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June 15, 2011 | History

The Apophthegmes of Erasmus 3 editions

Cover of: The Apophthegmes of Erasmus by Desiderius Erasmus
About the Book

Erasmus' Apophthegmes is a collection of cute little tales from Greek and Roman times that are in some manner telling, morally uplifting, or simply funny. Here's one of the funny tales:

A certain young gentleman who had come to Rome from the provinces was found to bear an astonishing resemblance to Augustus Caesar. Hearing this, Augustus had the man brought before him. Perceiving the close resemblance, Augustus asked him, "Tell me, did your mother ever spend any time in Rome?" The quick-witted provincial shot back, "My mother, never; my father, often."

This is a reprint of an English translation first published in 1564. The English is a little hard on modern readers. Here's a sample of the English: "Unto Euclides beying verie studious of contencious conclusions, and cauillicions of subtile reasoning, he said: "Euclides ye maie percase matche with Sophistes, but with men ye can not haue to dooe."

Unfortunately, the digitization of this book renders it unreadable. There are numerous "typos" where the text recognition software deduced the wrong characters, likely because it could not use modern English to figure out what the text says. Also, no effort was made to clean up the text surrounding the main text. Hence, you'll be treated to something like this:

"Well, but, replies the other, " even Socrates was among thefe thou^
VOL. -I. G "fands."
The APOPHTHEGMS Book III. fands." 'Tis alfo very unaccountable, that a ; perfon you ftand in awe of frmly, pafTes unre garded by you in ax:roud.

Translation: "Well, but, replies the other, "Even Socrates was among these thousands. It is also very unaccountable that a person you stand in awe of firmly, passes unregarded by you in a crowd."

Good luck with this one. There is one good reason to read it: it is the ONLY English-language translation of the Apophthegms. So if you want access to these, either learn Latin or wait until the Collected Works of Erasmus project publishes its own translation.


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3 editions First published in 1877

Edition Read Borrow Buy
Cover of: The apophthegmes of Erasmus
1877, R.Roberts
The apophthegmes of Erasmus
Cover of: The Apophthegmes of Erasmus
1877, Robert Roberts
The Apophthegmes of Erasmus
in English
Cover of: The Apophthegmes of Erasmus
1877, Robert Roberts
The Apophthegmes of Erasmus
in English

History Created July 16, 2010 · 2 revisions Download catalog record: RDF / JSON

June 15, 2011 Edited by Edited without comment.
July 16, 2010 Created by WorkBot work found