Praise of Folly

1 Praise of Folly The Praise of Folly takes on a very diverse form of life during sixteenth century Europe. In 1509 the author, Desiderius Erasmus, turned his literary talents to the ridicule and denunciation of monastic vice, immorality, and wickedness. He was considered the “Prince of Humanists” [1] because he was one of the most important men in Europe during the period of the Reformation, The historical and cultural references in his book proves that the Praise of Folly could not have been written during any other time period except sixteenth century Europe. Erasmus is one of the most fascinating and inscrutable characters in history. There is no doubt that he was a genius, He was also a bon vivant, but his tastes ran toward good conversation and good food rather than conspicuous consumption. He whined endlessly about his troubles, and he begged shamelessly for ever more money from his patrons. But he was one of the “most far-sighted individuals to walk this planet,” [2]. Before any others, he saw how the corruption and misdeeds of the church would lead to danger, and when Martin Luther hijacked Erasmus reform efforts and turned them into outright revolt, Erasmus saw that this split in Christendom would lead to catastrophe; a catastrophe that was realized a century later. Erasmus, even from childhood, had a craving to read, study, learn and know. He spent his life as a scholar and writer. He was a man of quick wit and a keen mind. He had struck a raw nerve by writing the Praise of Folly. But it must be noted that while Erasmus found the wickedness of the priests revulsive, he did not disapprove of Roman Catholic doctrine. He praised himself to be a citizen of the world, not attached 2 to a particular country but finding himself at home in European countries where culture and humanism were flo…

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