Erasmus Center for Early Modern Studies

The Erasmus Center for Early Modern Studies is a joint initiative by the Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) and Rotterdam City Library. Established in 2005, the Erasmus Center aims at opening up channels of communication between the public and academia, university and city, history and the present, and between Erasmus, his brainchildren, and kindred spirits.

Official website

The official website in Dutch and English can be found at

Center of Excellence

The Erasmus Center for Early Modern Studies amasses in a Center of Excellence the expertise on the early modern era possessed by the Faculties of History and Arts, Law, Social Sciences, and Philosophy. The subject of enquiry is the way in which between 1450 and 1700 — from Erasmus to Bayle — individual, community, and government in the Netherlands and Europe evolved, and how their relations to one another were viewed.

A particular area of concentration is the development of the ideas, opinions, and theories of prominent persons, and their influence on shifting outlooks on the public and private domains. By consolidating such scholarship, the Erasmus Center is boosting research on the early modern period conducted by leading international scholars at the EUR. The Erasmus Center is thus giving greater international exposure to such research and the teaching based on it.

International cooperations

The Erasmus Center seeks out international cooperation for its research activities. Such cooperation takes the form of periodic conferences, which give rise to English-language publications on its research programme. Between 2005 and 2008, three international symposia were organised, on Accountable Government and Good Governance in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe. In December 2006, the Pierre Bayle Tercentenary Conference took place.


The Erasmus Center for Early Modern Studies is a center of excellence based on the collaboration of the three chairs of Early Modern History (Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication Studies), History of Philosophy (Faculty of Philosophy), History of Law (Faculty of Law) and on collaboration with the History of Politics and Political Thought (Faculty of Sociology). A considerable part of its current research is funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) and by NIAS.


Highly research active faculty who devote most of their time to the theme of individual, community and government in the early-modern period from Erasmus to Bayle (c. 1450–1700).

More information at