fessor of divinity at Cambridge; but Cambridge was far away from the centre of European thought and of literary activities. He left England before the end of the year for Basel, where the greater part of his life thenceforth was passed. Froben had made Basel the chief literary centre of production for the whole of Europe. Through Froben's printing-presses Erasmus could reach a wider audience than was allowed him at any court, however favourable to pure religion and the new learning. It was at this juncture that he made an eloquent and far-reaching appeal, on a matter which lay very near his heart, to the conscience of Christendom.
The Adagia, that vast work which was, at least to his own generation, Erasmus's foremost title to fame, has long ago passed into the rank of those monuments of literature "dont la reputation s'affermira toujours parcequ'on ne les lit guère." So far as Erasmus is more than a name for most modern readers, it is on slighter and more popular works that any direct knowledge
A classic anti-war essay from the mid-1500s. Erasmus gives elegant arguments against war from both religious (Christian) and logical (economic, practical) points of view. He seems particularly alarmed and confused by Christians fighting wars with Christians. The problem, of course, is that people waging war only consider religious or logical reasons when they are looking for excuses to wage war.
The writing and thinking are quite good.
If human beings were thinking or spiritual beings, his arguments might have some effect, but he completely misses the reasons for war: to punish or exact revenge from the enemy.