One of the most important figures of the 16th century, Desiderius Erasmus was a leading reformist and Renaissance humanist. Through his works and letters, Erasmus championed that true religion was a matter of inward devotion rather than outward symbols of ceremony and ritual, and sought to reform aspects of the Church from within. His works showed an astonishing intelligence, razor-sharp wit, and an authentic love for God and humanity. Soon after publication, his works were translated and read all over Europe.
Erasmus begins his anti-war treatise with this quote from the poet Pindar: "Dulce Bellum Inexpertise," or, "war is sweet to those who have never experienced it." This beautifully crafted plea for peace includes a forty-nine page introduction by John W. Mackail.
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- This is one of the key works that influenced the Reformation
- Includes a recall of the main features of the authors' life up to the date this resource was written
Praise for the Print Edition
We must not forget one of the greatest champions of light against the darkness, of peace against war, of the spirit against the letter, of comprehension against exclusion, of reason against dogma—Erasmus.
- Title: Against War
- Author: Desiderius Erasmus
- Editor: John W. Mackail
- Publisher: The Merrymount Press
- Publication Date: 1907
- Pages: 113
About the Contributors
Desiderius Erasmus (1466–1536) was a priest, scholar, author, and translator known as a leading figure in the Renaissance humanist movement before and during the Reformation. In 1506 he graduated as Doctor of Divinity from Turin University, and later was Lady Margaret's Professor of Divinity at the University of Cambridge. He then taught at Queens College, Cambridge for five years before becoming an independent scholar. Erasmus' works were very influential; his books were produced in many editions and translations and printed all through Europe during his lifetime.
John W. Mackail is the author and editor of over thirty works, including the biography of William Morris, and is remembered most as a Virgil scholar.