Born in Rotterdam in Holland, his father is a priest. He himself was ordained in 1492. In 1499, he made a trip to England during which he met Thomas More. It is to this philosopher that Erasmus dedicates one of his major works:Eloge de la folie , published in 1511, a true satire of social classes.
His vision of a new theology is based on direct recourse to the Greek text of the Gospels, and no longer a simple reference to the translation of Saint Jerome.
At the time of the Reformation, he refused to take sides:he criticized the power of the Church and the cult of relics, but criticized Luther for his Protestant determinism, he who believed rather in free will. He also wrote at that time an essay entitled Libre Arbitre .
Attacked on both sides, he stayed for a while in Basel, where Catholics and reformists lived in harmony. But when the Reformation reached Basel, he emigrated to Freiburg im Breisgau, a Catholic city.
1469 (approx.) - 1536