Folengo, Teofiloalso known as Girolamo Folengo (b. Nov. 8, 1491, Mantua [Italy]--d. Dec. 9, 1544, near Bassano Campese, Republic of Venice)
Italian popularizer of macaronic verse form, a synthetic combination of Italian and Latin first written by Tisi degli Odassi in the late 15th century.
Folengo entered the Benedictine order as a young man, taking the name Teofilo, by which he is known. He left the order about 1525. After 1530 he lived as a hermit near Sorrento, then was readmitted to the Benedictine order in 1534, where he remained until his death.
Though he wrote much poetry in various forms, Folengo's masterpiece is Baldus, a poem in macaronic hexameters, published under the pseudonym Merlin Cocai (Cocaio). The original edition had 17 books, the later editions 25. Four versions of Baldus are known, published in 1517, 1521, 1539-40, and 1552 (modern edition, Le maccheronee, 1927-28). The poem narrates the adventures of a rustic hero, Baldus, a descendant of Rinaldo, cousin of the medieval epic hero Roland.