Orlando Furioso

An epic poem in forty-six cantos, by Ariosto (digested by Hoole into twenty-four books, but retained by Rose in the original form). The subject is the siege of Paris by Agramant the Moor, when the Saracens were overthrown. In the pagan army were two heroes- Rodomont, called the Mars of Africa, and Rogero. The latter became a Christian convert. The poem ends with a combat between these two, and the overthrow of Rodomont.

The anachronisms of this poem are most marvellous. We have Charlemagne and his paladins joined by King Edward of England, Richard Earl of Warwick, Henry Duke of Clarence, and the Dukes of York and Gloucester (bk. vi.). We have cannons employed by Cymosco, King of Friza (bk. iv.), and also in the siege of Paris (bk. vi.). We have the Moors established in Spain, whereas they were not invited over by the Saracens for nearly 300 years after Charlemagne's death. In book xvii. we have Prester John, who died 1202; in the last three Constantine the Great, who died 337.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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