Erasmus' Views of More's Paideia* by VIRGINIA WOODS CALLAHAN ET me comment first on the word paideia in the title of my paper, L for like many Greek words it is not easy to translate. The saying "The Greeks had a word for it" is not an idle one. In its earliest usage in Greek literaturel it meant simply "child-rearing"; Aristophanes used it when he was referring to the old disciplined education at Athens .2 Eras- mus and his circle would have concurred, I believe, with Aulus Gellius,3 3 who in the second century A. D. wrote: Those who have spoken Latin and have used the word correctly ... gave the word humallitas about the force of the Greek paideia, that is what we call educa- tion and training in the liberal arts (eruditiollem irlstitutiollemque in borzas artes). Those who earnestly desire and seek after these are most highly humanized. For the pursuit of that kind of knowledge, and the training given by it, have been granted to man alone of all the animals, and for that reason it is termed humanitas. My own associations with the word paideia are personal and poignant. In 1941 I was
Erasmus of Rotterdam Society Yearbook – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1984
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