers. His name becomes from his Christian name – Erasmus, what means “beloved”.

His intellect has been developed since he was 4 years old when he started to attend a school in Gouda (a town near to Rotterdam) and continued in Latin grammar school. After his parents died he became a monk who rejected the harsh rules and strict methods of the religious teachers of the time.

Later Erasmus started to work as a secretary for Henry de Bergen, bishop of Chambray, who was impressed with his skill in Latin, this job gave him a possibility to travel to and study in Paris what led him to Renaissance humanism.

In Paris Erasmus was moving from city to city tutoring, lecturing and corresponding with some of the most brilliant thinkers of Europe. His life was divided among France, Netherland and England around 10 years when he wrote one of his best works, taught at Cambridge and lectured.

Erasmus was a person who supported Protestant ideals, but he was against the radicalism of some of its leaders, and, in 1523, he condemned Luther’s methods in his publication De libero arbitrio.

He died from an attack of dysentery in 1536, during preparations for a move to the Netherlands, without last rites and without any evidence that he asked for a priest. He was a believer with a direct relationship with God.

If you want to know more about the Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus, please follow this three links: one, two and three.

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