The correspondence of Erasmus  [1] ~ [17]

translated by R.A.B. Mynors and D.F.S. Thomson ; annotated by Wallace K. Ferguson

A painful time in Erasmus' life is reflected in this volume of letters. As the two volumes immediately previous to this one indicated, Erasmus' first two years in Louvain were agreeable, productive, and carefree. But the spirit of congenial scholarship in which he lived at this time was gradually giving way to bitter conflict and controversy: Louvain was merely a microcosm of Erasmus' entire world, which was undergoing great strain. The exuberant expectancy of a Golden Age of civilized Christianity was yielding to the bleak prospect of helplessly watching the progress of what Erasmus termed the 'Lutherana tragoedia,' a play that he felt would end in catastrophe.The reader of this volume encounters a troubled Erasmus, who fights back constantly and unhappily against innuendo and open attacks, especially against the accusation that he is in connivance with Luther. His literary production and scholarly research suffer considerably as a result of his preoccupation and the general turmoil. Erasmus' conflicts with two younger theologians in particular. Jacobus Latomus and Edward Lee, loom large in this volume, and his over-reaction to Lee's criticisms shows him to be his own worst enemy.The volume features several memorable letters by Thomas More that testify to his integrity and clear-sightedness, his capacity for sober self-assessment and restraint combined with charity.It also contains one of Erasmus' most famous letters, Ep 999, which paints a subtle and sparkling pen portrait of More, the man and the Christian.

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At the beginning of this volume, Erasmus leaves Louvain to live in Basel. Weary from the many controversies reflected in the letters of the previous volumes, he is also anxious to see the annotations to his third edition of the New Testament through Johann Froben's press. Above all he fears that pressure from the imperial court in the Netherlands will force him to take a public stand against Luther.Erasmus completes a large number of works in the span of this volume, including the Paraphrases on Matthew and John, two new expanded editions of the Colloquies, an edition of De conscribendis epistolis, two apologiae against his Spanish detractors, and editions of Arnobius Junior and Hilary of Poitiers. But the predominant theme of the volume remains 'the sorry business of Luther.'The harder Erasmus persists in trying to adhere to a reasonable course between Catholic and reforming zealots, the more he finds himself 'a heretic to both sides.' His Catholic critics appear the more dangerous.Among them are the papal nuncio Girolamo Aleandro, who is bent on discrediting him at both the imperial and papal courts as a supporter of Luther; the Spaniard Diego Lopez Zuniga, who compiles a catalogue of Blasphemies and Impieties of Erasmus of Rotterdam; and the Carmelite Nicholaas Baechem, who denounces Erasmus both in public sermons and at private 'drinking-parties.'Erasmus' refusal to counsel severity against the Lutherans is motivated chiefly by concern for peace and the common good of Christendom, and not by any tender regard for Luther and the other reformers. Still, many of the letters in this volume testify to his growing aversion to the reformers, and we see him moving perceptibly in the direction of his eventual public breach with them.A special feature of this volume is the first fully annotated translation of Erasmus' Catalogues Iucubrationum (Ep 1341 A), an extremely important document for the study of Erasmus' life and works and of the controversies they aroused.

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The correspondence of Erasmus has never been completely translated into English, although it has long been acknowledged to be one of the most illuminating sources for the history of northern humanism and the first two decades of the Protestant Reformation. In his letters to and from scholars and religious leaders, printers and patrons, princes and prelates in every country of western Europe, the interests and issues of that critical era found free expression. They are connected by the thread of Erasmus' personal experience, his joys and sorrows, triumphs and tribulations, and his uninhibited conversation with his friends.Volume 2 contains what has survived of Erasmus' correspondence from the beginning of 1501 to the summer of 1514. This was a period of crucial importance in the career, of Erasmus, during which he emerged from the relative obscurity of his early years to achieve a dominant position as the acknowledged prince of Christian humanism. During this time he acquired his hard-won mastery of Greek, adumbrated the basic concepts of his religious thought in the Enchiridion, established his scholarly reputation with the magnificent Aldine edition of the Adagia, wrote The Praise of Folly, edited the correspondence of St Jerome, and laid the foundations for his great edition of the Greek New Testament. Although most of the letters from this period are familiar letters to friends or formal dedications to prospective patrons, there are occasional glimpses into the intense intellectual activity that filled these years. It is unfortunate that the letters which have survived do not form a continuous record of the period: the years from 1502 to 1-504 are but sparsely represented, the all- important visit to Italy in 1506-9 scarcely at all, and the first two years after the return to England completely blank. We can be grateful, however, that from 1511 on we have a substantial number of letters, including the charming series of familiar letters from Erasmus to Colet, Ammonio, and his other friends in England, written from Cambridge or London. From them emerges a portrait of Erasmus the man, newly self-confident and relaxed, sharp- tongued in criticism but a warm friend, and intensely curious about the world of affairs in England and on the continent as well as the private concerns of members of his own circle.Erasmus himself regarded his letters as a form of literature, and they were valued in his time, as they are now, as much for their style as for their content. In The Study of Good Letters (Clarendon 1963) H.VV. Garrod wrote: 'As a document of the history of the times the Letters have primary importance. Yet they are to be valued, ultimately, not as they enable us to place Erasmus in history but as they help us to disengage him from it, to redeem him out of history into literature, placing him where, in truth, he longed to be. Not the Folly, nor the Colloquies, but the Letters, are his best piece of literature. What he did in scholarship, whether biblical, patristic, or classical, has been superseded - though not the fine free temper of it. That fine free temper shines also in the Letters, being indeed one of the elements of literature ...In the immortality of their readableness Erasmus lives securely, immune from the discredits of circumstances. '

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The correspondence of Erasmus has never been completely translated into English, although it has long been acknowledged to be one of the most illuminating sources for the history of northern humanism and the first two decades of the Protestant Reformation. In his letters, to and from scholars and religions leaders, printers and patrons, princes and prelates in every country of western Europe, the interests and issues of that critical era found free expression. They are connected by the thread of Erasmus' personal experience, his joys and sorrows, triumphs and tribulations, and his uninhibited conversation with his friends.Erasmus himself regarded his letters as a form of literature, and they were valued in his time, as they are now, as much for their style as for their content. In The Study of Good Letters (Clarendon 1963), H.W. Garrod wrote: 'As a document of the history of the times the Letters have primary importance. Yet they ar to be valued, ultimately, not as they enable us to place Erasmus in history, but as they help us to disengage him from it, to redeem him out of history into literature, placing him where, in truth, he longed to be. Not the Folly nor the Colloquies but the Letters, are his best piece of literature. What he did in scholarship, whether biblical, patristic, or classical has been superseded - though not the fine temper of it. That fine free temper shines also in the Letters, being indeed one of the elements of literature? In the immortality of their readableness Erasmus lives securely, immune from the discredits of circumstances.'The volume of the correspondence is enormous, and its cumulative effect fully justifies the claims that have been made for its importance. Erasmus was from his youth on an indefatigable correspondent, although he was careless about preserving his own letters or those written to him until he became famous and found printers eager to publish them. As a consequence, 85 per cent of the surviving letters were written after he reached the age of forty-five. Even when he had no thought of publication, however, he strove ceaselessly to make his letters models of elegant classical latinity, while adjusting the style of each letter to fit its purpose, content, and recipient. Even the earliest letters of volume 1 bear evidence of this concern. This volume includes a number of youthful rhetorical attempts, letters describing his early vicissitudes as he struggled to maintain himself as a scholar, letters to friends and letters about enemies, letters to patrons and prospective patrons, and the beginnings of the more serious intellectual correspondence of his later years in an exchange of letters with John Colet on the subject of Christ's agony.

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The letters in Volume 12 cover Erasmus' correspondence for all of 1526 and roughly the first quarter of 1527. This was a difficult period for Erasmus for various reasons, including two bouts of illness serious enough to cause him to draw up his first will in January 1527, and the fact that the Reformers were gaining more and more influence over religious policy in Basel, where he resided. Tension caused by Erasmus' open opposition to this trend was multiplied by the continuing decline in his relations with Oecolampadius, Pellicanus, and Zwingli, all of them former friends or even collaborators in his scholarly editions. These many distractions slowed but did not stop his continuing biblical, patristic, and classical scholarship. Fearing that the Lutherans might gain complete control of public discourse on the disputed issue of free will, Erasmus rushed to complete his rebuttal to Luther's De servo arbitrio in March 1526. He also felt deeply aggrieved by the attacks launched against him by conservative Catholics at a time when he was actively engaged in opposing the spread of heresy in Germany and Switzerland. His most redoubtable antagonist was Nodl BTda of the University of Paris, who pressed ahead with his plans for a condemnation of Erasmus by the faculty, which he achieved in December 1527. Erasmus' critics at Louvain were more discreet than BTda; their published works obliquely criticized his publications but did not attack him by name. The letters of 1526-1527 also reflect Erasmus' growing fame in Spain, where not only the Latinate intellectuals but also readers of the new Spanish translations of his spiritual writings and satirical works were attracted to his ideas of spiritual renewal.CWE 12 also contains translations of his earliest will and selections from correspondence among his Spanish admirers during the years 1522-1527. An important and extremely useful appendix, 'Money, Wages, and Real Incomes in the Age of Erasmus,' by John H. Munro, analyzes the purchasing power of money in the period 1500-1540.

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The letters in this volume cover Erasmus' correspondence from March to December 1527. These 129 letters centre primarily on Erasmus' continuing struggle with his Catholic critics, especially those in Spain and France, and on Erasmus' growing criticism of the Protestant reform movement.The letters show Erasmus' attempts to justify his position and to win favour with rulers, other prestigious men, and powerful institutions, all influential in both secular and religious spheres. Although the Inquisition in Spain investigated his orthodoxy and did not bring charges against him, the Paris Faculty of Theology formally condemned 112 propositions drawn from Erasmus' works in December 1527. The letters in this volume, written by and to Erasmus in this critical time, represent a unique view of a Europe torn by war and breaking apart into religious confessionalism and regionally organized churches.Throughout all this controversy, Erasmus repeatedly protested that the sole aim of his life's work was to promote the study of humanities for the profit of both knowledge and religion.

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The period from April 1523 to December 1524 finds Erasmus still in Basel and still preoccupied above all with 'the sorry business of Luther.' He knows that the efforts of his conservative Catholic detractors to prove that he had 'laid the egg that Luther hatched' can be overcome only if he takes an unambiguous public stand against Luther, and friendly princes and prelates constantly urge him to do so. But he dreads the controversy that an attack on Luther will arouse and fears that the overthrow of Luther will entail the defeat of all wholesome reform.This reluctance to 'enter the arena' against Luther is in large measure overcome by the attacks upon Erasmus by reforming zealots who interpret his reserved attitude towards Luther as secret collusion with the pope, motivated by cowardice and avarice. Starting in the spring of 1523, a 'conspiracy' of Lutheran 'lunatics,' many of them former friends, publishes a series of 'wild and libellous' pamphlets' against Erasmus, of which Ulrich von Hutten's Expostulatio (answered by Erasmus' Spongia) is the first and most important.In the letters 1523-4, Erasmus' mounting anger at the authors of these attacks goes hand in hand with his slowly formed decision to publish a book against Luther on free will. When De libero arbitrio is published in September 1524, Eramsus describes it less as an attack on Luther, about whom his feelings are still ambivalent, than as a settling of accounts with Luther's 'subversive, crazy, noisy' supporters.The reaction of Erasmus' Catholic patrons to the De libero arbitrio is gratifying, and the initial response from Wittenberg is muted. Word reaches Eramus that Luther will doubtless reply in a moderate tone. Not until the publication of the De libero arbitrio in December 1525 will Erasmus learn what a scourge Luther's 'modernation' can be.

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The predominant theme of the letters of 1528 is Erasmus' controversies with a variety of critics and opponents. The publication in March of the dialogue Ciceronianus, for example, provoked a huge uproar in France because it included an ironic jest that was considered insulting to the great French humanist Guillaume Bude. More serious were the continuing efforts of conservative Catholics in France (Noel Beda), Italy (Alberto Pio), and Spain (members of the religious orders) to prove not only that Erasmus was a secret Lutheran but also that humanist scholarship was the source of the Lutheran heresy. In response to these charges Erasmus wrote letters and books in which he vigorously defended his orthodoxy and assiduously cultivated the support of his many admirers among the princes and prelates of Europe.The letters also record Erasmus' growing anxiety over the progress of the Reformation in Basel, which would cause him to leave the city in 1529; his diligent attention to his financial affairs, which had improved in recent years thanks to the assistance of the Antwerp banker, Erasmus Schets; and his progress on the great editions of Augustine and Seneca that would be published in 1529.

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The tranquil world reflected in Erasmus' early letters from Louvain gradually disintegrated in the years covered by Volume 7. In the letters of Volume 8, which spans the period of Erasmus' last fifteen months in the Netherlands and his move to Basel during 1520 and 1521, his situation worsens.On the political front, the golden age of peace for which he had hoped is further destroyed by the war-mongering of Francis I, Henry VIII, Leo X and Charles V. In spiritual matters, Erasmus continues to be pressed harder to take a firm position for or against Luther. He persists in his earlier view, that Luther was right in his spirit but wrong in his language, and chooses not to make a public judgment against him, saying only that he will plant his feet firmly 'on the same side, whatever it may be, as the peace of the Gospel.' For the next seven and a half years, Erasmus is to live in Basel, a city as yet undecided which side it will take in the religious conflict, while he works ahead on his editions of the Christian Fathers and attempts to cope with the conflicts in the world around him.An exchange of letters between Juan de Vergara and Diego Lopez Zuniga which bears on the controversy then raging between Erasmus and Zuniga is included as an appendix to this volume.

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The year that began in August 1515 was the annus mirabilis of Erasmus' career, the year, notably of the epistles of St Jerome and the first edition of his New Testament. In the months following, covered in this volume of the CWE, from August 1516 to June 1517, the active exchange of letters that began with volume 3 continued, giving a vivid impression of the impact of Erasmus' great achievement upon his contemporaries. In his own words, "The New Testament has made me friends everywhere."To Erasmus, the most important event of these months was intensely private, the dispensation granted by Leo X allowing him to escape permanently from the restraints of his religious community, to earn his living with the freedom of a secular priest. In elucidating the complex circumstances surrounding this crucial development in Erasmus' career, Dr McConica advances a new view of the obscure circumstances surrounding Erasmus' illegitimacy. We are also given Erasmus' thinly veiled account of his boyhood in the "Letter to Grunnius," and, in an Appendix, the closely related account in the Compendium vitae, a vital if controversial document for our knowledge of his early life.In the background are the life and enterprise of the Low Countries. Pursuit of personal promotion, the politics of the Burgundian Court, and the emergence of the young Prince Charles--soon to be Charles V--in the European scene, provide further tuition for the great humanist in the use and abuse of princely power. In this volume Erasmus moves between the Burgundian court at Brussels and the domestic quiet of Pieter Gillis' household at Antwerp, where he was prearing further work for the Froben press at Basel. He is drawn to Louvain but avoids it, fearing a scrutiny of his works by the hostile theologians of the University. The England of Tunstall and More is always at hand, and the letters of volume 4 incidentally provide the most important chronicle for the publication of More's Utopia, over which Erasmus kept a watchful eye.This volume records important developments in Erasmus' many--faceted philosophy, especially in politics and education. There is the sharpest condemnation of princely power beneath the veil of rhetorical courtesy, with classical statements of Erasmus' programme for men of education and Christan principle, the rulers upon whom he rested his hope for the reform of Christiandom. Educated Europe now waited upon Erasmus' words, and, as a French humanist writes, "Words never fail him; and such words!"

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This volume contains the surviving correspondence of Erasmus for the first seven months of 1529. For nearly eight years he had lived happily and productively in Basel. In the winter of 1528-9, however, the Swiss version of the Lutheran Reformation triumphed in the city, destroying the liberal-reformist atmosphere Erasmus had found so congenial. Unwilling to live in a place where Catholic doctrine and practice were officially proscribed, Erasmus resettled in the quiet, reliably Catholic university town of Freiburg im Breisgau,Despite the turmoil of moving, Erasmus managed to complete the new Froben editions of Seneca and St Augustine, both monumental projects that had been underway for years. He also found time to engage in controversy with his conservative Catholic critics, as well as to write a long letter lamenting the execution for heresy of his friend Louis de Berquin at Paris.

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This volume covers a number of significant events and issues in Erasmus' life and in the history of his times. He travels on horseback from Louvain to Basel to assist his publisher and friend Johann Froben during the crucial phases in the production of his revised New Testament, the edition that he feels will be his lasting contribution to the scholarly foundations of the Christian faith. Once it is in the hands of the public he feels he will be able to face the approach of old age more calmly. On the return journey to Louvain he falls gravely ill from what is diagnosed as bubonic plague, but recovers in a month and convalesces in the home of another publisher-friend, Dirk Martens.International politics continue to capture his attention. Requests for funds in support of a papal crusade against the Turks arouse the flames of German national sentiment. With the death of Maximilian I, friends of Erasmus such as Richard Pace, Ulrich von Hutten, and Guillaume Bude are involved in diplomatic negotiations concerning the imperial succession. When Prince Ferdinand arrives from Spain and requires a tutor, the question of Eramus' own return to active court duties is raised.After the appearance of Luther's Ninety-five Theses on indulgences, purgatory, and papal authority, the question arises among conservatives whether Erasmus' work too is a threat to the traditional ways of the church and society. For the time being, Erasmus is prepared to commend Luther and defend the latter's right to be critical of the church. Erasmus' overriding conviction at this point is that he and Luther are both part of the great intellectual and spiritual renewal that is taking place in so many parts of Europe. As Luther's appearance lends a new kind if spiritual and patriotic vigour to German humanism, the cult of Erasmus--Erasmus the fellow German--becomes an integral part of that new enthusiasm, with Saxony and its elector, Frederick the Wise, at its center.

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This volume covers the first ten months of Erasmus' residence at Louvain. He lived during this time in the College of the Lily, his position presitgious and secure. he was a member of the theological faculty, yet free of regular academic duties and entitled to receive a regular income more than adequate to his modest needs. His predominant task in the course of these months was the re--editing of the New Testament, which he considered his magnum opus: through his work on the New Testament the use he made of his time and talent would be judged by God and man alike. There are frequent references in the letters to the long and arduous hours devoted to the annotation of these volumes. As a release from the drudgery of annotation he tried his hand at paraphrases of the gospels, gave Ratio verae theologiae its final form, and allowed himself a little time in the company of classical authors who refreshed his mind and refurbished his style.As never before, Erasmus' name counted now among the educated and powerful of the age, and he was overwhelmed with invitations from every corner of Europe. He was developing influential friends across Europe, and in Germany especially he gained enthusiastic admirers who expected him to join in the defence of Johann Reuchlin and made certain that he became promptly acquainted with the Ninety-five Theses of Luther whose name Erasmus at first still had trouble remembering.This volume is of particular interest because more than half the letters derive from the Deventer Letter--book, into which Erasmus had his amaneunses copy incoming and outgoing letters, among them many which were truly private rather than composed with a mind to subsequent publication. As a result we become intimately acquainted with the daily life of Erasmus and his friends, with the domestic pleasures and annoyances, private worries and hopes that made up and continue to make up the substance of human existance.

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Volume 3 contains Erasmus' surviving correspondence from August 1514 to August 1516, including one letter by Erasmus never before published in a collection of his correspondence. There are one hundred and fifty--one letters from this period, more than survive from the whole of the first forty years of his life. They range in character from hasty personal notes to extended formal treatises, and they appear with remarkable regularity. This closely woven and uniform fabric of evidence coincides with the moment in Erasmus' career that marks his departure from England and his reception on the international stage of European intellectual life. As a result we have the sense of meeting the mature Erasmus poised and confident about his future and career.When Eramus left England for Basel, he entered into an association with the printer whose household was to be the nearest thing to a spiritual home that he would ever know. And from the firm of Froben in the next two years were to appear those great works which were largely the fruit of Erasmus' labours in England -- the revised Adagiorum chiliades, the edition of the letters of St Jerome, the new edition and the translation of the New Testament, and the Institutio principis christiani Together they confirmed his place at the summit of European leanring, as his new home in the Upper Rhine symbolized Erasmus' central position in the religious controversy about to divide Europe.In the words of P.S. Allen, "Eramsmus had now reached his highest point. He had equipped himself thoroughly for the work he desired to do. He was the acknowledged leader of a large band of scholars, who looked to him for guidance and were ready to second his efforts; and with the resources of Froben's press at his disposal, nothing seemed beyond his powers and his hopes."

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The Peasant's War in Germany and his own ill-health combined to keep Erasmus confined to the city of Basel during 1525, but he was still able to maintain an active correspondence spanning all of Europe. In the preceding year, he had published De libero artbitrio/Freedom of the Will, his first open attack on the teachings of Martin Luther. Despite this public defence of Catholic doctrine, Erasmus was continually forced in his correspondence to reply to open or veiled attacks by Catholic critics.Erasmus directly addressed one of his critics, No+l BTda, of the Paris theological faculty, in the spring of 1525. BTda was preparing analyses of Erasmus' publications that would eventually form the basis for a formal condemnation. Erasmus' correspondence with BTda, intended to head off such a condemnation, continued past 1525 and became increasingly hostile in tone. That same year, Erasmus also followed up reports that an influential Italian humanist, Alberta Pio, Prince of Carpi, was circulating at the papal curia a manuscript accusing Erasmus of being the major source of Luther's errors. Again, he directly addressed his opponent in order to prove his orthodoxy and to urge (in vain) that no such attack be published. In both cases, however, despite his break with Luther and his public and private opposition to the Protestant leader Oecolampadius in Basel, he was unsuccessful in turning aside the hostility of his Catholic critics.

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[目次]

  • IllustrationsPrefaceMap showing the principal places mentioned in Volume 15Letters 2082-2203Table of CorrespondentsWorks Frequently CitedShort-title Forms for Erasmus' WorksIndex

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この本の情報

書名 The correspondence of Erasmus
著作者等 Bietenholz, Peter G.
Dalzell, Alexander
Erasmus, Desiderius
Estes, James Martin
Fantazzi, Charles
Farge, James K.
Ferguson, Wallace Klippert
McConica, James
Mynors, R. A. B. (Roger Aubrey Baskerville), Sir
Thomson, Douglas F. S.
Bietenholz P. G.
Estes James M.
Ferguson W. K.
Ferguson Wallace K.
McConica James K.
Mynors Sir R. A. B.
Nauert Charles G.
Thompson D.F.S.
Thomson D. F. S.
Nauert Charles
書名別名 Opus epistolarum Des. Erasmi Roterodami
シリーズ名 Collected works of Erasmus
巻冊次 [1]
[2]
[3]
[4]
[5]
[6]
[7]
[8]
[9]
[10]
[11]
[12]
[13]
[14]
[15]
[16]
[17]
出版元 University of Toronto Press
刊行年月 c1974-
版表示 2 Rev ed
ページ数 v.
大きさ 26 cm
ISBN 0802005365
0802019838
0802022022
0802026044
0802026079
0802048315
0802053661
0802054293
0802055001
0802056075
0802059767
0802061907
0802019811
9781442640443
9781442642034
9781442647497
9781442648784
9780802090591
NCID BA01015368
※クリックでCiNii Booksを表示
言語 英語
原文言語 ラテン語
出版国 カナダ
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