Title page of De duplici copia verborum & rerum
During, and even before his first visit to England in 1499, Erasmus befriended a number of English humanists, one of whom was the theologian, churchman, and pioneering educationalist, John Colet. Colet is remembered for having reconstituted the school of St Paul’s Cathedral in 1509, and as one who prized humanist education as a prerequisite for spiritual regeneration. Sharing common educational ideals with Erasmus, Colet asked Erasmus to provide educational works for the school’s curriculum. It was in response to this that the Dutch humanist composed his De duplici copia verborum & rerum, which he dedicated to Colet. This slim volume deals with the benefits and pitfalls of richness in prose style, with examples drawn from classical authors. It was quickly adopted as a textbook for rhetoric in schools across Europe.
Author: Desiderius Erasmus
Title: De duplici copia verborum & rerum [Foundations of the abundant style] (London [i.e. Antwerp]: Sibertus Roedius, 1556)