The youngest son of Sir Rowland de Boys. At a wrestling match the banished duke's daughter, Rosalind, who took a lively interest in Orlando, gave him a chain, saying, “Gentleman, wear this for me.” Orlando, flying because of his brother's hatred, met Rosalind in the forest of Arden, disguised as a country lad, seeking to join her father. In time they become acquainted with each other, and the duke assented to their union. (Shakespeare: As You Like It.) (See Oliver.)
Orlando, called Rotolando or Roland, and Rutlandus in the Latin chronicles of the Middle Ages, the paladin, was lord of Anglant, knight of Brava, son of Milo d'Anglesis and Bertha, sister of Charlemagne. Though married to Aldabella, he fell in love with Angelica, daughter of the infidel king of Cathay; but Angelica married Medoro, a Moor, with whom she fled to India. When Orlando heard thereof he turned mad, or rather his wits were taken from him for three months by way of punishment, and deposited in the moon. Astolpho went to the moon in Elijah's chariot, and St. John gave him an urn containing the lost wits of Orlando. On reaching earth again, Astolpho first bound the madman, then holding the urn to his nose, the errant wits returned, and Orlando, cured of his madness and love, recovered from his temporary derangement. (Orlando Furioso.) (See Angelica.)
Orlando or Roland was buried at Blayes, in the church of St. Raymond; but his body was removed afterwards to Roncesvalles, in Spain.
Orlando's horn or Roland's horn. An ivory horn called Olivant, mentioned frequently by Boiardo and Ariosto.
“Per acto bello, Rolandus ascendit in montem, et rodiit retro ad viam Runciavallis. Tunc insonnit tuba sua eburnea; et tantâ virtute insonuit, quod flatu omnis ojus tuba per medium scissa, et venae colli ejus et nervi rupti fuisse feruntur.”
Orlando's sword. Durindana, which once belonged to Hector.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894