The theologian referred to and barely disguised in the reference to the ass and the lyre was Nicholas of Lyra who died in 1349. It was said in the sixteenth century, that if Lyra had not played his lyre, Luther would not have danced (Si Lyra non lyrasset, Luther non saltasset). He wrote a series of Postillae Litterales on the Old and New Testaments, carefully distinguishing between literal and mystical senses of the text. They were immensely influential and were the first commentary on the Bible to be printed (1471-1472). Folly is of course making clear in her reference to Erasmus and trilingual pedantry that she is conferring only an ironic compliment on Nicholas of Lyra by embracing his view.
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