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Among humanists he enjoyed the sobriquet "Prince of the Humanists", and has been called "the crowning glory of the Christian humanists".

Using humanist techniques for working on texts, he prepared important new Latin and Greek editions of the New Testament, which raised questions that would be influential in the Protestant Reformation and Catholic Counter-Reformation.

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A well-known wooden picture indicates: Goudæ conceptus, Roterodami natus (Latin: conceived in Gouda, born in Rotterdam).

According to an article by historian Renier Snooy (1478–1537), Erasmus was born in Gouda.

No personal denunciation was made of Erasmus during his lifetime, however, and he took pains in later life to distance these earlier episodes by condemning sodomy in his works, and praising sexual desire in marriage between men and women.

Soon after his priestly ordination, he got his chance to leave the canonry when offered the post of secretary to the Bishop of Cambrai, Henry of Bergen, on account of his great skill in Latin and his reputation as a man of letters.

His middle road ("Via Media") approach disappointed, and even angered, scholars in both camps.