The Praise of Folly is an essay written in Latin in 1509 by Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam and first printed in June 1511. Inspired by previous works of the Italian humanist Faustino Perisauli, De Triumpho Stultitiae, it is a satirical attack on superstitions and other traditions of European society as well as on the Western Church.
Erasmus revised and extended his work, which was originally written in the space of a week while sojourning with Sir Thomas More at More's house in Bucklersbury in the City of London. The title Moriae Encomium had a punning second meaning as In Praise of More. In Praise of Folly is considered one of the most notable works of the Renaissance and played an important role in the beginnings of the Protestant Reformation.
Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus (28 October 1469 – 12 July 1536) was a Dutch philosopher and Christian scholar who is widely considered to have been one of the greatest scholars of the northern Renaissance. As a Catholic priest, Erasmus was an important figure in classical scholarship who wrote in a pure Latin style. Among humanists he enjoyed the sobriquet "Prince of the Humanists", and has been called "the crowning glory of the Christian humanists". Using humanist techniques for working on texts, he prepared important new Latin and Greek editions of the New Testament, which raised questions that would be influential in the Protestant Reformation and Catholic Counter-Reformation. He also wrote On Free Will, In Praise of Folly, Handbook of a Christian Knight, On Civility in Children, Copia: Foundations of the Abundant Style, Julius Exclusus, and many other works.