The Adages of Erasmus

The Adages of Erasmus

eBook - 2001
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Univ of Toronto Pr

A collection of 4151 ancient proverbs, each accompanied by Erasmus' commentary explaining its history and possible uses. Many of the adages are still familiar: 'Know thyself,' 'To give someone the finger,' 'Pandora's box,' and others.


Erasmus was fascinated by proverbs and prepared a collection of more than 4,000 of them, accompanying each with his comments, sometimes in a few lines and sometimes in full-scale essays. His massive compendium, characterized by his wit, his elegance, his bursts of satire alternating with serious views, was among the most learned and widely circulated of Renaissance books. This selection emphasizes Erasmus' skill in explaining the proverbs, shows how he made his book, and demonstrates the way in which many of the proverbs moved into the English language. The text is illustrated with images by Brueghel and D¦rer and examples of proverb use from emblem books.

Over eighty proverb essays are presented here. Some are masterpieces of social criticism ('War is sweet to those who have never tried it'), others provide scholarly explanations of philosophical ideas or gestures and customs ('Thumbs up'). Many of the proverbs have passed into modern usage ('Know thyself' , To give someone the finger' 'Well begun is half done'), some even retaining their Latin form ('Deus ex machina'). And a few, it turns out, were created by Erasmus himself through his occasional misinterpretation of the ancient languages ('Pandora's box', 'To call a spade a spade').

This edition replaces the pioneering work by Margaret Mann Phillips, providing more essays and more detailed source and background information for the texts. It is based on the translations and scholarship of the Collected Works of Erasmus - mostly that of Sir Roger Mynors but also the work of Phillips herself.



Book News
In the early 16th century, Desiderius Erasmus published several versions of an extensive collection of Greek and Latin adages. Many of the adages, such as "the gods help those who help themselves" and "to teach an old dog new tricks" had found their way into English usage. While most of the entries were quite short, others were accompanied by lengthy essays by Erasmus on morality and religion. This volume presents 119 of the adages (out of a total of 4,151) and includes all of the long essays. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Blackwell North Amer
Erasmus' Adages is a collection of 4151 ancient proverbs, each accompanied by a commentary explaining its history and possible uses. Though most of these commentaries are very short, some just a few lines of scholarly explication, others are lengthy essays on social and political topics. The most famous of these is 'War is sweet to those who have not tried it,' a major anti-war tract. Many of the proverbs have passed into modern usage ('Know thyself,' 'To give someone the finger,' 'Well begun is half done'), some even retaining their Latin form (Deus ex machina). And a few, as it turns out, were created by Erasmus himself through occasional misinterpretations of the ancient sources ('Pandora's box,' 'To call a spade a spade'). The massive compendium, characterized by wit, elegance, seriousness, and occasional bursts of satire, was among the most learned and widely circulated of Latin books during the early modern period. This annotated selection of 116 proverbs, which includes all the longer essays, is based on the translation in the Collected Works of Erasmus.

University of Toronto Press

Erasmus was fascinated by proverbs and prepared a collection of more than 4,000 of them, accompanying each with his comments, sometimes in a few lines and sometimes in full-scale essays. His massive compendium, characterized by his wit, his elegance, his bursts of satire alternating with serious views, was among the most learned and widely circulated of Renaissance books. This selection emphasizes Erasmus' skill in explaining the proverbs, shows how he made his book, and demonstrates the way in which many of the proverbs moved into the English language. The text is illustrated with images by Brueghel and D¦rer and examples of proverb use from emblem books.

Over eighty proverb essays are presented here. Some are masterpieces of social criticism ('War is sweet to those who have never tried it'), others provide scholarly explanations of philosophical ideas or gestures and customs ('Thumbs up'). Many of the proverbs have passed into modern usage ('Know thyself' , To give someone the finger' 'Well begun is half done'), some even retaining their Latin form ('Deus ex machina'). And a few, it turns out, were created by Erasmus himself through his occasional misinterpretation of the ancient languages ('Pandora's box', 'To call a spade a spade').

This edition replaces the pioneering work by Margaret Mann Phillips, providing more essays and more detailed source and background information for the texts. It is based on the translations and scholarship of the Collected Works of Erasmus - mostly that of Sir Roger Mynors but also the work of Phillips herself.

Publisher: Toronto, Ont. : University of Toronto Press, 2001
ISBN: 9781282033979
1282033972
9781442680470
1442680474
9780802077400
9780802048745
0802077404
0802048749
Characteristics: 1 online resource (li, 405 pages) : illustrations
Additional Contributors: Barker, William (William Watson), 1946-

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