Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, Victoria University in the University of Toronto

Editions of Erasmus’ Complete Works at CRRS

crrs-31The first edition of Erasmus’ Opera omnia was published shortly after his death under the editorship of his friend Beatus Rhenanus, 9 volumes (Basel, 1540-41). Known as ‘the Basel edition.’ Of historical interest only. CRRS has a bound xerox copy of vols. 1- 8 of this edition (vol. 7 labelled as vol. 6a), call number PA 8500 1540a Erasmus Large. It also has volumes 7-9 of the original edition: PA 8500 1540 Erasmus Rare Large.

The second Opera omnia was edited by Jean Leclerc, 10 volumes (Leiden, 1703-6). It is still the standard edition for all Erasmus texts not yet included in the Amsterdam edition (see below). Known as ‘the Leiden edition.’ Cited as ‘LB.’ CRRS has a modern, photomechanical reprint of this edition, call number PA 8500 1703a Erasmus Large. It also has vols. 1-3, 7-10 of the original edition: PA 8500 1703 Erasmus Rare Large.

The third edition, Opera omnia Desiderii Erasmi Roterodami (Amsterdam, 1969- ), is the first critical edition of the works. Known as ‘the Amsterdam edition.’ Cited as ‘ASD.’ CRRS has a complete set of the volumes published to date, call number PA 8500 1969 Erasmus.

The most comprehensive scholarly edition of Erasmus’ works in translation is Collected Works of Erasmus (1974- ), published by the University of Toronto Press. Known as ‘the Toronto edition.’ Cited as ‘CWE.’ CRRS has a complete set of the volumes published to date, call number PA 8502 .E5 1974 Erasmus.

All the above editions follow, with certain modifications, the arrangement into ordines (categories) devised by Erasmus himself:

I . Writings on literary and educational subjects
II. Adages
III. Correspondence*
IV. Writings on Moral Questions
V. Writings relating to Religious Instruction
VI. New Testament and Annotations
VII. Paraphrases of the New Testament
VIII. Translations from Greek Church Fathers (and other patristic scholarship)
IX. Controversies (Apologetic Writings)**

*ASD will not include a new edition of Erasmus’ correspondence, there being no need to replace P. S. Allen’s excellent critical edition: Opus epistolarum Des. Erasmi Roterodami (Oxford: 1906-58). Necessary corrections and additions to Allen’s edition are found in the Correspondence volumes of CWE.

** LB divides this ordo between two volumes, IX and X.

CWE Volumes available online to those with U of T Library ID:
Vol. 1: Letters 1 to 141
Vol. 2: Letters 142 to 297
Vol. 3: Letters 298 to 445
Vol. 4: Letters 446 to 593
Vol. 5: Letters 594 to 841
Vol. 6: Letters 842 to 992
Vol. 7: Letters 993 to 1121
Vol. 8: Letters 1122 to 1251
Vol. 9: Letters 1252 to 1355
Vol. 10: Letters 1356 to 1534
Vol. 11: Letters 1535 to 1657
Vol. 12: Letters 1658 to 1801
Vols. 23-24: Antibarbari; Parabolae; De copia; De ratione studii
Vols. 25-26: De conscribendis epistolis formula ; De civilitate ; De pueris instituendis ; De recta pronuntiatione
Vols. 27-28: Panegyricus; Moria; Julius exclusus; Institutio principis christiani; Querela pacis; Ciceronianus
Vol. 29: De virtute; Oratio funebris; Encomium medicinae; De puero; Tyrannicida; Ovid; Prudentis; Galen; Lingua
Vol. 31: Adages I I 1 to I v 100
Vol. 32: Adages I vi 1 to I x 100
Vol. 33: Adages II i 1 to II vi 100
Vol. 34: Adages II vii 1 to III iii 100
Vol. 35: Adages III iv 1 to IV ii 100
Vol. 36: Adages IV iii 1 to V ii 51
Vol. 42: Paraphrases on Romans and Galatians
Vol. 44: Paraphrases on the Epistles to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, the Epistles of Peter and Jude, the Epistle of James, the Epistle of John, the Epistle to the Hebrews
Vol. 46: Paraphrase on John
Vol. 48: Paraphrase on Luke 11-24
Vol. 49: Paraphrase on Mark
Vol. 50: Paraphrase on the Acts of the Apostles
Vol. 56: Annotations on Romans
Vol. 61: Patristic scholarship: the edition of St. Jerome
Vol. 63: Enarratio in Primum Psalumum, ‘Beatus vir;’ Commentarius in Psalmum 2, ‘Quare fremuerunt gentes;’ Paraphrasis in Tertium Psalmum, ‘Domine quid multiplicati;’ In Psalmum Quartum concio
Vol. 64: Concionalis interpretatio in Psalmum 85; In Psalmum 22 enarratio triplex; Consultatio de bello Turcis inferendo, et obiter enarratus Psalmus 28; Enarratio Psalmi 33
Vol. 66: Spiritualia: Enchiridion; De contemptu mundi; De vidua christiana
Vol. 69: Precatio ad virginis filium Iesum; Paean virgini matri; Obsecratio ad Virginem Mariam; Precatio Dominica; Liturgia Virginis Matris; Precatio pro pace ecclesiae; Precationes aliquot novae; Virginis et martyris comparatio; Epistola consolatoria; Institutio Christiani matrimonii
Vol. 70: Spiritualia and pastoralia: Disputatiuncula de taedio, pavore, tristicia Iesu; Concio de immensa Dei misericordia; Modus orandi Deum; Explanatio symboli apostolorum sive catechismus; De praeparatione ad mortem
Vol. 71: Epistola ad Doprium; Apologia contra Latomi dialogum; Apologia pro declamatione matrimonii; Acata Academiae Lovaniensis contra Lutherum; Axiomata Erasmi pro causa Lutheri; Consiliumcuiusdam; Manifesta Mendacia
Vol. 72: Apologia qua respondet duabus invectivis Eduardi Lei; Responsio ad annotationes Eduardi Lei
Vol. 76: De libero arbitrio; Hyperaspistes liber unus; Assertio omnium articulorum Martini Lutheri per bullam Leonis x novissimam damnatorum, articulus 36
Vol. 77: Hyperaspistes 2
Vol. 83: Apologia ad Fabrum; Appendix de scriptis Clithovei; Dilutio; Responsio ad disputationem de divortio
Vol. 84: Responsio ad epistolam paraeneticam Alberti Pii ; Apologia adversus rhapsodias Alberti Pii ; Brevissima Scholia
Vols. 85-86: Poems


  1. I would like to read Erasmus’ letters on Internet I found your site. OK.
    But it says: CWE Volumes available online to those with U of T Library ID:
    Is it possible to provide me with such ID?
    It would help my research immensely!
    Thank you very much!

    A.G. Weiler, em. prof. dr. of Nijmegen University, The Netherlands
    Hyacintenlaan 4
    6866 DV HEELSUM
    The Netherlands

    • Dear Mr. Weiler,

      Thank you for your inquiry. Unfortunately a U of T ID is required to access the database online. One may purchase an external researcher pass, but only when affiliated with a Canadian university. However you might try asking for an interlibrary loan from your institution and they may be able to give you access to the volumes that way. I’ve copied a link below that has some more information about the interlibrary loan lending service at U of T but it would be best for you to go through the major library affiliated with your University.

      I hope this helps and please to do not hesitate to contact us with any more questions.
      All the best,
      Samantha bellinger
      Corbet Assistant at the CRRS

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