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He traces its classical roots through Plato and Aristotle, continues with the Scholastic tradition of Aquinas and Dante, and culminates in the Neoplatonic understanding expounded by Ficino and Pico.
After sketching the humanist's early life and education, Augustijn traces Erasmus's career, illustrating his essential concerns and achievements: the studia humanitatus, to which he contributed anthologies and textbooks; the philosophia Christi, which he expounded through such diverse media as the homiletic Handbook of the Christian Soldier and the satirical Praise of Folly; pacifism, which found its most profound expression in the Complaint of Peace and pervades the protreptic Education of a Christian Prince; and biblical humanism, which applied philological methods to patristic and scriptural texts, culminating in Erasmus's bilingual, annotated edition of the New Testament.
The thesis expounded in the article on Maffei's Apologeticus is complemented and reinforced by the piece on the humanists' approach to theology in the pre-Reformation era.
It is clearly structured and expounded, comments on a vast body of literary and intellectual history with admirable economy and point, and it supports its critical arguments with a wide range of citation to both major and gratifyingly unhackneyed primary texts.