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In Praise of Folly (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – February 10, 2003

3.8 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Latin

From the Publisher

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Thrift Editions
  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (February 10, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486426890
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486426891
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.2 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #667,903 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
In Praise of Folly (Encomiun Moriae in Latin) was written in 1509 by the Dutchman Erasmus of Rotterdam when he was guest to his English famous friend Thomas More,or Morus if you prefer, the author of the celebrated book Utopia. Given internal religious strife in Europe, and England was in no exception mood, these were pretty much dangerous times and many heads rolled and were to roll, More"s included, due to the persecution by Henry VIII. Whatever was to be said about the nettlesome religious matter had to be done with extrema caution in order to avoid the perilous verdicts of the Holy Tribunal.
Along with Thomas More, Desiderius Erasmus was one of the most important representatives of the Renaissance literary movement in northern Europe and what was casually presented by Erasmus as a booklet inspired by a casual play of words with the surname More (which is almost equal to Moriae, madness in Greek), was in fact an attempt to salvage what should be rescued of the Classical Greek Antiquity in Erasmus' opinionated argument and incorporated in the Christian thought of the time. Beneath an almost non-descript façade was an issue of utmost significance to the evolution of the so-called Natural Sciences, that were to benefit from advances of recent discoveries in Physics, Chemistry and later on Biology, but which were hindered to evolve by the so-called aristotelian taint inherited by the Scholastic medieveal tradition so dear to the traditionalist Catholic Church, a task difficult in itself but which Erasmus easily outdone with a satyrical style that offended no one, preserving all the respect to the Church hierarchy and its dogmas and, most importantly, the figure of Jesus Christ.
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"The praise of folly" (Actually "In praise of folly) by Erasmus is a superb book, written originally in Latin, around 1498.
It was translated in over 30 languages very quickly!
The book is superb: humor and witty sarcasms... It was written anonymously but the pope found out quickly who wrote it... and laughed.

The Erasmus (of Rotterdam) Biography written by Princeton Pr. Van Loon (of Rotterdam too) is the third I have read, and the very best so far. Read this book if high quality ... does not scare
This book title (Moriah is latin for folly) is a pun with Erasmus's good friend Thomas Moore in England.
Thomas Moore was beheaded on "his friend" king Henry the VIII of England wrath.
The good old time of the inquisition...
Andre G.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Review of "In Praise of Folly," by Desiderius Erasmus. Erasmus was born in Rotterdam, Holland in 1466. He became an ordained priest in 1492. He then went on to become the Latin Secretary to the Bishop of Cambrai. After that he became a wandering scholar and traveled to England in 1499 at the invitation of Lord Mountjoy. While in England Erasmus became friends with John Colet, Thomas More, Thomas Linacre, Willam Grocyn, and other Humanists at Oxford. He wrote Encomium moriae ("The Praise of Folly") in 1509 as a letter to his friend Thomas More and had it published in Paris in 1511. Within the letter Erasmus displays wit in his satire of the Goddess Folly (the protagonist). Within the pages Folly praises herself endlessly, arguing that life would be dull and distasteful without her. "Of earthly existence, Folly pompously states, 'you'll find nothing frolic or fortunate that it owes not to me.'" "Folly venerates her comrades, Self Love, Flattery, Oblivion, and Pleasure, whom she believes promote friendship and tolerance within society. Above all, Folly lauds self-deception and foolishness, finding Biblical support in favor of her beliefs." In conclusion, Folly speaks directly of Christianity, regarding its religious authority and practices. For example on page 7: "Nor will it be amiss also to imitate the rhetoricians of our times, who think themselves in a manner gods if like horse leeches they can but appear to be double-tongued, and believe they have done a mighty act if in their Latin orations they can but shuffle in some ends of Greek like mosaic work, though altogether by head and shoulders and less to the purpose.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
In praise of folly is a must read for anyone interested in the humanist movement in the late middle ages, in the middle of the religious wars. Erasmus was a brilliant writer, who mocks about everybody in this book, but subtle. He wrote it in honour of Thomas More, he was also a friend of Martin Luther, but remained Roman Catholic. He also founded the 'Collegium Trilingue' where they tought Greek, Roman and Hebrew, in Louvain, Flanders.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I heard about Erasmus when I was in school; and he seemed like a really interesting guy. But I never looked for anything he had written and never stumbled on anything either. When Kindle offered "In Praise of Folly," I ordered it, looking forward to meeting this stalwart of the Renaissance.
It didn't work.
Not his fault.
Not mine either.
Times have just changed so much that much of what used to be seen as witty, now just seems silly. And well-crafted sentences, once the sign of a brilliant man, now tend to get tedious real fast. It's probably true that, if I worked at it, I would eventually learn to appreciate the man and his wit; but I'm just not interested in that much work.
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