In Praise of Folly and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

In Praise of Folly Paperback – 24 Feb 2011

See all 29 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback, 24 Feb 2011
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"

Product details

  • Paperback: 84 pages
  • Publisher: (24 Feb. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1611044839
  • ISBN-13: 978-1611044836
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 0.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

About the Author

Desiderius Erasmus (1466–1536) was a Dutch Renaissance humanist and a Catholic priest and theologian. Erasmus was a classical scholar who wrote in a "pure" Latin style and enjoyed the sobriquet "Prince of the Humanists." He has been called "the crowning glory of the Christian humanists." Using humanist techniques for working on texts, he prepared important new Latin and Greek editions of the New Testament. These raised questions that would be influential in the Protestant Reformation and Catholic Counter-Reformation. He also wrote The Praise of Folly, Handbook of a Christian Knight, On Civility in Children, Copia: Foundations of the Abundant Style, Julius Exclusus, and many other works. Erasmus lived through the Reformation period and he consistently criticized some contemporary popular Christian beliefs. In relation to clerical abuses in the Church, Erasmus remained committed to reforming the Church from within. He also held to Catholic doctrines such as that of free will, which some Protestant Reformers rejected in favor of the doctrine of predestination. His middle road approach disappointed and even angered many Protestants, such as Martin Luther, as well as conservative Catholics. He died in Basel in 1536 and was buried in the formerly Catholic cathedral there, recently converted to a Reformed church.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See the customer review
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wisdom for the ages. Might be a bit difficult understanding Tudor age English, and you need to Google some of the figures, gods and terminology used. However, having done so you begin to understand the humour and genius that made Erasmus the intellectual giant of his age. What also becomes apparent is that, in an age when critics of the church generally ended up tortured then toasted, he had the courage to lambast the princes of Catholicism. He could just as easily turn his aim inward and does, never too big a target for his own pen. Considering that this was written on the back of a horse travelling the lanes of Europe, this pithy little package is loaded with wisdom that can just as easily be applied to modern life. Buy it, read it then share it with your kids, I intend to do so with my Grandchildren. It will require a tablet and the aforementioned Google, but I know we will have fun. They will also learn a great deal about life, and, that progress changes outward appearances but humanity's follies are eternal.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 14 reviews
36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
One of the best books of Literary Renaissance 29 Dec. 2003
By Roberto P. De Ferraz - Published on
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.
The book is in fact a small one but the reader is much rewarded by the richness of its content, where the author takes him by his hands and strolls with him trough ancient Greek and Roman mithology in a verbose prose at the same time easy, vigorous and stimulating, where one is impressed by the author's astounding erudiction, as if he was a northern true inheritor of the Tuscan Dante Aligheri (the Divine Comedy) in this purpose. This is certainly one of the best literary works of late Renaissance and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Terrible translation 22 Jun. 2011
By Maro Riofrancos - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the worst translation into English from any language I have ever read. Totally unidiomatic, whether in 16th-century or 21st-century English. It reads like a bad machine translation. If it were free, it would be laughable; at $.95, the joke's on me.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
THe praise of folly 3 Mar. 2013
By Jeffersonian - Published on
Verified Purchase
"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.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A must read! 16 Nov. 2008
By Michael Geerts - Published on
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.
Satirical Prose on the Shortcomings of the Upper Classes and Religious Institutions of the 16th Century 27 May 2013
By Guerrilla Reader - Published on
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. And if they want hard words, they run over some worm-eaten manuscript and pick out half a dozen of the most old and obsolete to confound their reader, believing, no doubt, that they that understand their meaning will like it better, and they that do not will admire it the more by how much the less they understand it. Nor is this way of ours of admiring what seems most foreign without its particular grace; for if there happen to be any more ambitious than others, they may give their applause with a smile, and like the ass, shake their ears, that they may be thought to understand more than the rest of their neighbors." In Praise of Folly makes quite a statement then about Renaissance Christian ideals. Erasmus died in Switzerland in 1536. Five stars.
Were these reviews helpful? Let us know