Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Erasmus on Greek

Miscellaneous leftover quotes from Erasmus on learning Greek:

“And, my dear Batt, I am very anxious that you should know Greek…”
-Letter to Jacob Batt, September 1500

“We can use Greek words when we wish our meaning not to be understood by all and sundry.”

“… I am paying scant regard to my very health as I help my friends; I compose for some, read to some, correct for others, and meanwhile read, compile, emend, and compose on my own account, and practise my Greek which in any case is very difficult.”
-Letter to Jacob Batt, 1500

In Epistle 23 (I am unsure of the date), Erasmus signed his name on a letter in Greek rather than Latin - a practice just about every Greek student does at some point.

The picture: Title page of the Complutensian Polyglot, 1522. Erasmus' printer heard that the Polyglot was about to go to press, and so Erasmus rushed to finish his first edition of the Greek New Testament. As a result, Erasmus' first edition is one of the few print Bibles riddled with typographical errors.

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