2016: Erasmus Roterodamus Jubilee Year - Erasmus
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2016: Erasmus Roterodamus Jubilee Year

2016 is a very special year in relation to Erasmus. Not only because Erasmus was born in Rotterdam 550 years ago, but because he completed one of his major works five centuries ago too: a translation of the New Testament. And the Erasmus Medical Centre celebrates its 50th anniversary this year too, while the Erasmus Bridge celebrates its 20th anniversary. So Rotterdam will be devoting a lot more attention to Erasmus in 2016, as a person with a tremendous impact all over the world.

There’s every reason to give extra attention to this man who is so influential all round the world as well as in Rotterdam. His full name is Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus and he was born in Rotterdam 550 years ago, on 28 October 1466. This writer, philosopher and humanist completed one of his major works 500 years ago too: his translation of the New Testament was printed in Latin in 1516. And the Erasmus Medical Centre celebrates its 50th anniversary this year too, while the Erasmus Bridge celebrates its 20th anniversary.

Here’s a selection of the activities held in Rotterdam during Erasmus Year:

  • Erasmus Exhibition at Rotterdam Public Library

Erasmus will come back to life in Rotterdam Public Library this summer! A permanent interactive bilingual exhibition – in Dutch and in English – will be set up which is intended to appeal to a large section of the general public. The aim of this exhibition is to make people aware that Erasmus is actually writing about them. This is because his books focus on human beings and on the themes of language, behaviour and religion – themes which are everyday topics in today’s news headlines as well. The library has set up the exhibition in order to get visitors to look at themselves through Erasmus’s eyes. What does he mean to you today? The main focus of the exhibition is on Erasmus’s value in today’s society. The biggest collection of Erasmus memorabilia in the world is kept at Rotterdam Public Library and this plays a prominent role here.

  • Quotes and ‘adagia’

New quotes and ‘adagia’ by Erasmus will be put up all over Rotterdam city centre in neon letters and the special ‘Erasmus font’ developed in Basle, the city where he died in 1536.

  • Serious Game on Erasmus

Rotterdam Public Library devised a serious game about Erasmus in 2016, in collaboration with the Willem de Kooning Academie. This game enables players to experience Erasmus’s philosophy personally in an active and light-hearted way and makes them realise that Erasmus’s values are still relevant for people today. Key words are dialogue, a balanced view, knowledge and humour on the themes of language, behaviour and religion. The game is available in two languages – Dutch and English – and is primarily intended for young people aged between 10 and 14.

  • Trade mission to Basle

Rotterdam is working on a trade mission to Basle between 14 and 16 June. Participants include the Port of Rotterdam Authority, Rotterdam Port Promotion Council, Erasmus MC and Rotterdam Partners. The programme includes economic issues and knowledge exchanges on medical and other matters, as well as art and culture. The trade mission’s visit is scheduled to take place during the big art trade fair ‘Air Fair Basel’.

  • Erasmus Bridge’s 20th birthday

The World Port Days (2 to 4 September 2016) will devote extra attention to the Erasmus Bridge’s 20th birthday.

  • Erasmus Week 2016: What do you believe in?

The date of Erasmus’s birth – 28 October 1466 – will be celebrated with all kinds of activities during Erasmus Week (23 to 29 October 2016). These activities include the Lof der Zotheid lecture, the presentation of the Lof der Zotheid badge, live performances and guided tours of the Erasmus Collection in Rotterdam Public Library, and a lot of activities for children and families such as a festival at Grotekerkplein. The theme of the 2016 Erasmus Week is ‘What do you believe in?’

  • Monument by the house where Erasmus was born

A magnificent monument will be erected at the Rotterdam location where Erasmus was born on 28 October 1466. This beautiful work of art will probably be unveiled in the autumn of 2016.

  • Events

Erasmus’s birthday
Rotterdam always celebrates Erasmus’s birthday on 28 October in a festive manner. On this date, the Lof der Zotheid badge is awarded to a Rotterdam citizen who lives and works in the spirit of Erasmus. The Lof der Zotheid lecture is given on this date as well.

Erasmus Week
Erasmus’s birthday celebrations form part of Erasmus Week, a week packed with activities centring on the theme of the most famous Rotterdam citizen of all time.

Erasmus’s birthday celebrations form part of Erasmus Week, a week packed with activities centring on the theme of the most famous Rotterdam citizen of all time.

The 2016 Erasmus Week was a very special one, since 2016 was Erasmus Year as well. Not only because Erasmus was born in Rotterdam 550 years ago, but this writer, philosopher and humanist completed one of his major works five centuries ago too: a translation of the New Testament. And that’s why the theme of this year’s Erasmus Week was ‘What do you believe in?’

The programme for the annual Erasmus Week in 2016 included one unique feature: the unveiling of the Erasmus Monument near the Laurenskerk to mark the house where Erasmus was born.