Erasmus Montanus

Erasmus Montanus

Erasmus Montanus is a satirical play about academic conceit in rural Denmark, written by Ludvig Holberg in 1722. The script was first published in 1723 and performed in 1747.

Plot summary

Danish farmer's son Rasmus Berg has been given a costly education in Copenhagen, and when he returns, he speaks Latin to his parents, and Latinises his name as Erasmus Montanus. He wants to "dispute", and goes on to "prove" a number of absurdities, such as that his mother is a rock. He is contrasted to his brother Jacob who is only interested in knowledge which is of practical application.

His persistent arguing gets him into trouble with the parents of his fiancée Lisbet, who refuses the marriage until he stops claiming that the Earth is round. His fiancée begs him to retract his statements that the Earth revolves around the sun, but he refuses. After a village plot tricks him to enlist for military service and leave the city, he reconsiders and makes the retractions, allowing him to marry Lisbet.


  • Erasmus Montanus/Ramsus Berg: protagonist; the scholar
  • Jeppe Berg: His father
  • Nille: His mother
  • Jacob: His brother
  • Lisbet: Erasmus's fiancee
  • Jeronimus: Her father
  • Magdelone: Her Mother
  • Per: The Deacon
  • Jesper: The Baliff
  • A Lieutenant
  • A Corporal


Act I, Scene I


  1. ^ Three Plays by Holberg, Jeppe of The Hill, The Political Tinker, Erasmus Montanus -