Latin Workshop (3/16/23): Erasmus and His Strange Seal

Erasmus Workshop Details:

  • Date: Thursday, March 16, 2023 
  • Time: 5:00pm – 7:00pm PST (8:00pm – 10:00pm EST) 
  • Location: Online via Zoom 
  • Cost: $10 
  • Text: Annotated student’s edition of Epistulae Des. Erasmi Roterdami MMXVIII provided before workshop. 
  • Difficulty: Students who have fully completed Intermediate Latin sequence or above. 
  • Cancellation policy: Full refund available before March 9th. No refunds afterwards.

In one of his numerous letters, Erasmus of Rotterdam – the 15th-century Dutch scholar, philosopher, theologian, and translator – addresses a contentious issue. Erasmus had endured censure, disparagement, and even personal insults related to this subject. What caused such a stir?

Erasmus’s choice of imagery for his seal.

Covering topics that range from the uses of mythology to the perils of self-representation, this letter presents the reader with a spirited defense of Erasmus’s supposedly strange seal. 

Besides containing witty comebacks and humorous self-dramatization, Erasmus’s letters are masterful and erudite examples of Renaissance Latin style. Elegant, learned, and yet engaging, Erasmus is both challenging and enjoyable. 

In this 2-hour online workshop, ALI Latin & Greek Fellow Katherine L. Bradshaw will lead students through a guided reading of Erasmus’s Epistulae MMXVIII. No familiarity with Erasmus of Rotterdam is assumed. You should, however, have experience reading relatively advanced Latin texts and be ready to speak Latin to get the most from this immersive workshop. 

All students will receive an annotated student’s version of Epistulae MMXVIII before the workshop begins. You are not expected to do any homework in preparation for the workshop, but you are welcome to do so. Attendance is limited to 12 students max in order to preserve a small, collegial atmosphere. So, if you’re interested, don’t hesitate. Sign up, and we look forward to seeing you on March 16th! 

Katherine L. Bradshaw, ALI’s Latin & Greek Fellow, has an M.A. in Classics from the University of Maryland, as well as an M.A. in English from the George Washington University. She is happiest when discussing shared aspects of the human experience, particularly if the conversation turns to Latin poetry, Latin and ancient Greek biography, food in the Greco-Roman world, ancient Christianity, or Shakespeare. In addition to highlighting links across time and space, Katherine can be found speaking Latin and ancient Greek at various immersion workshops, knitting for charity, or training for Spartan obstacle course races.

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