Desiderius Erasmus, (born October 27, 1469, Rotterdam, Hollanddied July 12, 1536, Basel, Switzerland) was the greatest scholar of the northern Renaissance, the first editor of the New Testament, and an important figure in classical literature. He helped lay the groundwork for the historical-critical study of the past, and his educational writings contributed to the replacement of the older scholastic curriculum by the new humanist emphasis on the classics. By criticizing ecclesiastical abuses, he encouraged the growing urge for reform, and his independent stance in an age of fierce controversy made him a target of suspicion for loyal partisans on both sides and a beacon for those who valued liberty over orthodoxy.
Betty Radice read classics at Oxford, and became joint editor of Penguin Classics in 1964. As well as editing the translation of Livys The War with Hannibal she translated Livys Rome and Italy, Plinys Letters, The Letters of Abelard and Heloise and Erasmuss Praise of Folly, and also wrote the introduction to Horaces Complete Odes and Epodes, all for Penguin Classics. She also edited Edward Gibbons Memoirs of My Life for the Penguin English Library, and edited and annotated her translation of the younger Plinys works for the Loeb Library of Classics and translated from Renaissance Latin, Greek and Italian for the Officina Bodoni of Verona. She collaborated as a translator in the Collected Works of Erasmus, and was the author of the Penguin Reference Book Whos Who in the Ancient World. Betty Radice was an honorary fellow of St Hildas College, Oxford, and a vice-president of the Classical Association. She died in 1985.