Works of Teofilo Folengo (1491-1544) and Giovanni Battista Folengo (1490-1559), 

clever writers of poetry and prose in Latin, Italian and Macaronic Latin 

This is a non-commercial resource site for the diffusion and understanding of the publications of the Folengo brothers and a few other writers of the Renaissance era offered by Ann E. Mullaney, PhD. [For adults only.]

If you are in a rush, just scroll down to the brief biography and portrait by Romanino of Teofilo right below the list of all their publications. Or see a brief presentation: Overview of Teofilo Folengo's writings no. 1

Or take a Quiz designed to encourage scholars to become fluent in the lexique erotique: The Adult Renaissance: A Quiz

Publications (ongoing project)

For each text as a whole, and for their separate parts, the goal is to have the following:
1. Description of contents
2. Reproduction of the original edition, digital or photocopy edition
3. Transcription of the original (with minimal alterations)
4. Translations
5. Commentaries and discussions
6. Works on the brothers Folengo and related matter

Digital copies of many of the Folengo brothers' original texts can be found at Google Play Books.

1517

MERLINI COCAI POETAE MANTUANI LIBER MACARONICES LIBRI XVII NON ANTE IMPRESSI. Venetiis in aedibus Alexandri Paganini. Inclito Lauredano Principe. Kalen. Ianua. M.D.XVII. (Seventeen Macaronic Books by Merlin Cocaio, Mantuan Poet. Venice, Alessandro Paganini Press. With the Illustrious Doge, Loredan [ruling]. Jan. 1, 1517.)

Description: Called Paganini (P) after the publisher), this is a beautiful work printed in graceful Italic font, just 27 lines to a page, with explanatory and humorous glosses on the margins of the pages. The volume is written in Macaronic Latin, it contains a 10 page letter of presentation about the author Merlin Cocaio, a pseudonym personality, by Aquario Lodola (likely another pseudonym). This if followed by two eclogues and then the main work, an epic poem called Baldus (the titular hero): 6,114 hexameters in 17 books with argomenti

Reproduction of the volume: Not online yet (2012), although the 1520 reprint (cited below) is quite similar in content although not in form; photocopy edition available: Macaronee, T Folengo, ASM, Brescia, Bagnolesi, 1991.

Transcription of the whole volume is in progress by an Italian scholar

Transcription of parts of the Paganini volume currently available: The letter of introduction containing extravagant praise for the author is a little masterpiece: Master Aquarius, herbalist, expert in the art of enemas, to the illustrious Lord Passarino, Count of Carp, a pamphlet in praise of Merlin Cocaio (Magister Aquarii herbolatti in arte cristeriensci peritissimi ad illustrem dominum Passarinum comitem scarduarum libellus de laudibus Merlini Cocai)

Transcription: 1517 Aquario Lodola ORIGINAL Aug 13 2011.pdf 

Transcription with English translation: Aquario Lodola Presentation and Praise of Merlin with English

The two eclogues (265 verses) from this version, and many more eclogues from the following three versions of the Macaronic opus are currently available online through Poeti d'Italia in lingua latina: http://mqdq.cab.unipd.it/mqdq/poetiditalia/; also at the Perseus Digital Library, Renaissance Collection, Teofilo Folengo: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/collection?collection=Perseus:collection:Renaissance. These texts are offered from the critical edition by Massimo Zaggia, Macaronee minori, all four editions of the shorter Macaronic works (Zanitonella, Moscheide and Epigrammi): translation into Italian, detailed notes and a glossary (Torino: Einaudi, 1987).

1520
Two reprints of the 1517 edition with some variations: Macaronea: Cesare Arrivabene, Jan, 1520 and Agostino da Vimercate, Nov. 17, 1520.  

A reprint, roughly, of the Paganini edition above, with claims of an expurgated text, and some illustrations.

Digital photocopy of the Arrivabene edition from the French National Library:  http://gallica.bnf.fr.  

3. Comparison of glosses from the 1517 Paganini and the 1520 Arrivabene: A painstaking work of questionable utility: the 1517 and 1520 Glosses of Baldus compared and translated into English


1521

OPUS MERLINI COCAII, Poetae Mantuani Macaronicorum totum in pristinam formam per me Magistrum Acquarium Lodolam optime redactum, in his infra notatis titulis divisum. Tusculani Apud Lacum Benacensem. Alexander Paganinus. M.D.XXI DIE V. IANUARII. (The Macaronic Work by Merlin Cocaio, Mantuan Poet, all excellently restored to pristine condition by me, Magister Acquario Lodola, divided into the sections noted below, Toscolano, Lago di Garda, Alessandro Paganini [Press], January 5, 1521.

The greatly expanded second edition is known as the Toscolana, for the town in Northern Italy where Paganini had his press. There are many more prefatory pieces (see list below), and the Baldus is now twice as long (12,668 hexameters). 51 woodcut prints illustrate the story nicely. Additionally there many more eclogues, a mock-epic between flies and ants, a list of errors corrected, a table of contents, a sonnet, and more. Each page is packed: there are 37 lines per page on a smaller area of print than the 1517 edition. About 100 copies of this edition are still in existence today. Some of these also feature a dialogue about the poet and letters from him to and from the editor.

There were many republications of this popular edition: 1564, 1572, 1573, 1580, 1585, 1613, 1692 and on.

Both the 1613 and the 1692 editions offer new woodcut prints -- both sets are quite beautiful.

Four versions of illustrations: Baldus before Gaioffo.pdf

ILLUSTRATIONS: a separate section will be made for all the woodcut and engravings, available now for the asking in PDF.

 

Online: Full text with letters to and from the editor Paganini (but not the Dialogus Philomusi):

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Teofilo_Folengo_Opus_Merlini_Cocaii_Macaronicorum?id=HvM7AAAAcAAJ

Photophotocopy edition sponsored by the Associazione degli  Amici di Merlin Cocai, and the Comune di Bassano del Grappa, 1994.
 

Prefatory pieces

The second, 1521 edition called Toscolana (T) for the town on the Lago di Garda where is was printed is twice as long as the first edition and contains many many extras:

1. A new Angry letter from Aquario Lodola to Scardaffus

Aquario Lodola to Scardaffo

2. A significantly altered version of the 1517 Prefatory letter by Aquario in Praise of Merlin

Aquario Lodola in Praise of Merlin (1521)

3. An Apologetica by Merlin

Merlin's Apology

4. A "Normula macaronica de sillabis" a few paragraphs explaining Macaronic Latin metrics

Macaronic Metrics

5. A letter from Merlin to the printer Paganini, claiming that he does not want to relinquish his own copy for publication, and a response from Paganini telling him that he got a copy of the text from Federico Gonzaga; a letter to the reader from Paganini, and a response from the author (Merlin); plus an archival letter to Paganini from Federico Gonzaga with the offer of his copy. These letters are found in a small percentage of the 1521 copies known, sometimes the letters are accompanied by the Dialogus Philomusi (below).
Five letters concerning the publication of the 1521 volume

6. Dialogus Philomusi a dialogue in Latin which reveals information about the author (Philomusus) as a young man, found only in a small fraction of the 100 known exempla.

Dialogus Philomusi Nov 4 2012

__________________________

Parts of volume available in DRAFT transcription: Toscolana Baldus, searchable text and marginal glosses, needs spelling and punctuation corrected.

Toscolana Baldus Aug 25 2011

Other works in the Toscolana volume: 

Eclogues now called Zanitonella, and Libellus: Epistolarum et Epigrammaton: see volume by Massimo Zaggia and others listed above, 1517. 


1525
Orlandino, Venice, Fratelli da Sabio, 1525.

Description: 8 books of Italian octaves, a polemical work, containing Lutheran ideas and many sexual allusions, ostensibly the story of young Orlando (Roland in French chivalric epics).

Orlandino: Online from the critical edition annotated by Mario Chiesa, (Padova, Antenore, 1991).

http://www.liberliber.it    /mediateca/libri/f/folengo/orlandino/pdf/orland_p.pdf

There could be earlier versions available online as well as the 1773 Orlandino with notes:

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Teofilo_Folengo_Opus_Merlini_Cocaii_Macaronicorum?id=HvM7AAAAcAAJ 

1526

Apologia de l'autttore, Venice, Fratelli da Sabio, 1527.
An archly funny defense of his outspoken Orlandino: Original and English translation (to be posted soon Aug. 2014).

1527
Chaos del Triperuno, Venice, Fratelli da Sabio (and Nicolo Garanta), January 1, 1527.

Description: a fabulous exploration of the interior self, in a variety of prose and poetry styles, in Italian, Latin and Macaronic Latin.

Good clean digital copy of the 1527 edition of Chaos del Triperuno:

https://play.google.com/books/reader?printsec=frontcover&output=reader&id=bDBeAAAAcAAJ&pg=GBS.PT5

A good digital photocopy of the 1546 reprint of the Chaos: 

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Teofilo_Folengo_Chaos_del_tri_per_uno?id=nyQ8AAAAcAAJ 

Photocopy edition of the 1527 reprint: from a copy owned by Roberto Stringa, through Amici di Merlin Cocai, (Bassano, Graffiche Fantinato, 2010).

Transcription of the original, based on the much altered text of U. Renda, and still in need of correction 

but with all the marginal glosses and

Transcription of the original with ongoing draft of English translation:  Chaos del Triperuno, with English April 18 2016  

Commentaries:

Some aspects of the epic Baldus and the autobiographical Chaos compared:

Allegorical Reading article July 2011
Lettura allegorica (the above article translated into Italian)

Other editions of Chaos:

Teofilo Folengo: Opere Italianeedited by Umberto Renda, Scrittori d’Italia, Bari: Laterza, 1911, vol. 1:

http://www.bibliotecaitaliana.it/exist/ScrittoriItalia/browse/autore-autore.xq?autore=Folengo,%20Teofilo

Le opere maccheroniche di Merlin Cocaio edited by Attilio Portioli, Mantova: Mondovi, 1889, vol.3:

http://books.google.com/books

1533

La Humanita' del figliuolo di Dio, In ottava rima, per Theophilo Folengo Mantoano. (The Humanity of the Little Son of God, in octaves by Teofilo Folengo Mantuan)
Venice, Aurelio Pincio, August 14, 1533. 


Italian octaves, books, approximately 100 octaves per book. Poetic retelling of Bible stories, with some personal commentary -- see for example a moving rendition of the Story of Susanna, Book 1.36-76; appears tinged with coded sexual concepts, as are his other (Latin) works published in 1533. Beautiful digital photocopy of the original Italian at Google Play Books. 


Masterful critical edition by Simona Gatti Ravedati: La umanita del figliuolo di Dio by Teofilo Folengo, edited and annotated by Simona Gatti Ravedati, Alessandria (Torino), Edizioni dell'Orso, 2000.

1533 (1534)

Dialogi quos Pomiliones vocat, Varium poema, Janus. In Promontorio Minervae ardente Sirio 1533 (Punta Campanella near Naples, July, 1533)

This volume contains three separate but connected works in Latin

Dialogi, quos Pomiliones vocat (Dialogues which he calls Dwarves), 154 pages of brilliant prose, mostly in dialogue format, written by Giovanni Battista Folengo, 

Varium poema  (Diverse Poems) a collection of Latin poems by Teofilo and 

Janus, (Janus) a 559 hexameter narrative poem also by Teofilo. 


A photocopy edition of the whole volume is available through the Associazione degli Amici di Merlin Cocai (Bassano del Grappa, Grafiche Fantinato, 2011) Transcription of the 1533 volume:

Transcription of the 1533 volume by the Folengo brothers,
October 14 2014


Latin Spell-check: Philippe Brasciano and Marjorie Burghart headed a team
that offers a (free!) Latin Spell-check program which proved very helpful
in correcting the Latin text of the Pomiliones. Thank you!


This volume is full of sophisticated humor and boundless word-play. Readers might want to keep in mind Johan Huizinga's comment "... the whole mental attitude of the Renaissance was one of play," from his book Homo ludens: a study of the play element in culture, 1944. 

Introduction of the 1533 Volume
and an Invitation to the Adult Renaissance

While the transcription is over 99% correct (please let me know of any mistakes you find), the same cannot be said for my translations: here too, any help you can provide will be welcome.

Pomiliones

Pomiliones with English March 7, 2017


A few notes: Pomilio 3 calls attention to itself by playfully mocking Vittoria Colonna and her husband. Pomilio 6: the sexual discourse comes through clearly on pages 73-75, and one begins to suspect that the censors the Folengos refer to were not screening for sexual innuendo.
The centerpiece of Pomilio 7 is a theme, there is one path to beatitude, and variations. Many witty naughty variations. But the brilliance of G. B. Folengo’s comedy act should not blind us to his important messages. Note his observation that in the olden days diverse paths to beatitude were seen as real, like the grapes of Zeuxis, p. 90. His remarks on Luther are particularly exciting, because the Folengo brothers were right there when Luther was changing the world of Christianity, pp. 96-9

 

Varium poema

 

Varium poema with English April 29 2015



Additional Notes and Illustrations to the Varium poema May 5 2014
 

Janus

Janus with English November 6, 2014


Preliminary Commentary on Folengo's Janus

Commentario provvisorio sul Janus, translated by Gabriele Codifava and Ann Mullaney

            Varium poema and Janus online: currently available in versions altered from the original:
Poeti d'Italia in lingua latina: http://mqdq.cab.unipd.it/mqdq/poetiditalia/home.jsp


Perseus Digital Library: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/

A partial list of words used in the classical Roman period and 1500 years later by the Folengo brothers taken from an annotated English edition and translation of the Priapeia, a collection of poems to and about Priapus: Coded Latin words listed in both the Smithers and Burton 1890 English edition of the Priapeia and in the Folengos' 1533 volume. 
 

c. 1535 (no date of publication given)


Macaronicorum Poema. Cipadense. The third version of the Macaronic works and the last published by the author.
 
Reissued in 1555 by Boselli

(More info to follow sometime in 2014)
 

Two Prefatory pieces, one at the beginning of the volume, one at the end.
Francesco Folengo a gli lettori (Francesco Folengo to the readers)
Nicolo Costanti alli lettori

My current favorite quatrain from one of the "Epigrammata" at the end of the volume, "Ad Baldum de Ira":

Quae semel vento ruit acta pinus
Haud reviviscit, nec Acer, nec Ilex,
Nescit heu certa, semel hinc quod exit,
Lege reverti.

(That Pinus has fallen, once downed by the wind, it can hardly revive, nor [can] the Maple, or Holm Oak. Once it has gone from here, alas, it’s unable, by firm law, to go back.)
 

Works published posthumously:

1552   Merlini Cocalii Poetae Mantuani Macaronicorum Poemata

             Known as  V, for Vigaso Cocaio: 


Baldus translated into Italian and annotated by Mario Chiesa, Turin: UTET 1997

Earlier Italian versions:
Giuseppe Tonna translation, text edited by G. Dossena) Il Baldo (Milano, Feltrinelli, 1958).
Emilio Faccioli, Baldus, (Torino, Einaudi, 1989).
Baldo translated into English by Ann Mullaney, text by Mario Chiesa, I Tatti, (Harvard U Press) 2007, 2010.

 

1539 La palermitana (posthumous, first published in 1876).


Interesting work in terza rima: Folengo appears in the manger at the birth of Jesus, other biblical stories

Hagiomachia. (Battles of the Saints.) Probably written around 1540.


First published (in part) by Antonio Rafanelli, 1898-1902, Salerno, Fruscione e Negri.
Hagiomachia di Teofilo Folengo, edit. Antonio Rafanelli
Available at Perseus: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/ 

 

Giovanni Battista Folengo, 1490-1559:


Extensive publications after the Dialogi, quos Pomiliones vocat, 1533 (above):

Detailed Bibliography of works available online and in rare book libraries, and at the end of this list of books is a reproduction and translation of the humorous opening page of the 1543 edition of the Psalms:

Works by Giovanni Battista Folengo August 2016

 

Biography at: http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giovanni_Battista_Folengo

 

Nicodemo Folengo, uncle, (c. 1454-?): Poetry in Latin, much of it overtly sexual.

Elegiarum liber (Elegies) dedicated to Federico, Duca d'Urbino, c.1475-82

Liber epigrammaton (Epigrams), dedicated to Lorenzo de' Medici, c. 1485

 Critical edition of both the above collections in Carmina, Carlo Cordie' and Alessandro Perosa, (Pisa, [Rome, Armellini], 1990) 

            Both works available at:

            Poeti d'Italia in lingua latina: http://mqdq.cab.unipd.it/mqdq/poetiditalia/home.jsp   

            Perseus Digital Library: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/

 

Additional editions and sites:

Immense effort by many hard working scholars during the past 500 years has gone into making Folengo's texts available 

and intelligible. I cite those which appear available and helpful. (Please let me know of others.)

 

Macaronee minori, critical edition of all four editions of the shorter Macaronic works (Zanitonella, Moscheide and Epigrammi): 

translation into Italian, detailed notes and a glossary by Massimo Zaggia (Torino: Einaudi, 1987).

 

Indispenable work on the code Folengo and other poets used to speak of sexual matters:

Toscan, Jean.  LE CARNAVAL DU LANGAGE: LE LEXIQUE EROTIQUE DES POETES DE L'EQUIVOQUE DE BURCHIELLO A MARINO 

(XVe-XVIIe siecles), published thesis in 4 volumes, Lille, University of Lille, 1981 (1978)

 

http://teofilofolengo.unito.it/

Very helpful site regarding Folengo research, in Italian, under the direction of Mario Chiesa, based at the Unviersity of Torino.

www.teofilofolengo.org

Associazione degli Amici di Merlin Cocai, hard-working Italian organization for the diffusion of Folengo's works and keeping his spirit alive.

Gragnani, Enrico:  Comparison of all four editions of the Baldus. Le quattro redazioni del Baldus 1517-1552, thesis, 

University of Rome, (padis.uniroma.it.)

 

 

Description: Portrait of Teofilo Folengo by Romanino
 (Uffizi)

Teofilo Folengo Biography

Born in 1491 to a large family living near Mantua, in Northern Italy, Folengo was a well-educated writer, who characterized himself as, "distinctly witty, light-hearted, fun-loving, charming and agreeable to almost everyone, not at all lacking in refinement," (Dialogus Philomusi, 1521). Like his many brothers and sisters before him, Folengo entered a religious order: he became a Benedictine monk in 1509, and took the name Teofilo. In 1517 he published an epic poem and other shorter works and was apparently very successful: four years later he published a second book that was twice as long as the first and we still have about 100 copies of this 1521 volume. Around 1524 he left the Benedictine order and wrote two new books: the Orlandino (1526), a wild chivalric epic in Italian octaves, and the Chaos del Triperuno (1527) an amazing autobiography in poetry, prose and dialogues. During a three-year period of (relative) isolation in a hermitage, Teofilo Folengo published a volume in Latin with his brother, Giovanni Battista, which forms part of a dense trio of works dated 1533, written in a sort of sex code, and another volume, " The Humanity of the Son of God" in Italian octaves. Both he and his brother were then (surprisingly) readmitted to the Benedictine Order. Around 1538, Folengo was sent to Sicily, and after becoming ill was eventually allowed to go back to Northern Italy where he died on December 9, 1544, in Campese, near Bassano del Grappa (about 80 kilometers Northwest of Venice). His literary brilliance and frank humor live on in his 8 major publications.