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Ruggiero rescuing Angelica, by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres [1819] (Public Domain Image)

Orlando Furioso

[1516, revised 1521 and 1532]

by Ludovico Ariosto [1474-1533]

translated by William Stewart Rose [1775 - 1843]

[translation published 1823-1831]

Orlando Furioso, Ludovico Ariosto's 16th century epic Italian poem, is a sequel to Orlando Innamorato, an earlier work by Matteo Maria Boiardo. The titular Orlando is very loosely based on Roland, a heroic knight in Charlemagne's court, with admixtures from Arthurian and other sources. Orlando is driven insane with love for the beautful Angelica, and must be restored to sanity in time to save Paris from the Moslem armies. There are numerous subplots, minor characters, and twists, along with many fantasy elements. Orlando Furioso was one of several European epic poems written during this era, including the Lusiad, and Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered, typically in the Ottava Rima rhyming scheme. Vivaldi and Handel wrote operas about Orlando, and Milton and Cervantes also referenced Ariosto's epic.

This electronic text was originally created for the Online Medieval and Classical Library by Douglas B. Killings. It was prepared for sacred-texts, with additional proofing and formatting, by the volunteer known as 'Simon Magus'.

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