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A collection of thoughts and quotes by Desiderius Erasmus on happiness, humanism, hope and religion.

76 Enlightening Quotes By Desiderius Erasmus, The Great Humanist And Scholar

Quick Facts

Famous As: Theologian

Born On: October 27, 1466

Died On: July 12, 1536

Born In: Rotterdam

Died At Age: 69

The great European scholar Desiderius Erasmus was one of the most influential and powerful figures who lived during the Renaissance period. He was a renowned theologian, Catholic priest, teacher and social critic. Erasmus was known as a Renaissance humanist and is exalted for translating the ‘New Testament’ to Greek and Latin languages. His translation helped many writers who translated the bible for over 250 years from then. His thoughts and sayings will give you hope in times of distress. Although he advocated reformation within the ‘Roman Catholic Church’, he never questioned The Pope or The Church. His books like ‘On Free Will’, ‘The Praise of Folly’, ‘Handbook of a Christian Knight’, and ‘On Civility in Children’ earned him great fame. Desiderius Erasmus is considered to be one of the greatest literary figures and pioneer scholars. His thoughts, sayings and quotations motivated people to think about their actions towards a better life. Here are some of his inspiring quotes that do the same.

When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes.

Desiderius Erasmus

Nature, more of a stepmother than a mother in several ways, has sown a seed of evil in the hearts of mortals, especially in the more thoughtful men, which makes them dissatisfied with their own lot and envious of another's.

Desiderius Erasmus

Everyone knows that by far the happiest and universally enjoyable age of man is the first. What is there about babies which makes us hug and kiss and fondle them, so that even an enemy would give them help at that age?

Desiderius Erasmus

The more ignorant, reckless and thoughtless a doctor is, the higher his reputation soars even amongst powerful princes.

Desiderius Erasmus

Fools are without number.

Desiderius Erasmus

Concealed talent brings no reputation.

Desiderius Erasmus

It's the generally accepted privilege of theologians to stretch the heavens, that is the Scriptures, like tanners with a hide.

Desiderius Erasmus

Great abundance of riches cannot be gathered and kept by any man without sin.

Desiderius Erasmus

Whether a party can have much success without a woman present I must ask others to decide, but one thing is certain, no party is any fun unless seasoned with folly.

Desiderius Erasmus

Prevention is better than cure.

Desiderius Erasmus

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.

Desiderius Erasmus

In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

Desiderius Erasmus

Fortune favors the audacious.

Desiderius Erasmus

Man is to man either a god or a wolf.

Desiderius Erasmus

By a Carpenter mankind was made, and only by that Carpenter can mankind be remade.

Desiderius Erasmus

What difference is there, do you think, between those in Plato's cave who can only marvel at the shadows and images of various objects, provided they are content and don't know what they miss, and the philosopher who has emerged from the cave and sees the real things?

Desiderius Erasmus

Reflection is a flower of the mind, giving out wholesome fragrance; but revelry is the same flower, when rank and running to seed.

Desiderius Erasmus

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.

Desiderius Erasmus

Great eagerness in the pursuit of wealth, pleasure, or honor, cannot exist without sin.

Desiderius Erasmus

Now I believe I can hear the philosophers protesting that it can only be misery to live in folly, illusion, deception and ignorance, but it isn't -it's human.

Desiderius Erasmus

Women, can't live with them, can't live without them.

Desiderius Erasmus

Time takes away the grief of men.

Desiderius Erasmus

It is an unscrupulous intellect that does not pay to antiquity its due reverence.

Desiderius Erasmus

Don't give your advice before you are called upon.

Desiderius Erasmus

Man's mind is so formed that it is far more susceptible to falsehood than to truth.

Desiderius Erasmus

In the country of the blind the one eyed man is king.

Desiderius Erasmus

Nothing is as peevish and pedantic as men's judgments of one another.

Desiderius Erasmus

It is the chiefest point of happiness that a man is willing to be what he is.

Desiderius Erasmus

No one respects a talent that is concealed.

Desiderius Erasmus

To know nothing is the happiest life.

Desiderius Erasmus

The entire world is my temple, and a very fine one too, if I'm not mistaken, and I'll never lack priests to serve it as long as there are men.

Desiderius Erasmus

Humility is truth.

Desiderius Erasmus

Luther was guilty of two great crimes - he struck the Pope in his crown, and the monks in their belly.

Desiderius Erasmus

Your library is your paradise.

Desiderius Erasmus

The desire to write grows with writing.

Desiderius Erasmus

What is popularly called fame is nothing but an empty name and a legacy from paganism.

Desiderius Erasmus

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

Desiderius Erasmus

The summit of happiness is reached when a person is ready to be what he is.

Desiderius Erasmus

The chief element of happiness is this: to want to be what you are.

Desiderius Erasmus

He who allows oppression shares the crime.

Desiderius Erasmus

A nail is driven out by another nail; habit is overcome by habit.

Desiderius Erasmus

War is delightful to those who have had no experience of it.

Desiderius Erasmus

Only a very few can be learned, but all can be Christian, all can be devout, and – I shall boldly add – all can be theologians.

Desiderius Erasmus

The main hope of a nation lies in the proper education of its youth

Desiderius Erasmus

Give light, and the darkness will disappear of itself.

Desiderius Erasmus

‎If you keep thinking about what you want to do or what you hope will happen, you don't do it, and it won't happen.

Desiderius Erasmus

The most disadvantageous peace is better than the most just war.

Desiderius Erasmus

Sreća voli one koji ne razmišljaju mnogo, voli smelije ljude i one koji sve stavljaju na kocku. Mudrost stvara strašljivce.

Desiderius Erasmus

Bidden or unbidden, God is present.

Desiderius Erasmus

Before you sleep, read something that is exquisite, and worth remembering.

Desiderius Erasmus

Now what else is the whole life of mortals, but a sort of comedy in which the various actors, disguised by various costumes and masks, walk on and play each ones part until the manager walks them off the stage?

Desiderius Erasmus

Everybody hates a prodigy, detests an old head on young shoulders.

Desiderius Erasmus

At last concluded that no creature was more miserable than man, for that all other creatures are content with those bounds that nature set them, only man endeavors to exceed them.

Desiderius Erasmus

For anyone who loves intensely lives not in himself but in the object of his love, and the further he can move out of himself into his love, the happier he is.

Desiderius Erasmus

A good portion of speaking will consist in knowing how to lie.

Desiderius Erasmus

I doubt if a single individual could be found from the whole of mankind free from some form of insanity. The only difference is one of degree.

Desiderius Erasmus

Given a choice between a folly and a sacrament, one should always choose the folly—because we know a sacrament will not bring us closer to god and there’s always the chance that a folly will.

Desiderius Erasmus

Human affairs are so obscure and various that nothing can be clearly known.

Desiderius Erasmus

War is sweet to those who have not experienced it.

Desiderius Erasmus

It is wiser to treat men and things as though we held this world the common fatherland of all.

Desiderius Erasmus

...it is a sneaking piece of cowardice for authors to put feigned names to their works, as if, like bastards of their brain, they were afraid to own them.

Desiderius Erasmus

I put up with this church, in the hope that one day it will become better, just as it is constrained to put up with me in the hope that I will become better.

Desiderius Erasmus

By burning Luther's books you may rid your bookshelves of him, but you will not rid men's minds of him.

Desiderius Erasmus

The highest form of bliss is living with a certain degree of folly.

Desiderius Erasmus

Young bodies are like tender plants, which grow and become hardened to whatever shape you've trained them.

Desiderius Erasmus

How do you like our England, you will say? Believe me when I assure you that I have never liked anything as much before.

Desiderius Erasmus

The nearer people approach old age the closer they return to a semblance of childhood, until the time comes for them to depart this life, again like children, neither tired of living nor aware of death.

Desiderius Erasmus

I know this is overused...but it is accurate! When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes.

Desiderius Erasmus

Tis the part of a truly prudent man not to be wise beyond his condition, but either to take no notice of what the world does, or run with it for company

Desiderius Erasmus

I hate one that remembers what's done over the cup.

Desiderius Erasmus

When I get a little money, I buy books. If any is left, I buy food and clothes.

Desiderius Erasmus

And so when the whole man will be outside himself, and happy for no reason except that he is so outside himself, he will enjoy some of the ineffable share in the supreme good which draws everything into itself.

Desiderius Erasmus

It is wisdom in prosperity, when all is as thou wouldn't have it, to fear and suspect the worst.

Desiderius Erasmus