Desiderius Erasmus


Circa 1466 — July 12, 1536


Desiderius Erasmus was a Dutch scholar and Catholic theologian. He is well known as the first editor of the New Testament though often overlooked for his contributions to the philosophy of peace and of free will. Among the earliest philosophers in our collection, Erasmus helped to form an early philosophical foundation for liberal peace.


Essential Thoughts


Read first the best books. The important thing for you is not how much you know, but the quality of what you know.


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


War is sweet to those who haven't tasted it.


There are some whose only reason for inciting war is to use it as a means to exercise their tyranny over their subjects more easily. For in times of peace the authority of the assembly, the dignity of the magistrates, the force of the laws stand in the way to some extent of the ruler doing what he likes. But once war is declared then the whole business of state is subject to the will of a few ... They demand as much money as they like. Why say more?


Give light, and the darkness will disappear of itself.


Additional Reading


The Manual of a Christian Knight


The Colloquies