Tuesday, February 27, 2018


The Credulity of Mortals

Erasmus, letter to Jan Šlechta (November 1, 1519; tr. R.A.B. Mynors):
It seems to me astonishing that nothing can be thought of so monstrous that it finds no followers.

Illud mihi mirum videri solet, nihil excogitari posse tam prodigiosum, quin suos reperiat sectatores.
So great is the credulity of mortals, and such their infinite fertility of ideas. I believe myself that if anyone arose now and taught that religion required men and women to dance together naked in the market-place, he would not lack followers and patrons for his way of thinking.

Adeo credulum est genus mortalium et tanta est ingeniorum varietas. Equidem opinor, si quis exoriatur nunc qui doceat religiosum esse si viri nudi cum foeminis nudis saltent in foro, non defore sectae suos discipulos ac patronos.
See the entry on Šlechta by J.K. Zeman in Contemporaries of Erasmus, edd. Peter G. Bietenholz and Thomas B. Deutscher, Vol. 3 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1987), pp. 259-261.

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