Xenophon: Oeconomicus
Thomas More: Utopia

Erasmus: In Praise of Folly

Marginal_Drawings_for_The_Praise_of_Folly_(3) _by_Hans_and_Ambrosius_HolbeinIn Praise of Folly (Latin: Moriae Encomium or Stultitiae Laus) is an essay originally written by the great Dutch classicist Desiderius Erasmus while staying in London with Sir Thomas More, who is the subject of a punning reference in its Latin title.

The work is written from the perspective of Folly herself, whose self-praise provides the vehicle for a wide-ranging satire of contemporary society.

In Praise of Folly at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Christian Classics Ethereal Library: In Praise of Folly, translated by John Wilson (1688). Multiple formats.

Fordham University Modern History Sourcebook: In Praise of Folly. Single page HTML format.

Gutenberg: In Praise of Folly. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: In Praise of Folly, translated by John Wilson. Clarendon (1913). Multiple formats.

University of Adelaide (Internet Archive): In Praise of Folly, translated by John Wilson. Multiple formats.

Wikisource: Latin text and English translation. HTML and other formats.

Other Resources

BBC Radio 4 In Our Time: Erasmus. Melvyn Bragg with Diarmaid MacCulloch, Eamon Duffy and Jill Kraye.

Erasmus Center for Early Modern Studies: Erasmus in ten points.

Librivox: In Praise of Folly - public domain audiobook.

Princeton University Press: Prelude to The Praise of Folly - foreword to the Princeton Classics edition, by Anthony Grafton.

Wikipedia: In Praise of Folly.

Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Thomas More: Utopia, edited by Erasmus, who dedicated In Praise of Folly to More.

John Aubrey: Brief Lives - includes a life of Erasmus.

Works quoted or referred to in Erasmus' In Praise of Folly.

Homer: Iliad

The Battle of the Frogs and Mice

Seneca: Apocolocyntosis

Sophocles: Ajax

Euripides: Bacchae - Rhesus

Aristophanes: Plutus

Plato: Phaedo - Phaedrus - Symposium - Republic

Aristotle: Rhetoric - source for Themistocles' fable of the fox and the hedgehog.

Cicero: Letters to Atticus - Letters to Friends

The Bible: Exodus - Numbers - Samuel - Chronicles - Isaiah - Ecclesiastes - Ecclesiasticus - Jeremiah - Habbakuk - Psalms - Proverbs - Matthew - Luke - John - Titus - I Corinthians - II Corinthians.

Livy: From the Foundation of the City

Horace: Satires - Odes - Epistles - Ars Poetica

Lucian: Satires

Quintilian: Institutes

Plutarch: Lives - Moralia

Greek Anthology

Latin Resources: Online materials for learning Latin.

Bloom's Western Canon: In Praise of Folly is listed.


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