Generic name for satirical jesters and jokers, well educated, usually clerks, and thus able to write Latin verse, esp. in the 12c and 13c. As a class they were found in Europe as well as England, taking their name from a mythical bishop, Golias. They were known as tellers of tall stories by the time of Chaucer and William Langland. The best known collection of such writings today is to be found in the 13c Carmina Burana (Songs of Beuern, a village in Bavaria with a monastery). The songs were drinking songs, their subject-matter licentious for the times, but acceptable in taverns, as was their ribaldry.

Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases. .

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