Friends Hold All Things in Common: Tradition, Intellectual Property, and the Adages of Erasmus
Erasmus’ Adages—a vast collection of the proverbial wisdom of Greek and Roman antiquity—was published in 1508 and became one of the most influential works of the Renaissance. It also marked a turning point in the history of Western thinking about literary property. At once a singularly successful commercial product of the new printing industry and a repository of intellectual wealth, the Adages looks ahead to the development of copyright and back to an ancient philosophical tradition that ideas should be universally shared in the spirit of friendship.
In this elegant and tightly argued book, Kathy Eden focuses on both the commitment to friendship and common property that Erasmus shares with his favorite philosophers—Pythagoras, Plato, and Christ—and the early history of private property that gradually transforms European attitudes concerning the right to copy. In the process she accounts for the peculiar shape of Erasmus’ collection of more than 3,000 proverbs and provides insightful readings of such ancient philosophical and religious thinkers as Pythagoras, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Iamblichus, Tertullian, Basil, Jerome, and Augustine.
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adage Agathon’s agoŻn Alcibiades Aldine Aldus Aldus Manutius Allen amicitia ancient philosophers Aristophanes Aristotle askeŻsis Athenian Augustine Augustine’s Aulus Gellius Basil Beatus Rhenanus Botzheim Callicles Cambridge cenobitic chapter characterizes Christ Christian Cicero claim classical common property communia deﬁned dialogue diﬀerent Diogenes Laertius early edition eﬀect Egyptians Erasmian Adage Erasmus especially Fathers ﬁgure ﬁnd ﬁrst friends hold friendship Gorgias Greek Hermeneutics hold all things human Iamblichus inﬂuence inheritance intellectual property Jerome Jerome’s kind koindnia koinoŻnia letter literary property lovers material property melete monastic moreover oﬀers opening adage Origen ownership Oxford pagan paradosis Phaedrus philia philosophia Christi Plato poet political private property Protagoras publica Pythago Pythagoras Pythagorean reader reading relation Renaissance Republic Rhetorical Tradition Roman law seen share Sileni Socrates sophistic speech supellex symbola Symposium teaching things in common tion traditio trans vita pythagorica wealth wisdom words