Boiardo, Matteo Maria

Boiardo or Bojardo, Matteo Maria mät-tĕˈō märēˈä bōyärˈdō [key], 1441?–1494, Italian poet, count of Scandiano. A favorite at the Este court in Ferrara, he served on diplomatic missions and became ducal captain of Modena and later of Reggio. He wrote Latin eclogues and songs and lyric love poems, and he translated Herodotus, Xenophon, Lucian, and Apuleius. His great unfinished Orlando Innamorato (1st complete ed. 1506) is a transformation of the Roland epic, recounting the love of Roland for the pagan Angelica and her love for his cousin Rinaldo. In this work Boiardo fused elements of Arthurian and Carolingian poetic cycles with material from classical antiquity. The vigorous beauty of Boiardo's epic was lost in the revision by Francesco Berni, which supplanted it until the 20th cent. Ariosto continued the tale in Orlando Furioso.

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