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Medieval life and Times

Short Biography about the life of Erasmus of England
The following biography, short history and interesting facts provide helpful information for history courses and history coursework about the life and history of Erasmus a famous Medieval character of historical importance who lived during the Middle Ages:

  • Country of Origin / Nationality: Dutch

  • Also Known as: Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus
  • Lifetime: 1466 1536
  • Born: He was born on October 27 in Rotterdam, Holland
  • Family connections : He was the illegitimate son of a Dutch priest and a woman called Margaret
  • Education: Erasmus was educated at various Monastic schools
  • Career of Erasmus: He was ordinated as a priest in 1492 but he was an intellectual and took the role of the secretary to the Bishop of Cambray. Erasmus was then given permission to study at the University of Paris. He then travelled through Europe and started to write books. The Praise of Folly was written in 1509 and published in 1511.
  • Accomplishments and Achievements or why Erasmus was famous: As Humanist and Reformer. Erasmus harshly criticised what he considered excesses of the Roman Catholic Church. Although Erasmus remained a Roman Catholic until his death he disagreed to many of the traditions of the church which influenced the Reformation movement to the Protestant religion
  • Erasmus wrote The Praise of Folly and the  Handbook of a Christian Knight
  • Famous Quote by Erasmus in his 'Treatise On Preparation For Death':
    "I believe there are many not absolved by the priest, not having taken the Eucharist, not having been anointed, not having received Christian burial, who rest in peace. While many who have had all the rites of the Church and have been buried next to the altar, have gone to hell . . . "
  • Died: Erasmus died on July 12, 1536

The story and biography of Erasmus which contains interesting information, facts & the history about the life of this Medieval person of historical importance. The worldliness of some of the popes was too often reflected in the lives of the lesser clergy. Throughout the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries the Church encountered much criticism from reformers. Thus, the famous humanist, Erasmus, wrote his 'Praise of Folly' to expose the vices and temporal ambitions of bishops and monks, the foolish speculations of theologians, and the excessive reliance which common people had on pilgrimages, festivals, relics, and other aids to devotion. So great was the demand for this work that it went through twenty-seven large editions during the author's lifetime. Erasmus believed he could best serve the church interests by effecting her reform. Some men went further, however, and demanded wholesale changes in Catholic belief and worship. These men were the heretics.

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