A key problem in the history of emotions arises from the shifting meaning of emotion terms throughout history and from the difficulty in translating emotion terms from one language to another. Erasmus’ New Testament and Annotations offer scholars interested in the ‘historical semantics of emotion’ invaluable insights into sixteenth-century emotions discourse and the translation of emotion terms from Greek into Latin. This paper examines some of the more problematic cases in order to shed light on how Erasmus handles the difficulties that are attendant to translating emotion words, and also considers the influence of Erasmus’ NT and Annotations in early modern Greek-to-Latin lexicons, a feature of his reception that has not been acknowledged to date.
See BezaJesu Christi D.N. Novum Testamentum (Geneva: Henri Estienne1567) ad loc. Calvin had translated the word with cognitionem in his Commentary on Romans but refers also to the affectus Spiritus in his gloss.