25 Erasmus Quotes From the Philosopher, Christian Humanist, and Theologian

Take a look at these Erasmus quotes to learn more about this influential man.

Erasmus was also known as Desiderius Erasmus Roterdamus or Erasmus of Rotterdam.

He was a renowned philosopher, Catholic theologian, Christian humanist scholar, and satirist.

Erasmus was born in Rotterdam in October of 1466 and died in Basel in 1536 at the age of 69.

Erasmus contributed many books and other writings and, as a result, is considered one of the Northern Renaissance’s most influential thinkers.

As a Catholic priest, he remained a part of the Catholic Church for his entire lifetime and worked to reform the church from within.

Some of the main things that Erasmus wrote about and believed in were peacemaking, peace, and religious Irenicism.

Take a look at these Erasmus quotes to learn more about the influential thinker. 

Inspirational Erasmus Quotes

Enjoy these quotes from Erasmus and allow them to inspire you.

1. “God is present.” — Erasmus

2. “No man is wise at all times.” — Erasmus

3. “Your library is your paradise.” — Erasmus

4. “Prevention is better than cure.” — Erasmus

5. “The desire to write grows with writing.” — Erasmus

6. “There is no joy in possession without sharing.” — Erasmus

7. “Give light, and the darkness will disappear of itself.” — Erasmus

8. “In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.” — Erasmus

9. “A nail is driven out by another nail; habit is overcome by habit.” — Erasmus

10. “The main hope of a nation lies in the proper education of its youth.” — Erasmus

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Best Erasmus Quotes

Check out some of the best quotes from the philosopher.

11. “I am a lover of liberty. I will not, and I cannot serve a party.” — Erasmus

12. “When I get a little money, I buy books, and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.” — Erasmus

13. “By a Carpenter mankind was made, and only by that Carpenter can mankind be remade.” — Erasmus

14. “There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality, and then there are those who turn one into the other.” — Erasmus

15. “There are others where religion is nothing but ritual; and these are worse than the first, for the Spirit of God is not in them, and they are inflated with self-righteousness.” — Erasmus

16. “Nowadays the rage for possession has got to such a pitch that there is nothing in the realm of nature, whether sacred or profane, out of which profit cannot be squeezed.” — Erasmus

17. “Animals only follow their natural instincts; but man, unless he has experienced the influence of learning and philosophy, is at the mercy of impulses that are worse than those of a wild beast.” — Erasmus

Wise Erasmus Quotes

Here are some of the wisest quotes from Erasmus.

18. “Don’t give your advice before you are called upon.” — Erasmus

19. “You must acquire the best knowledge first, and without delay.” — Erasmus

20. “The most disadvantageous peace is better than the most just war.” — Erasmus

21. “It is the height of madness to learn what you will later have to unlearn.” — Erasmus

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22. “Before you sleep, read something that is exquisite and worth remembering.” — Erasmus

23. “Man’s mind is so formed that it is far more susceptible to falsehood than to truth.” — Erasmus

24. “The important thing for you is not how much you know, but the quality of what you know.” — Erasmus

25. “Our determination to imitate Christ should be such that we have no time for other matters.” — Erasmus

How Did Erasmus Die?

Erasmus died in Basel in 1536 after moving back to Basel from Hungary in 1535.

During his last year in Basel, he finished his last major work, titled Ecclesiastes, before dying from dysentery.

He did not receive the traditional Catholic “last rites,” but he believed that a person could achieve salvation if “their faith and spirit were attuned to God.”

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