Humanist, born in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. After six years in an Augustinian monastery, he became private secretary to the Bishop of Cambrai, and a priest (1492). He went to Paris, where he lived as a teacher, then moved to England in 1498, and became professor of divinity and of Greek at Cambridge. Here he wrote his satire, Encomium moriae (1509, The Praise of Folly). After 1514 he lived alternately in Basel and England. then in Louvain (1517-21). His masterpiece, Colloquia, appeared in 1519, an audacious handling of Church abuses. He also made the first translation of the Greek New Testament into English (1516) and edited the works of St Jerome (1519). In 1521 he left Louvain, and lived mainly in Basel, where he was engaged in continual controversy, but enjoyed great fame and respect in his later years.
Painted by Quentin Metsijs
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