The Correspondence of Erasmus: Letters 2803 to 2939, Volume 20

By Desiderius Erasmus
Translated by Clarence H. Miller
Annotated by James M. Estes

© 2020

In the months covered by this volume, Erasmus experienced sharply deteriorating health and thoughts of approaching death, although he remained active in the promotion of good causes and the defence of his good name. The seemingly imminent threat of religious civil war in Germany affected Erasmus in two ways. First, he made up his mind to leave Germany and return to his native Brabant. However, the arrival in 1533 of a formal invitation from Queen Mary, regent of the Netherlands, coincided with the onset of chronic ill health that would last until the end of his life. Repeated postponements eventually led to an abandonment of the journey altogether. Second, Erasmus did what he could to promote the cause of religious unity. In On Mending the Peace of the Church he urged rulers to enact moderate reforms that would satisfy all parties and avoid confessional division. When Martin Luther responded to this attempt at a "middle path" between "truth and error" in his Letter Concerning Erasmus of Rotterdam (1534), denouncing Erasmus as a skeptic and not a Christian, Erasmus responded indignantly with his Purgation against the Slanderous Letter of Luther. Erasmus’ only other work published in this period turned out to be one of his most popular, On Preparing for Death.

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Product Details

  • Series: Collected Works of Erasmus
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 392 pages
  • Illustrations: 13
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
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Quick Overview

The thirteen months covered in this volume reveal the decline of Erasmus' health and the creation of his most famous work, On Preparing for Death.

The Correspondence of Erasmus: Letters 2803 to 2939, Volume 20

By Desiderius Erasmus
Translated by Clarence H. Miller
Annotated by James M. Estes

© 2020

In the months covered by this volume, Erasmus experienced sharply deteriorating health and thoughts of approaching death, although he remained active in the promotion of good causes and the defence of his good name. The seemingly imminent threat of religious civil war in Germany affected Erasmus in two ways. First, he made up his mind to leave Germany and return to his native Brabant. However, the arrival in 1533 of a formal invitation from Queen Mary, regent of the Netherlands, coincided with the onset of chronic ill health that would last until the end of his life. Repeated postponements eventually led to an abandonment of the journey altogether. Second, Erasmus did what he could to promote the cause of religious unity. In On Mending the Peace of the Church he urged rulers to enact moderate reforms that would satisfy all parties and avoid confessional division. When Martin Luther responded to this attempt at a "middle path" between "truth and error" in his Letter Concerning Erasmus of Rotterdam (1534), denouncing Erasmus as a skeptic and not a Christian, Erasmus responded indignantly with his Purgation against the Slanderous Letter of Luther. Erasmus’ only other work published in this period turned out to be one of his most popular, On Preparing for Death.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Collected Works of Erasmus
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 392 pages
  • Illustrations: 13
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
  • Author Information

    Desiderius Erasmus (c. 1466–1536), a Dutch humanist, Catholic priest, and scholar, was one of the most influential Renaissance figures. A professor of divinity and Greek, Erasmus wrote, taught, and travelled, meeting with Europe’s foremost scholars. A prolific author, Erasmus wrote on both ecclesiastic and general human interest subjects.


    James M. Estes is Professor Emeritus of History at Victoria College, University of Toronto.


    Clarence H. Miller is an American Professor Emeritus of English at Saint Louis University.

  • Table of contents

    Preface

    Letters 2803 to 2939

    Appendix to Ep 2863: The Donation to Goclenius

    Appendix: Erasmus' Illnesses in His Final Years (1533–6)

    Works Frequently Cited

    Index

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