It is also an expression of the contemporary Humanism : the Adagia could only have happened via the developing intellectual environment in which careful attention to a broader range of classical texts produced a much fuller picture of the literature of antiquity than had been possible, or desired, in medieval Europe. Source: Erasmus, Desiderius. Adages in Collected Works of Erasmus. B Mynors et al.
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Start your review of The Adages of Erasmus Write a review Shelves: classics Erasmus pulled together adages sayings or proverbs , constantly revising, adding to, and using them as a point of departure for political, cultural and social commentary in his era.
He drew almost exclusively from classical Greek and Latin sources. He was very well read and had access to many manuscripts and books. In all, he collected and published 4, adages with commentary. For this volume, William Barker selected and introduced of these adages. His effort is a perfect complement to Erasmus pulled together adages sayings or proverbs , constantly revising, adding to, and using them as a point of departure for political, cultural and social commentary in his era.
His effort is a perfect complement to the work Erasmus did. Barker contextualizes and provides detailed references to sources for each entry. His introduction is wonderful! Some of my favorite adages include: I ii simile gaudet simili "like rejoices in like" ; I iii omnium horarum homo "a man for all hours" ; I v 4: evitata Charybdi in Scyllam incidi "having escaped Charybdis I fell into Scylla", i.
Thumbs up. In the gladiatorial games, a thumbs up was a sign to kill the victim. A thumbs down meant to put the weapon down and spare the victim. Another interesting adage is I viii bis dat qui cito dat: "he that gives quickly gives twice".
This means that the person who helps you out before being asked is twice as good as the person who helps when asked. Erasmus brutally attacks those in the Catholic Church who abuse their positions to gain money and power and who act very un-Christian like.
Of these, I ix a mortuo tributum exigere "to exact tribute from the dead" is an especially good condemnation, especially of priests demanding money for all of their official duties. This one talks of how the Church is for and about the followers, not the leaders and hierarchy.
These could have been written today. The entire book is worth the money and time just for adage IV i. Like his comments on the Church, this essay could have been written a few days ago instead of the early s. He talks of how nature created man defenseless, not armored; desirous of friendship, not hatred, etc. Another, smaller, antiwar essay is in II v 1: Spartam nactus es, hanc orna "Sparta is your portion; do you best for her". I thoroughly enjoyed this work and it will be a welcome reference in the years to come.
The Adages of Erasmus