By Deane Barker

Portrait of Erasmus of Rotterdam

Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus was a Dutch theologian and philosopher in the 1500s.

Why I Looked It Up

In Shogun, the main character’s ship is called Erasmus, which makes sense because it was a Dutch ship in 1600.

I didn’t think anything about it, but then in Stalin's Library: A Dictator and His Books, I found this:

…readers marking books is a venerable tradition that stretches back to the dawn of the print era. For Erasmus, it was the essentially study skill of a humanist education.


Added on

I took a picture of a book page, but I can’t remember what book:

The Dutch humanist Desiderius Erasms, in his 1512 textbook De Copia, stressed the connection between memory and reading. He urged students to annotate their books, using “an appropriate little sign” to mark “occurances of striking words, archaic or novel diction, brilliant flashes of style, adages, examples, and pithy remarks worth memorizing.” He also suggested that every student and teacher keep a notebook, organized by subject, “so that whenever he lights on anything worth noting down, he may write it in the appropriate section.”

This fits with the quote from the Stalin book (above).

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