- This article discusses Erasmus, the theologian. For the Greek Orthodox Bishop, see Erasmus of Arcadia.
Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536), born as Gerrit Gerritszoon in Rotterdam, was an Augustinian monk, humanist, philosopher and the leading thinker of the Northern Renaissance that took place in the Netherlands. He wanted more spirituality in the Catholic Church and urged a greater emphasis on the teachings of Jesus. He published a Greek edition of the New Testament, and was the first scholar to become famous through use of the printing press, developed in the Northern Renaissance. Though he wrote satires about the Church that led others to criticize it, Erasmus condemned Martin Luther and strenuously opposed the Reformation.