At 26, John Colet (1467-1519) left Britannia to travel around Gallia and Latium imbibing the works of classical culture. He studied Greek, ancient texts, and early works of the Church Fathers. He heard Savonarola preach in Florence.
Back home, he met Erasmus at Oxford (1498). The two became lifelong friends. A third friend was added around 1505 when John met Thomas More. He eventually became More’s spiritual advisor. All three lived as inspiring Christian humanists.
John served as Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral from 1505 until his death. He strongly advocated reform of the Church. With a large inheritance from his father, he restarted St. Paul’s School (1509). His intention was to teach boys how to grow into Christian gentlemen with a solid command of Greek and Latin and lively appreciation of the Bible and Western classics. His goal remained that of Western schools into the 20th century.
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