Erasmus of Rotterdam

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Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam (October 27, probably 1466 in Rotterdam; died at Basel, Switzerland, July 12, 1536).

From 1506 to 1509 he was in Italy.

He published a critical edition of the Greek New Testament in 1516 - Novum Instrumentum omne, diligenter ab Erasmo Rot. Recognitum et Emendatum. The edition included a Latin translation and annotations. He dedicated it to Pope Leo X. The work used recently rediscovered additional manuscripts. In the second edition the more familar term Testamentum was used instead of Instrumentum. This edition was used by Martin Luther for the translation into German. The text later became known as the textus receptus. Erasmus did three other editions - 1522, 1527 and 1535.

His 'Praise of Folly' was dedicated to his friend Sir Thomas More.

In 1536 he wrote De puritate ecclesiae christianae in which he tried to reconcile the different parties.

The great portraitist Hans Holbein made a profile half-length portrait in 1523, and Albrecht Duerer made an engraving of Erasmus in 1526.

See also: Agricola