Gerrit Gerritszoon, (also known as Desiderius Erasmus) was born on October 28th, 1466 in Rotterdam, Holland. His father, Roger Gerritszoon, was a priest while his mother, Margaretha Gerritszoon, was a physicians daughter. Growing up, he and his brother went to school in Gouda, Holland. Margarentha brought them to Deventer, so they could be educated in one of he largest and best Latin schools in the Netherlands, called, "St. Lebuin's School". Gerrit stayed there from 1475 until 1484, developing skill in writing Latin. The schoolmaster, Alexander Hegius, introduced him to humanism which Gerrit later became devoted to. Gerrit's parets died when he was 13; he was now sent by his guardians for two years, which he afterwards called two lost years, to the monastery school of Hertogenbosch. Then, after wandering aimlessly about for a time, he was forced, through necessity and the insistence of his guardians, to enter in 1486 the monastery of Emmaus, near Gouda, a house of Canons Regular. He felt no true religious feelings, and in later years realized that this act was the greatest misfortune of his life. the beginnings of Gerrit's religious indifferentism and of his weakness of character are to be sought in his joyless youth and in the years spent under stress in the monastery. He was left free to pursue his studies, and devoted himself to the ancient classics that he admired. His religious training was at the study of St. Jerome and Lorenzo Valla. The Bishop of Cambrai decided to visit Italy and chose Gerrit as secretary and traveling companion. He also ordained him priest in 1492. Gerrit remained in the service of the bishop, who, in 1496, sent him to Paris to complete his studies. The schools method of instruction then prevalent at Paris was so important to him that he spent much of his time traveling through France and the Netherlands; he was also for a while at Orléans, where he worked at his collection of proverbs. The first publications...
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