Matteo Maria Boiardo

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Boiardo, Matteo Maria


Count of Scandiano. Born 1441, in the castle of Scandiano; died Dec. 19, 1494, in Regglo. Italian poet.

Boiardo’s Three Books of Loves (1472–76) are among the best examples of Italian love lyrics of the 15th century. His most important work is the poem Orlando innamorato. (The first two books appeared in 1495, along with the beginning of a third, unfinished book.) At the center of the poem is the unhappy love of Orlando, the nephew of Charlemagne, for the beautiful Angelica. Boiardo’s poem is a chain of sometimes fantastic and sometimes satiric novellas. Their themes are taken from legends of the Middle Ages, but their treatment reveals that Boiardo was a humanist. In Russia, the first translation of Orlando innamorato appeared in 1799. Boiardo translated the works of Herodotus, Xenophon, Apuleius, and Cornelius Nepos from the Greek and Latin and wrote Latin verse (the cycle Epigrammata, 1476, and Verses of Praise for the Acts of the d’Este Family).


Tutte le opere, vols. 1–2. Edited by A. Zottolie. Milan, 1936–37.
In Russian translation:
“Iz Vliublennogo Rolanda.” In Khrestomatiia po zarubezhnoi literature: Epokha Vozrozhdeniia, vol. 1. Compiled by B. I. Purishev. Moscow, 1959.


De Sanctis, F. Istoriia ital’ianskoi literatury, vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1963–64. (Translated from Italian.)
Reichenbach, G. L’Orlando Innamorato di M. M. Boiardo. Florence, 1936.
Zottoli, A. Dal Boiardo all Ariosto. Milan, 1934.
Bigi, E. La poesia di Boiardo. Florence, 1941.