Both praised and censured by his contemporaries for his mastery of comparison, Erasmus puts this discursive strategy at the center of his educational reform, his biblical hermeneutics and his call to philosophia Christi. In this lecture, Kathy Eden explores the roots of Erasmus’ master trope in some of his favourite rhetoricians and philosophers, including Quintilian and Plato, and the key role it plays in his own literary production.
Kathy H. Eden (Professor of English Literature and Professor of Classics, Columbia University, New York) specialises in Renaissance humanism, history of rhetoric, hermeneutics, ancient literary theory, and history of classical scholarship. She studies the history of rhetorical and poetic theory in antiquity, including late antiquity, and the Renaissance, within the larger context of intellectual history and with an emphasis on the problems of reception. Her current project explores epistolary theory and the construction of letter collections in antiquity and the Renaissance.