Erasmus

The Praise of Folly

1509 - 1511

Why is it canonical?

Desiderius Erasmus, one of Europe's most popular intellectuals during the height of his activity, first wrote The Praise of Folly to amuse his good friend Thomas More, also a noted intellectual and Renaissance Humanist (Erasmus himself was a noted humanist). Using a personification of Folly, Erasmus pokes fun at Catholic superstition and corruption, but rather than angering the church it is said that even the pope himself enjoyed the work. This general ability to walk a middle path, even during a time of tremendous schism due to the rise in Protestantism, characterized Erasmus's engagement with other intellectuals.

Languages

Latin

Media

Written

Images and Videos

Erasmus

Hans Holbein woodcut for edition of The Praise of Folly

Resources

Project Gutenberg full text of The Praise of Folly