Moriae Encomium was hugely popular, to Erasmus' astonishment and sometimes his dismay. Even Erasmus' close friends had been initially skeptical and warned him of possible dangers to himself from thus attacking the established religion. Even
Leo X and
Cisneros are said to have found it amusing.
 Before Erasmus' death it had already passed into numerous editions and had been translated into Czech, French, and German. An English edition soon followed. It influenced the teaching of
rhetoric during the later sixteenth century, and the art of
adoxography or praise of worthless subjects became a popular exercise in Elizabethan grammar schools: see Charles O. McDonald, The Rhetoric of Tragedy (Amherst, 1966). A copy of the
Basel edition of 1515/16 was illustrated with pen and ink
Hans Holbein the Younger.
 These are the most famous illustrations of In Praise of Folly.
Its role in the beginnings of the Protestant Reformation
 stem from the foundation of critique which the essay laid against the practices of the Church and its political allies.