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Information about Erasmus of Rotterdam

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Erasmus Programme ( EuRopean Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students) is a European Union student exchange programme established in 1987. Erasmus+, or Erasmus Plus, is the new programme combining all the EU's current schemes for education, training, youth and sport, due to begin in January 2014.

The Erasmus Programme, together with a number of other independent programmes, was incorporated into the Socrates programme established by the European Commission in 1994. The Socrates programme ended on 31 December 1999 and was replaced with the Socrates II Programme on 24 January 2000, which in turn was replaced by the Lifelong Learning Programme 20072013 on 1 January 2007.

The man after whom the Programme was named is
Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus;
27 October 1466 12 July 1536,
known as Erasmus of Rotterdam, or simply Erasmus, he was a Dutch Renaissance humanist, Catholic priest, social critic, teacher, and theologian.

Erasmus was a classical scholar who wrote in a pure Latin style. Amongst humanists, he 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 wrote On Free Will, On Civility in Children, and many other works.

A handbook on manners for children is a handbook written by Erasmus of Rotterdam, and is considered to be the first treatise in Western Europe on the moral and practical education of children. Therefore his name is given to the Educational Programme of the EU. First published in 1530, it was addressed to the eleven-year-old Henry of Burgundy, son of Adolph, Prince of Veere, and gives instructions, in simple Latin, on how a boy should conduct himself in the company of adults. The book achieved immediate success and was translated into many languages. The first English version was published in 1532, under the title of A Little Book of Good Manners for Children. The book is divided into seventeen sections, each dealing with an aspect of behaviour.

Erasmus lived against the backdrop of the growing European religious Reformation; but while he was critical of the abuses within the Church and called for reform, he kept his distance from Luther and Melanchthon and continued to recognise the authority of the pope. Erasmus emphasized a middle way, with a deep respect for traditional faith, piety and grace, and rejected Luther's emphasis on faith alone.

Erasmus died suddenly in Basel in 1536 while preparing to return to Brabant, and was buried in the Basel Minster, the former cathedral of the city. A bronze statue of him was erected in his city of birth in 1622, replacing an earlier work in stone.