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Old Spanish translation of Praise of Folly surfaces

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

AMSTERDAM - The best-known work by Dutch priest Desiderius Erasmus is without a doubt The Praise of Folly, known to the Dutch as Lof der Zotheid, a satirical attack on the traditions of the European society, of the Roman Catholic Church of his day and popular superstitions. Even during Erasmus life, the book went through many printings and appeared in Latin, Greek, German, French, but not in Spanish until 1842 it was thought. The Spanish Inquisition blocked a Spanish translation of the 1511 book in 1559. Two researchers have now discovered a 17th century hand-written, previously unknown translation in the library of Amsterdam’s Portuguese Synagogue. There was much speculation in the past about a Spanish translation but a copy never surfaced until now. The manuscript is now on display at the synagogue’s library, which is open by appointment only. Erasmus revised and extended the work, which he originally wrote in the space of a week while sojourning with Sir Thomas More at More's estate in Bucklersbury. The Praise of Folly is considered one of the most notable works of the Renaissance and one of the catalysts of the Protestant Reformation.