What is Ad Fontes?
The Latin phrase, Ad Fontes was brought into common parlance by Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam. While the phrase had long before appeared in the Latin Vulgate’s translation of Psalm 42 it was Erasmus who first applied it to the study of the humanities and in particular to the study of classical languages. Ad Fontes was and still is the battle cry against ignorance and indifference. It was this phrase that fueled the passions and creativity of the Renaissance. Although Erasmus was a Catholic scholar his ‘Ad Fontes’ movement was so universal in appeal that it was also adopted by many of the Protestant Reformers and became their battle cry as well.
The original model for Liberal Arts education and Classical education of the Western world owes so much to Erasmus as well as to the many other great pioneers of the Renaissance who embraced Ad Fontes.