Folengo, Teofilo

Folengo, Teofilo

(tāô`fēlō fōlĕng`gō), 1496–1544, Italian burlesque poet, who used the pseudonym Merlinus Cocaius or Merlino Cocajo. A Benedictine monk, he left (c.1515) his monastery to become a wandering poet, returning in 1534. Folengo was outstanding among the macaronic poets (who wrote mixing Latin grammatical forms with vernacular vocabulary). His Baldus, which antedates Don Quixote, is a burlesque of the chivalric romance and is considered the great epic of the macaronic type.

Folengo, Teofilo


(pen name, Merlin Cocai). Born Nov. 8, 1496, in Mantua; died Dec. 9, 1544, in Santa Croce di Campese. Italian writer.

Folengo’s main work, the narrative poem Baldus (first version, 1517), written in macaronic Latin, satirized feudal chivalry, the church, monasticism, and other medieval institutions. The poem reflects the viewpoint of the peasantry and consequently expresses a profoundly popular spirit. In Folengo’s works, macaronic Latin lost its purely parodic character and became an individualized type of poetic language. Baldus was an influence on Rabelais.


Opere italiane, vols 1–3. Edited by U. Renda. Bari, 1911–14.


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Goffis, C. F. “Bibliografia regionata del Folengo.” Revista di sintesi letteraria, 1934, vol. 1.
Ramat, R. Saggi sul Rinascimento. Florence [1969].
Messedaglia, L. Vita e costume della rinascenza in Merlin Cocai, vols. 1–2. Padua, 1973.


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Folengo, Teofilo. Merlini Cocai poetae mantvani liber macaronices libri .xvii.