Texas Tech University

THE PRAISE OF FOLLY (MORIAE ENCOMIUM) BY DESIDERIUS ERASMUS

Publication Date: 1549 “This world as it is being lived just now has become a complete absurdity,” was all Erasmus intended to convey. “Allow me, therefore, my friends, to call upon the Goddess of Folly to explain to you how our religious, political, and social fabric has now assumed proportions of such grotesque stupidity and imbecility that only a complete fool can any longer hope to be happy while living under this kind of dispensation. Erasmus lived long enough to welcome more than forty editions of his Praise of Folly. Nor did he have to wait long for his foreign translations. The first of these, a French one, appeared in 1517. Then in rapid succession came others in German, Dutch, Flemish, and English… For these kind of Men that are so given up to the study of Wisdome are generally most unfortunate, but chiefly in their Children; Nature, it seems, so providently ordering it, lest this mischief of Wisdome should spread farther among mankind. For which reason ‘tis manifest why Cicero’s Son was so degenerate, and that wise Socrates’s Children, as one has well observ’d, were more like their Mother than their Father, that is to say, Fools.” #0120
 

 

 

 

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