Talk:Desiderius Erasmus

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I am uncomfortable with several of the items in this list. Several are adages from the Adagia, and as such are not, strictly speaking, direct quotes. They may not represent Erasmus' true opinions. The most serious anomaly here is the quote "To know nothing is the happiest life." This runs counter to the entire thrust of Erasmus' emphasis on education and literacy. This concern applies only to the first half-dozen items on the list; the remainder are all direct quotes. "To know nothing is the happiest life." is a quote attributed to Sophocles by Folly in Erasmus' satirical text In Praise of Folly. It is therefore not an expression of Erasmus' true opinion.

Erasmus quote?[edit]

About five years ago, I stumbled upon a quote attributed to Erasms. I hastily wrote it down on the back of an envelope. Without a source, I have been unable to confirm Erasmus' authorship:

"That which you can use to the Glory of God, use. That which you cannot, throw away."


  • Believe that you have it, and you have it!
  • Education is of far greater importance than heredity in forming character.
  • It is the friendship of books that has made me perfectly happy.
  • The rules of grammar are crabbed things to many persons... it is important early to instil a taste for the best things into the minds of children, and I cannot see that anything is learned with greater success than what is learned by playing, and this is, in truth, a very harmless kind of fraud, to trick a person into his own profit.
  • To know nothing is the happiest life
  • Fortune favors the audacious.