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  • Author or Editor: Silvana Seidel Menchi x
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In: Erasmus Studies
The dialogue Iulius exclusus e coelis – a violent attack on Pope Julius II (1503-1513) and a lucid analysis of papal power regarded as an anti-apostolic institution – has been the object of a centuries-long debate. Applying the methods of philology and bibliology, which the scholarly debate has hitherto overlooked, this edition reconstructs for the first time in documented and verifiable fashion the pamphlet's origin and early circulation. Erasmus emerges from this study not only as the dialogue's author, but also as responsible for its first circulation in print. The portrait of the humanist sketched in the introductory essay – that of an impassioned political observer and an intransigent critic of both ecclesiastical and secular power – is a radical revision of the saccharine and hagiographical image of Erasmus that has been systematically built up by 20th-century historiography. The volume also contains the short dialogue Conflictus Thaliae et Barbariei, making fun of bad Latin, and De civilitate morum puerilium, an essential treatise in Erasmus’ pedagogical œuvre as well as in the history of education in general.
Based primarily on Inquisition trial records from all parts of the Italian peninsula, this study vividly illustrates the broad diffusion of Erasmus's ideas in Italy. Silvana Seidel Menchi's protagonists are not the sophisticated intellectuals previously linked to the "prince of humanists," but rather the shoemakers and druggists, goldsmiths and carpenters, weavers and soldiers, notaries and schoolmasters, priests and friars, physicians and students whose reading of Erasmus's works and acceptance of his message both enriched and complicated their lives. Italian Erasmians, like all Italian philo-Protestants, confronted an implacable adversary, the Roman Church and its Inquisition. Hence theirs was a destiny of marginalization and persecution.
This innovative study makes a major contribution to our understanding of sixteenth-century Italian and European history in two important areas: the reception of Erasmus and the social dimensions of the Reformation.
The fifth and sixth volume of the Adagia (Proverbs) of the Amsterdam edition of the Latin texts of Erasmus give an introduction in German and a critical edition of the Latin text of the third thousand Adages. The text is accompanied by notes in German that trace Erasmus’ sources and give linguistic, historical, philological and, where appropriate, theological background information which elucidates the text and Erasmus’ way of working.
This volume in the ASD series (VIII, 1) publishes texts by Erasmus related to the Fathers of the Church. Erasmus himself considered these among his major contributions to Christianity and the Church. He edited many Fathers and wrote Vitae of three theologians: John Chrysostom, Origen and – his most important one – Jerome. He provides portraits of the theologians and his views on them, but also a kind of self-portrait. He even forged a text himself: ‘Cyprian’s De duplici martyrio’. His many editions of the Church Fathers and other theologians contain prefaces which provide us with information about the theologians, and with remarks on Erasmus’ views on them. Thus, we get a clearer understanding of Erasmus and his theology.