When Erasmus published the Adages, his monumental collection of proverbs, he wrote in the Introduction that 'a knowledge of proverbs contributes to a number of things, but to four especially: philosophy, persuasiveness, grace and charm in speaking, and the understanding of the best authors.' This volume contains another 600 of the more than 4000 adages that Erasmus gathered and commented on, sometimes in a few lines and sometimes in full-scale essays. The notes identify the classical sources and indicate how Erasmus' reading and thinking developed over the quarter-century spanned by the eight revisions of the original work. Many of the proverbs cited by Erasmus are still in out common stock of speech.
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.
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