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Trois rois pour un prince : les Adages au service de la pédagogie érasmienne

Abstract : The Adages of Erasmus, far from being a simple dictionary of ancient expressions, constitutes a complex work, strongly marked by the personality of the Dutch humanist. On the one hand, Erasmus’ will not to merely take the material gathered by paremiographers and lexicographers gives rise to a "factory of new adages". On the other hand, many commentaries include quotations from sources, encyclopedic data, practical advices for the use of the studied expression, as well as Erasmus’ personal opinions on topics that are of the greatest concern to him. One of these topics is the question of good government. Admittedly, the collection, as a whole, cannot be considered as a political work. However, it is in the Adages that we can find the basics of Erasmus’ political thought. Although this collection, ranged among the didactic works of Erasmus, is not directly intended for a prince, it is nevertheless addressed to the elite, to the noblemen close to the Court. That is why it seemed interesting to us to study the Adages as a tool for political education. Our study consists of three parts. We first carry out a preliminary analysis of the entire collection to see how creative Erasmus is in the way he deals with the ancient legacy. We then examine those commentaries, where the political ideas are expressed more or less directly. Our purpose here is to identify the elements of a speculum principis in the commentaries of the adages n° 201, 1001, 1401 and 2601. We question the nature of the link established between the adage and politics. Furthermore, we are interested in the way the ideas expressed in the Adages are developed in Erasmus’ other writings, especially in the Institutio principis christiani. We also focus here on the methodological aspect, studying the use of the adages and of the terminology, as well as the other means used by the humanist to instill good values in his readers. Finally, we analyse the way the legendary kings of Antiquity are presented and treated in the Adages. We have chosen three well-known figures from the epics of Homer: Achilles, Ulysses and Agamemnon. Although these figures do not seem to have an important place in the Adages, they are nevertheless interesting, insofar as the way in which they are presented corresponds to the political convictions, as well as to the pedagogical principles of the Dutch humanist.
Keywords : Princeps Respublica
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Lika Gordeziani. Trois rois pour un prince : les Adages au service de la pédagogie érasmienne. Littératures. Université Sorbonne Paris Cité, 2019. Français. ⟨NNT : 2019USPCC057⟩. ⟨tel-02917360⟩

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