38th Erasmus Birthday Lecture

Peter Mack: Paraphrase, Paradox and Amplification in Agricola and Erasmus

17 November 2017 from 16:00 to 17:30 hrs
VOC room, Oost-Indisch Huis, Kloveniersburgwal 48, 1012 CX Amsterdam
020 551 0767
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The 38th Erasmus Birthday Lecture will concern Erasmus’s Paraphrases on the New Testament (1517-24), and in particular his paraphrases of Romans and Mark. The lecture will consider the ways in which the Paraphrases and their paratexts make use of the rhetorical techniques described in De copia (1512) and De ratione studii (1511). 

The lecture will further discuss the various ways in which Erasmus reads the Bible texts and makes them available to his imagined audience, and will compare the Paraphrases with Rudolph Agricola’s Oration on Christ’s Nativity (1484) and Philipp Melanchthon’s Loci Communes (1521). The lecture was conceived as a tribute to Fokke Akkerman (1930-2017), teacher of Latin in Groningen, pioneering Agricola scholar, editor and translator of Spinoza, and long-term collaborator on the Erasmus edition.

Prior to the 38th Erasmus Birthday Lecture the master class Rhetoric As a Guide to Interpretation will be organized for MA students and PhD candidates.

Peter W.D. Mack (Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Warwick University) studies Medieval and Renaissance European intellectual, cultural and literary history, and especially rhetoric. Most of his publications have been concerned with Renaissance rhetoric. They include Renaissance Argument: Valla and Agricola in the Traditions of Rhetoric and Dialectic (1993), Elizabethan Rhetoric (2002), Reading and Rhetoric in Montaigne and Shakespeare (2010), A History of Renaissance Rhetoric 1380-1629 (2011) and Rhetoric's Questions, Reading and Interpretation (2017). Future plans include a book on the Uses of Literary Tradition.